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Today in random luxury minutiae: Pencils from Hermes and Louis Vuitton

When you’re a brand with a rabid, slavish following like French leathergoods giant Hermes, it’s important to think outside the box in order to both maximize profits and cater to your very particular customer’s every need. With quarterly growth in the double digits since time immemorial,
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Fancy-pants pens have long been a hallmark of the luxury industry, but the leather-wrapped Hermes Arlequin H Pencil is something different entirely. Pens can be refilled with fine ink and passed down from generation to generation; pencils, on the other hand, are meant to be used up in short order by virtue of their very construction.

When I first came across this…pencil (there are no fancy words for pencil), my immediate thought was, Well, I bet Louis Vuitton makes one too. Hermes and Louis Vuitton are alike in a lot of ways (and LVMH seems to be hell-bent on making them part of the same whole), and they are perhaps the only two fashion brands with clients rabid enough to buy pencils from them. Chanel might also make that list, but I have yet to find a pencil from that particular set of Frenchies,
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Louis Vuitton Golden Agenda Pencil,
Red Valentino Shoes, $245 via Louis Vuitton

Vuitton does,
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On the other hand, unless I’m mistaken, the Hermes pencil is just a normal, wooden writing implement wrapped in a thin layer of woven leather and meant to be sharpened. At this point in my nearly unending leather goods ennui, I’m merely surprised that Hermes doesn’t also offer a matching leather-covered pencil sharpener. Maybe next season. Buy through Hermes for $85.

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Silver Handbags: The Metallic Mod Trend

(Row 1, L-R: Betsey Johnson, Gucci,
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(Row 2, L-R: Fendi, Chanel, Fendi, Emporio Armani)

Metallics have been totally hot for a few seasons now. From matte metallic to bold metallic,
Cheap Valentino Shoes Sale, another metallic is here for spring, only this time, it is silver rather than any shade of gold. Not a brushed silver, a shocking, bold, in-you-face,
Valentino Shoes for Women, look into my mirror and see your reflection, silver. We all know the Louis Vuitton Miroir handbags have made a huge hit, and now many designers have followed with the new mod color for spring and are implementing them on their handbags. What do you think? Totally yay or nay? Where would you wear this bold silver color?

Thanks to Fab Sugar for the picture and silver bag breakdown!

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Pre-Wang Balenciaga Still Shines with the Tube Round M Bag

While I’ve always has a soft spot in my heart for the downtown chic Balenciaga City Bag, I’m also a fan of creative director Alexander Wang’s brand new Balenciaga Le Dix Bag. His designs are sleek, simple, and very ladylike. However, after looking this Balenciaga Tube Round M Tote Bag, I couldn’t help but be more appreciative Wang predecessor Nicolas Ghesquière.

In Wang’s first handbag designs for the brand,
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Buy your Balenciaga Tube Round Tote at Barneys for $1,
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Valentino Cashmere Flap Bag

As the winter chill yipps its way into our bones, cashmere is one of the warm and soft materials I love to adorn my body with. Having a cashmere bag may not keep you warm, but it will fit perfectly into the cold season. The Valentino Cashmere Flap Bag is taupe cable-knit cashmere bag with jewel accents and golden hardware. The color scheme and materials (along with a wooden logo closure) match the cold fall and winter, but the combination of it all does not have me sold. A smaller picture of the bag looks cuddly, the bigger picture looks like an art project my mom worked on (sorry mom ;-) ) On the inside there is satin lining and an interior pocket. This bag measures 8″H x 11″W x 1″D and is available through Bergdorf Goodman for $1950.

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Want it Wednesday: Celine Classic Croco Flap Box Bag

Right now I can not stop crushing on the color yellow. Yellow signifies happiness not only for me but also for the majority of people. With such a bring and fun color,
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But I will not delve into the price. Ok fine,
Valentino Shoes Outlet, call me out, I am too scared to call Celine to ask because once they tell me the price I will know for sure I can’t buy this bag. Instead, I want to focus on its beauty. I can’t imagine anyone looking at the Celine Classic Croco Flap Box Bag and not having some part of them want this bag.

