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On January 16th in London, England, Marisa Abela was spotted for the first time with actor Eddie Marsan filming for director Sam Taylor-Johnson’s Amy Winehouse biopic Back to Black. While the upcoming film is one of the most eagerly anticipated films this year, the first look left the internet with many opinions. Though it’s easy to fixate on the signature Winehouse beehive hair style, the fashion set have spotted one notable Y2K-era accessory: the iconic Botkier Bianca Bag.
The former It-bag was released in the fall of 2006 and immediately sold out everywhere. But Winehouse wasn’t the only celebrity fan of the silhouette. Everyone from Lindsay Lohan to Zoe Deschanel and Angelina Jolie toted the double zip-pocket satchel. “I’m happy celebrities are wearing the bags,” designer Monica Botkier, whose label is a Hollywood favorite, told WWD in 2008. “We have a great following with Angelina Jolie. She’s a mom of four and running around. It’s great to see her using her bag with her kids.”
The aughts were the peak of the It bag era, and while there were plenty of iconic designer bags that come to mind from this time period, Botkier was one of the emerging indie bag brands on the market offering quality bags for a more affordable price — and the Bianca bag was the perfect silhouette to entice customers who valued both function and fashion trends. Satchel bags— think the Marc Jacobs Stam Bag and the Chloe Paddington bag — rose to popularity for their easy-to-wear, logoless designs and relaxed structures and durable hardware accents. This combination gave the Bianca bag the versatility to be paired with just about anything in your wardrobe from a classic skirt to women’s jeans or fashion leggings.
In 2008, Botkier took notice of the Bianca’s popularity and released luxury versions of the everyday satchel. “Botkier is showing its skin. This holiday season, the accessories firm is taking its popular Bianca bag — owned by the likes of Lindsay Lohan and Heather Graham — and launching a limited edition version in python, available only by special order,” Botkier told WWD. “The bag has proven to be a favorite with our customers, and therefore we wanted to do something special for our Bianca fans.” Afterward, the bag became available in three sizes, plus a Bianca-inspired clutch in various stunning colors, including metallic gold, silver, and bronze.
While the brand no longer sells the satchel style, secondhand versions are available on eBay and Poshmark. Plus, designer labels like Chloé and Marc Jacobs are reinventing the satchel shape in their latest collections, putting this handbag silhouette back on the sartorial map.
So, will the Amy Winehouse movie be enough to give this Y2K bag a reboot? Only time will tell, but you can shop these current black satchels in the meantime.
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