Monday, September 12, 2011

Its in the Bag with Enid!

These days the ladies handbag or purse is a just another object turned out by the so called luxury market, usually adorned with a logo or some other recognisable feature that makes it instantly recognisable. For some if it does not have a logo it is not worth having. Coupled with the amazing amount of fakes and copies that flood the market it is very hard to tell in some cases whether you have paid thousands of dollars or a couple of hundred for the object of your desire. Used as a status symbol these bags are seen by the owners, as something which will draw envious glances from friends and passers-by.


There is no question that the material and workmanship in such bags can be of the highest quality, but do we really want to carry around a bag that is as exciting as a loaf of sliced bread, with someone else’s initials on it?

Not so in the mid 60’s if you owned and Enid Collins. For the young American woman in this era, an Enid Collins was the ‘must have” fashion accessory. They were fun and fabulous, the right bag for a casual mode of dress which the Americans championed. The very features and hallmarks of these bags, which spearheaded their popularity back then, are making them just the right accessory for today’s eclectic approach to dress.

Instantly recognisable for their artsy, whimsical handbags, these bags are highly collectible. Founded by Enid Collins and her husband in Medina Texas, they primarily made two types of bags - wooden box purses, and canvas bucket style bags. Each purse was hand decorated with paint, sequins and rhinestones in themed designs. As time went by more ornamentation was added, as this made them more popular.
The design aesthetic was very similar to items coming out of Scandinavia in the 50’s and 60s which gave them a sort of European cachet. Although logos and signatures did appear on the bags it was a discreet reminder that this was a bag by Enid Collins. It was more like the signature of an artist on a painting not the blatant advertising that is apparent today.

Never intended to be fad creations, Enid Collins finished all of her handbags with leather trim, mirrors, brass findings and fasteners. They were intended to be good quality, fun day bags. A bit of glitz on the way to the grocery store!

The designs all had names;--each told a story--each had something special or personal that the prospective customer could relate to. Some of Enid's classic designs are "Money Tree," "Road Runner," "Night Owl," "Carriage Trade," "Cable Car," "Sea Garden," "Love," and many more.

During the late 60s, the Collins company manufactured complete do-it-yourself kits called Sophistikits in which customers could make their own Enid Collins ‘original’.

Enid Collins purses and bags combined a love of art and fashion by their creator. Now one of the most instantly recognisable bags of the current retro/vintage craze, for the young lady about town these are a must.

21 comments:

  1. David I adore these, they truly are works of art!! The Peacock bag I would carry in an instant!

    xoxo
    Karena

    Art by Karena

    I have a fabulous Giveaway from the Jose Esteves Collection at Interieurs. I hope you will come and join!

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  2. never, evah heard of her....but now i have!

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  3. Wow! I have never seen these bags before David!! They are truly little pieces of art you can carry around, how cool is that? Thanks for teaching us about Enid!
    Nancy xo

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  4. It may be a status symbol to carry a bag or wear a garment with some one else's initials or name on it. If I am paying an outrageous price, I would rather have my own initials on it. :)

    Enid Collins purses are beautiful and works of art, and as you said they had her name in a very discreet manner. Those were simple times may be?

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  5. Wow..I didn´t know about her..thanks for sharing this with us...Her bags are amazing..I really prefer this over the logo extravaganza bags nowdays

    xx
    Andy
    The Black Label

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  6. I like them! They are very unique.. I would so use one but too girly ha.. I do get tired of seeing people carrying the same bags everywhere with the LV logo.. I would rather have something unique rather than walking around as a label poster boy..

    Peace & Love! ~Angel

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  7. You are so right, the Gucci ones are like a bread loaf! I didn't know about Enid Collins pieces of art. How charming were those years!

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  8. I like it. It's very unique and stylish.
    Amazing and beautiful bags. It's art.

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  9. Fun, whimsical designs... I like the one with blue peacocks!
    ps. Have you seen that I linked to you in my b&w post? Your Marchesa Luisa Casati post was fantastic!

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  10. they are so happy. Are these new bags that you've shown? Are really well preserved bags that you've found?

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  11. u use to write really interesting things! love your blog! i follow u! im sure u will love my pics!

    xxx

    http://thecustic.blogspot.com/

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  12. A cool posting!

    I find the bucket bags much more sophisticated than the wooden boxes, but they're all a lot of fun. My vote for most stylish would be the road runner or the owl tree.

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  13. I don't like very much these bags :/ Thanks for pass in my blog!
    xx

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  14. Cool post, I actually have one of those box bags!

    www.justfaabulous.blogspot.com

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  15. A slice of loaf bread, right! We don´t really need big brands for style. :)

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  16. One of my first shopping memories was going downtown to our local dress shop with my mother, glass shelves covered an entire wall of the store, and on the shelves were at least a dozen Collins bags. I remember thinking they were hideous. Fast-forwarded 25+ years and Lulu Guinness comes out with a collection inspired by Enid Collins. Ofcourse, I start inquiring about my mom's vintage Collins bags. So only did I end up with her bag; a little worse for wear (because someone spilt a beer in it at the greyhound races in El Paso in the late 1960's) but I have both of my grandmother's bags (perfect condition) and my great aunt's bag as well. I think you have inspired me to do a post....by the way, I adore them now :)
    -Catherine

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  17. the bags are just amazing. i showed this post to my wife and she loved the bags. such wonderful works of art.

    http://halfwhiteboy.blogspot.com/

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  18. I've read a lot of blogs, but I've never seen anything quite like this. When you will buy the stylish vintage designer handbags online, you just have to look that what kind of Brand you use. The Vintage Bag Collecton has a number of stock of all brands such as chanel crossbody bag, vintage Dior saddle bag, Prada crossbody bag, Valentina leather bag, and so on.

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