Thursday, June 27, 2013

Buying a Bag

How to explain the ubiquity of a particular type of handbag in Switzerland today? 

The luggage-minded Anthropologist cannot help but wonder why it is that when the Swiss need a bag, they reach for a Freitag. Sure, style plays a part, as does patriotism, which is a force never to be underestimated in Switzerland (Frietag bags are actually made out of the industrial sinews the country itself, from the hides of trucks which have spent their lives plying Swiss highways and feeding the Swiss economy; their wearers might just as well carry sacks made of Swiss sheepskin and cow tendons). But then many things fall in and out of fashion, and alongside the Frietag bags are a number of similar, and equally popular bags which are decidedly non-Swiss, including increasingly popular models by The North Face.

The secret lies, then, in something rather deeper in Swiss culture with which this style of bag resonates: an artful blend of rugged outdoorsyness and smooth modern minimalism. It is two crucial aspects of Swiss identity fused, and turned into an appealingly expensive and discreetly visible accessory.

This combination is a powerful one, and offers such vast appeal that it lies behind many of the country’s best-sellers.

No comments:

Post a Comment