Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sometimes a Bag is Just a Bag...

...but sometimes a bag needs an explanation.

Hi, my name is Meimei, and I own a bag from Secosana.

Let's face it: I can't really defend myself here. Longtime readers will point out that I don't always carry nice bags around, for security reasons, and no matter how many times I write about the Fendi Zucca or the Louis Vuitton Mahina, I will always end up buying whatever it is that happens to be on sale. The bag that you see above, which cost me all of P650 (US$13), is no exception... because it was on sale at Robinsons.

But: It's a Secosana.

A great majority of fashion bloggers from Manila will tell you that Secosana is the red-headed stepchild of the Philippine fashion scene. Secosana bags may be cheap, they will say, but they are also the knockoff bags that you buy for your maids as a Christmas present, or the bags you take to the places where you're most likely to get ripped off by a purse snatcher. Secosana bags will break your heart when they start falling apart on your after several months, no matter how well you take care of them. Add to this the fact that Secosana has allegedly started increasing their prices, and we're looking at a resentment so deep-seated that it would take a PhD in social anthropology to explain the whole thing in a dispassionate, unbiased manner.

In the meantime, look at this bag:

Repeat after me: Again with the cheap "leather." Look closely at the bottom detail, too, and you could see that those swirls are actually "S"-es. And can we talk about that color? Because, really, this bag would have been so much better if it came in a creamier beige hue... which it didn't, because the other color in the store was bright fuschia.

That said, I stand by my line of reasoning for getting this bag. Yes, it was on sale. Yes, I need a second purse for the days when I have to go to Mass, which is very often. (This explains the frequent presence of reading glasses and a hand fan in this bag.) And even if I didn't have to deal with the security issues of purse-snatching, I know that I've done my best to de-cheezify this bag by reducing the number of decorative charms to the lone pair of tassels that you see here. Not that hard, really.

As for the fasyonista credibility problem... well, I have seen more horrific bags in the same price range as Secosanas (four words: Baby Phat knock-offs) and better-quality bags for less cash... but it's not like the brand itself hasn't tried hard enough to make a better product. I know that they've made cuter bags in their past collections, and it's not like anyone else is expecting them to use real leather, so it's obviously a question of addressing the construction quality at this point.

Let me also add, however, that I've actually carried this bag to a formal event last weekend in Manila, and nobody cared enough to notice. So THERE.

This may be a Secosana, but it's still my Secosana, and I'm sticking with it. That is, until I can scrounge up enough money to spring for real, honest-to-goodness leather... labels be damned.

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