Mel and I thought it would be fun to take a road trip to the city to shop and take our own pics of our favorite designer bags for our budding blog. So we ditched our day jobs and headed for Saks Fifth Avenue in New Orleans.

I was a little apprehensive as I was not sure what the store allowed in the way of taking pictures to post on a blog. I thought about clandestinely snapping photos with the camera on my phone while sales associates were pulling out merchandise for us to view. Luckily my apprehension was unwarranted and I quickly found that stealing pics was unnecessary.

At 11:00 a.m. on a Thursday the store was calm and relatively unpopulated, but dotted with smiling sales associates like Oscar, a well coiffed and neatly attired sales associate for Fendi. I have never owned a Fendi bag, and quite honestly never considered one, but Fendi’s new look is definitely worth a second glance. Oscar explained that the original canvas double F monogram had long since been traded for a sleeker more tailored look but that the monogram was popping up here and there on detachable bandoliers and select bags. Mel and I gasped at pearl studded pocket books, fringe hanging from front flaps, and color patterns on straps, twillies and bag charms. And then there were the bags with the gold F monogram encased in a gold circle on the front of bags which were simple and classic looking.

We moved onto Marc Jacobs’ petite and rectangular shaped cross body creations which also featured the bandolier trend. As we admired trendy and classic bags by Marc Jacobs, Sara of Celine joined our conversation. By the time we finished in Celine with Sara, Mel had modeled runway bags from sleek to outrageous. Most interesting was the runway bag that practically kissed the floor and which can be owned for a small fortune. We were told this bag was bought and paid for by an anonymous NFL professional as a gift for his mom just days prior to our visit.

In the Louis Vuitton boutique we began snapping pics of small leather goods which are good starter pieces, but are also quite popular among the Louis Vuitton addicted who purchase these items to organize and fill the larger bags in their collections. (Check out LV YouTubers to see how dedicated purists are to this trend) When Marcus in Louis Vuitton spotted us from the men’s section of the boutique he came right over to search an exhaustive list of hard to find items that Mel requested. Many of the items were not in stock at the boutique, and are even quite difficult to acquire on the website, but if you know what you are looking for, Marcus will gladly order it for you. Watching the dance between Mel’s requests and Marcus dashing around pulling out drawers in search of an item, any item, was amusing to watch. Mel was focused but playful, and Marcus, who I might mention was a dashing dude in well tailored suit, was very accomodating.

Although not as well versed in Prada as Mel is in Louis Vuitton, I am a fan, and so the Prada boutique is where I had the most fun. The sales associate treated us to a video of the runway show which as I expected was avant garde and chock full of designs that mixed unlikely color palettes with a trend toward feathers and oversized detail. Mel modeled Prada fanny packs (yes the fanny pack is back!) in velvet and nylon, but these bags ain’t your daddy’s fanny packs from the 80’s. They are posh and purposeful and one even includes hanging rings to be used for multiple Prada bag charms.

We ended our tour around the semi-circle of bag collections at Chanel and Gucci. I own a few vintage Chanel handbags so I was interested to compare my mini collection to the updated versions. Everything was simply gorgeous AND PRICEY!, except the tweed bags for spring that come with signature entwined gold and tweed straps. There is also the smaller version which is fashioned as a clutch. If you’d like to own a Chanel, your best bet is to buy it in a Chanel boutique. They are difficult to purchase online unless you have interest in the pre-loved market, which I will detail how to navigate in another post. And even the pre-loved market is a challenge because authentication is tricky.

Mel bought a reversible bandolier at Louis Vuitton, one side of which was in her favorite color, PINK! She also lucked up on a brown Gucci belt which we were advised is selling quickly, so of course Mel had to buy said belt for fear the opportunity would pass by the end of the retail day.

I was weary from trying to be too fabulous, shopping for three hours in 4-inch heels, but I still sacrificed my feet for a stroll to the shoe section on the second floor in pursuit of the ever elusive Valentino rock studs that were on my Christmas list. At least in this store they exit almost as quickly as they arrive, but fear not rock stud lovers, they can be ordered in your size if you are sure of what that is. I typically wear a 9 ½ but take a 41 in Valentino.

The shoe boutique was fantastic with much to see at every turn but alas, we glanced at our watches and realized that kids had to be collected from carpool, so we were off to smooth traffic and much about which to chat on the drive home. We’ll be back! Stay tuned…

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