Would you wear a purse with colored hardware?

July 26th, 2011

Balenciaga Padlock Totes in black or green, $2077 via Matches

I’m a big lover of Balenciaga bags both familiar and lesser-known, and often, I find myself even more attracted to the non-Motorcycle styles that don’t grace quite so many arms. Don’t get me wrong, though, my favorite bag I’ve ever own is a Balenciaga Day Bag and I doubt that’s going to be changing anytime soon.

But I also have a lot of love for the bags like the Balenciaga Padlock Totes, which don’t drive revenue to the brand quite like the moto bags, but are beautiful accessories nonetheless. What I’m really loving about this design in particular is the little red enamel closure at the front, which got me thinking about hardware choices and how few3 of them we have as modern accessories consumers. Gold, silver, weathered, shiny. Maybe a little gunmetal or matte black, if we’re lucky. Why can’t we have more color?

I’ve been thinking about this question for a few days, and here’s what I’ve come up with so far. First, I think there’s probably a durability issue. When it comes to high-end bags, most of the hardware you see is solid, and the finish isn’t painted or baked-on. If you sawed it in half, it’d be a similar color all the way through. That makes it much more resistent to the appearance of wear, since the surface is the same as whatever’s underneath it.

Enamel, on the other hand, is painted on and heated into a solid over metal, which means that it’s usually softer and more likely to wear than what’s below it. And since the material underneath is a different color, that wear is more likely to be obvious to a bag’s owner, who may take none too kindly to those kinds of imperfections.

Second, there’s probably also a wearability issue. Since consumers are so used to seeing hardware in only a handful of colors, I’m betting that a lot of women will have a bit of resistance to the idea of bright hardware that contrasts with the color of their bags. Personally, I adore things like that, but I can understand why such a bold look might not have the longevity that many customers are looking for when they buy an expensive bag. It’s like neon shoelaces – I’ll wear them all day, every day, but I know I’ll get a weird look here and there. It will probably surprise no one that I like the green and red Balenciaga combination the best. Would you wear colorful hardware in general or this bag in particular? Buy through Matches for $2077 in both black and green.

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