If you can find fault with this bag it would be that it is too classic, too refined,
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Victoria Beckham enters the handbag game with $14,000 worth of crocodile

Five years ago, if you had told me that Posh Spice would be at the helm of a clothing and accessories line that people take seriously,
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Valentino Handbags for Women, but they are generally quite well-received and often worn by other stars on red carpets of all kinds.

I don’t know exactly how much designing Vicky B. does, although she’s said to be quite involved in the process, but at least she had the presence of mind to hire people who don’t suck to create her line, which is a move from which other celebs with clothing lines would do well to learn. And now that she’s doing accessories, the Victoria Beckham Matte Crocodile Shoulder Bag would seem to indicate that she took great care in hiring whoever’s designing her bags as well.

At nearly $14,000, this bag is the most expensive of the tightly edited handbag collection that Beckham launched for Spring 2011 by a wide margin. And even if the five-figure price tag throws people off guard, I think including an exotic bag like this one is a good long-term marketing decision for the line; not only has the bag been picked up by many different media outlets because of the steep asking price, but a piece like this one gives the collection an implied prestige that Beckham and her business managers certainly want to create for the brand. If the price point needs to be adjusted down in subsequent seasons, that’s easy to do and even easier for consumers to swallow. Starting in the middle and adjusting up isn’t quite so simple once price expectations have already been formed. Buy through Net-a-Porter for $13950.

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This Alexander Wang bag might be your perfect spring carryall

Now that almost all spring bags have made their way to online retail for pre-order, the season’s what has begun to separate itself from the chaff, so to speak. Some of Alexander Wang’s ideas for Spring 2011 have proven to be better than others, but the more I see the Alexander Wang Large Emile Tote,
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The metal corner caps that Wang introduced with this collection have also carried into his Fall 2011 bags, and I couldn’t be more pleased. They take a simple, functional ivory tote and give it just enough detail to be something special, which is exactly the kind of look you want in a bag that you intend to carry regularly.

I prefer this bag in its black version with silver hardware, but for those of who you prefer to wear lighter colors in warmer weather, the ivory version is lovely. It won’t show wear in as obvious of a way as a stark white bag would, but still,
Cheap Valentino Women’s flats, I’d keep it away from dark denim and other materials that tend to transfer dye. If you can manage that, then this is the sort of design that looks chic and feels functional year-round. Buy through Neiman Marcus for $975.

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YSL Manifesto in NYC Today

It is time for the 6th edition of the YSL Manifesto, which will be hitting the streets of NYC today! The worldwide release will be Saturday, February 20th, in the streets of Paris, London,
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This Manifesto was photographed by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin under the creative direction of Stefano Pilati. The manifesto will showcase Natalia Vodianova in the Yves Saint Laurent Spring/Summer 2010 collection,
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How can you be a lucky person to nab one of half a million copies? You will need to be in the right place at the right time. RackedNY just tweeted that they are being handed out in NYC as we speak. The first 2,000 passerby in each city will receive a custom cotton tote with a strawberry print.

Good luck getting a Manifesto for yourself,
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Perfect Pairs: Melissa Odabash and Valentino

I just got back from a relaxing and very sunshine-filled vacation to Florida and the Bahamas, and while New York weather isn’t quite cooperating,
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I adore Melissa Odabash for her swimsuits and beachwear they are always trendy and wearable. And when it comes to finding a great bag to carry with this chic coverup, I went straight for Valentino. Yes, this bag is small but it is super chic, and I’m slowly falling in love with the idea of see-through bags. With every Valentino touch we’ve come to know and love, the Valentino The Rockstud Studded Perspex Clutch will show off your money, lipstick, room key,
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Melissa Odabash Laura Embroidered Voile Dress

$210 via Net-A-Porter

Valentino The Rockstud Studded Perspex Clutch

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Karlie Kloss Traverses NYC with a Jason Wu Bag

Here’s supermodel Karlie Kloss, running errands in NYC and doing a quick pop-in at Taylor Swift’s Tribeca apartment, all while carrying a black Jason Wu Jourdan Tote. Karlie is among Wu’s favorite models, so it’s no surprise to see her toting one of the designer’s most popular bags. Karlie’s bag is currently available for $1,
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Karlie has been making pretty regular appearances here on PB,
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