Tough economic times are stretching shoppers’ budgets more than ever, but Europe’s accessories players are on a mission to woo women into at least one splurge this season on a key item like that must-have bag.

Whether it’s leaders like Gucci and Prada tightening their grasp of the market, storied fashion houses like Armani and Versace growing their comparatively small accessories businesses, or emerging designers like DSquared and Vanessa Bruno launching their own lines, everybody seems bent on creating the next bag so hot it will convince even the most hesitant spender to dig a little deeper in her pockets.

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