|When did your fascination with handbags begin?
I was always into handbags ever since I was a little girl. When I went to New York University for Journalism I was fortunate to take on some great internships, I worked at the fashion accessories department for In Style, and also for Cosmopolitan. I was always around bags. It kind of developed on my last semester in school when I launched bagtrends.com one thing led to another. Bagtrends.com led to HSN and to VH1. I’ve always loved handbags and to be able to turn your passion for something into a career is really exciting.Can you tell us about what bagtrends.com is all about?
It’s a three year old online magazine. It was launched before the online fashion media boom so we had that spot for ourselves for a while. We cover handbag trends, particularly, the contemporary market. My main interest is upcoming bag designers, and who’s going to be tomorrows Luis Vuitton or Gucci. Three years ago the brands I was writing about had just come out, but three years later every celebrity under the sun is wearing them. So my passion is finding the next ‘it’ handbags. BagTrends.com includes monthly handbag trends, and every Friday I have my weekly picks, celebrity handbag trends, we also try to cover Fashion Week. I also write in mybagalicious.com blog which is a bit more personal.What shows are you planning to watch during Miami Swim Fashion Week?
Diesel , Ed Hardy, and Tommy Bahama. Seeing what’s going on with swimsuits this season in terms of colors and patterns are important in trying to identify beach bag trends.
“Being a bag expert is about being curious and serious about it. Proving to people that you are not somebody that just happens to like this, you are somebody who is making a career around it.”
What does it take to become a bag expert?
You must have the passion and the drive for it! Just follow your passion. For me it’s about going to all the appointments, making the connections, and seeing the collections as soon as possible. Because I work with WSA, which is the World Shoe Association, and I attend the WSA Show the largest and most comprehensive footwear and accessories show in the world, I get to see the trends way in advance. Being a bag expert is not about only what I think, it is about being aware about what is also happening in the market, traveling and seeing what people are wearing on the streets around the world and in different cultures. Many designers reflect their exposure to travel and other cultures in their designs, for example, Gwen Stefani with L.A.M.B and Marc Jacobs. It’s about being curious and serious about it. Proving to people that you are not somebody that just happens to like this, you are somebody who is making a career around it.
What other ways do you tend to spot bag trends?
Developing a relationship with the designers and talking to them about what they think we are going to see in upcoming seasons in a very casual way. I also ask about what leathers they are interested in or what colors, is there any cultural reference that is appealing to them the most, and what is entertaining them at the moment. I also look outside of fashion, I look at furniture, I look at celebrities. It is then very important as a trend forecaster to take in all you have observed into a point of view.
What are some of the ‘it’ handbags at the moment?
For the fall season one of the big trends is lace. I saw that trend a lot at the Prada runway shows both in their clothing and handbags. A shopper will have options buying into this trend with Target or H&M, or if they choose to splurge with expensive designers. But chances are you will get bored with a lace handbag, so it’s not a purchase you want necessarily spend $2000 on, so I’ll suggest to go with H&M and this is how I play around with the lace trend. Another big trend we are expecting to see is handbags with a long chain. A little clutch or a purse on a very long chain. This trend has been seen on the runway and celebrities and it will translate well into everyday life. Marc Jacobs and Rebecca Minkoff have amazing options. So the idea is a small purse or a clutch with a very long chain or chain and leather sitting at your waist. It is very modern and very fashion forward. You can also wear the look in a messenger style, across your body. And Grey which was popular last fall will stay strong this season. It is going to be the backdrop color both in fashion and accessories. I love grey, that is something I will invest in. It is a great option if you are used to black.
Which beach handbags do you think are hot at the moment?
Because not everyone is comfortable wearing wild colored swimsuits and often stick to understated colors such as black, a bright and bold beach handbag is a great way to accent your look. Jill Stuart has a really fun beach bag which is semi transparent so it’s also picks up on the peek-a-boo trend, or the see-through look. Cole Haan has a very nice bag which I’m obsessed about, a woven plastic. Cole Hann took their signature woven detailing and kicked it up a notch to make it fashion forward. I love that.
What advice can you give to women making their first handbag investment?
Every woman should own a great work bag, and if you can only afford one, I would stick with the classics. Go with the black, tan, grey, or a very neutral metallic color. Not gold, that can be too much. I’ll go with a satchel in a black or a grey, you can never go wrong with that. You can get a great one by Elliot Lucca. Another bag every woman should own is a great clutch, and you can find one for $30! But if you want to invest in a good clutch but can’t afford the Marc Jacobs, Lauren Merkin makes amazing clutches for $180. Eva Longoria Parker and Lindsay Lohan have worn Lauren Merkin on the red carpet.
What handbags are wearing right now?
Right now I’m wearing a woven bag by Elliot Luca, it’s mostly white but the center has a silver panel. It is perfect, it even fits my laptop. Elliot Lucca Handbags are amazing for the price point, because I know how expensive it is for designers to make the bags. And by the way, I keep my makeup in a small clutch this way my makeup is easily accessible. Think BBC (Bag, Baubles, and Coat): you need a great Bag, jewelry, and a coat, and you are good to go!
Have you ever been tempted to design your own line of handbags?
I have been approached to do it, but I wouldn’t do it unless I have someone behind me. It is a very difficult process. I wouldn’t do it right now, but I also wouldn’t rule it out.
Why do you think bags have become such a big obsession for women?
It’s much more practical for a woman to rationalize this type of purchase. It is much easier to walk into Escada purchasing a $2000 bag because you know you can wear this bag every single day forever. Yet you won’t necessarily purchase a $700 pair of pants, it’s seems more complicated.
What is the best part of your job?
Seeing all the bags! It’s about knowing that for good or for bad I had no connections in this industry, so everything I’ve accomplished it’s not working 9 to 5, but literally 24 hours a day. Also, enjoying the travel and discounts here and there.
What’s next for Pamela Pekerman?
Hopefully doing some more stuff with HSN. I’m also working with my partner Michelle, and my fabulous assistant, on a bag trends party, called: Bag Trends Arm Candy Party, where we invite ten to fifteen really hot contemporary handbag designers to sell their merchandise to our customers. The point of this event is that it is a luxury shopping experience, we have an open bar, appetizers, and a spa to compliment the people who come to shop.
It was a pleasure to interview Pamela you can check out her amazing website www.bagtrends.com; shop for your own perfect purse www.bagtrends.com/shop.htm or read about Pamela’s Bag-a-Licious Life at bagtrends.blogspot.com