It's becoming harder than ever for the little guy to survive and thrive in the handbag business.
Even as demand for handbags continues to climb at retail, and scores of new designers flood the market in hopes of becoming the next Kate Spade or Coach, many independent brands are facing an increasing number of hurdles to growing their businesses — from the weakness of the dollar against the euro to the marketing might of major designer brands like Louis Vuitton, Gucci or Prada. Then there's the concern of expanding too quickly for fear of becoming too popular too quickly and causing a brand to burn out.
A Stella McCartney sketch of a custom dress made from protein-based silk in partnership with biotech lab Bolt Threads. The dress will be displayed at The Museum of Modern Art's upcoming design exhibition, "Items: Is Fashion Modern?"