Highly Valued: Back In Style

A bag is a bag is a bag. Unless, of course, it is a vintage Chanel, Louise Vuitton, Celine or Hermes. Judging from press and paparazzi coverage as well our own experience at Tres Mariposas, demand for vintage handbags has skyrocketed.

Vintage luxury has become equally or more desirable than new. Vintage as in “used,” you say? Is that crazy? Not when you think of luxury classics in other categories.

For instance, my husband loves his recent model Porsche, but, boy, would he kill for a 1959 Speedster.roadster

A fine reserve wine, aged to perfection, is way more coveted than current season yields. A vintage Rolex has an appeal and heritage that today’s watches can’t match. An antique table has a certain charm and a mid-century chair can be a classic. Age lends a unique style to goods in many different categories.WGACA

Some of today’s vintage handbag collectors have similar goals as art collectors. They love owning beautiful pieces, but they also consider the item as an investment with an eye to an ever-increasing resale value.

At Tres Mariposas we recently began carrying vintage luxury bags. I was skeptical at first – but my gracious, they are flying out our doors. We buy from a source who travels the world hand selecting the finest items from Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Hermes and others. An important aspect of buying vintage is checking the authenticity. Our buyer is highly knowledgeable and guarantees the authenticity of the handbags.WGACA6

Some of the handbags have never been used at all – they were purchased by collectors who might have displayed them, but never took them out of their homes. Other bags are in outstanding condition, but they have been enjoyed by their previous owners. These purses have a kind of mysterious history to me, a secret past we’ll never know. That’s just part of the charm of vintage accessories!WGACA2

Things to look forward to this year: Part 1


I am delighted to welcome a guest columnist today: Gesuina Legaspy, contemporary and special occasion buyer at Tres Mariposas. We’re back from a very productive buying trip and I asked her to identify trends and designers to watch for in the coming year. Here’s the first half of this two-part series.Nan Napier


Gesuina Legaspy

Gesuina Legaspy


The best part of being a buyer at Tres Mariposas is – well, the buying trips – particularly the trips to New York City. My most recent visit, just the week before last, was marked by 9-degree weather, vintage bags and of course, fashion.

We’re gearing up for spring in the Sun City, but the fashion industry is looking ahead to our autumnal wardrobe. However, some of the trends, designers and delicious items that I saw in New York already inform your 2015 wardrobe:

Stuart Weitzman's LoveFringe heel

Stuart Weitzman’s LoveFringe heel

• Go forward with fringe: Trends, by definition, fade away as quickly they’re introduced. Not fringe. Fringe is stronger than ever, with its versatile appeal on handbags, evening gowns, apparel and even shoes!

In the fall, we will be seeing fringed cashmere cardigans from Repeat and Central Park West, and fringe on supple leather handbags we ordered from a line called B-Low the Belt. Fringe forward and keep wearing it, because fringe is not going anywhere.

Fashions by Jonathan Simkai

Fashions by Jonathan Simkai

• Jonathan Simkhai: Jonathan Simkhai is a New York-based designer who was introduced to Tres Mariposas by our New York buyer, Lucie Jordan. She was right on by leading us to his showroom in 2014. We loved the collection and carry it in the store now, and it’s very exciting to see how this up-and-coming designer is now everywhere, seen on celebrities like Chanel Iman, Jennifer Lopez, Alessandra Ambrossio and Gigi Haddid.

Legions of Hollywood “It Girls” have been seen in Jonathan Simkhai, and I am proud to feature the collection at our store. The only thing better than the line itself is its price point – super affordable.

Jewelry by Goldish

• Jewelry trends, my favorite: I am a minimalist when it comes to fashion jewelry, but I can assure you that these trends will have me decked out! Edgy, eye-catching pieces like body chains, hand chains and ear cuffs will be everywhere this year.

Tres Mariposas owner Nan Napier and co-buyer Bobbie Baldridge discovered a new line called Goldish that makes necklaces that can also be worn as 14-karat gold hand chains, which are combination bracelets and rings.

This fresh and fun trend is a great way to play with fashion and an inexpensive way to try something different. The best part is that you can mix it all together; these pieces look even better when worn together to create a statement outfit.

Midi Dress by Elizabeth and James

Midi Dress by Elizabeth and James

• Midi-dresses/skirts: The longer the better! This look is called “The Midi,” referring to a hemline below the knee and above the ankle, a nod to the 1960s and ‘70s.

There are endless ways to wear this style. Pair midi dresses with tall boots or heels and midi skirts with anything from a basic t-shirt to a crop top. Midi styles can be pencil shaped, A-line or circular.

Vintage Celine Handbags

Vintage Celine Handbags

• Vintage handbags: Until now, it was impossible to purchase a Chanel, Celine or Louis Vuitton handbag in El Paso.

Three years ago at our Fashion’s Night Out event, we hosted a Vintage Chanel Trunk Show. We were surprised to find that our vintage friends carry not only vintage Chanel, but many other brands as well!

“Vintage?” you might ask. Doesn’t that mean they’ve been used? Not necessarily.

Vintage handbags aren’t always pre-worn; in some cases, the bags may have been an older style, gifted and never used, or worn once or twice and in impeccable condition.

Nan, Bobbie and I handpicked each bag while we were in New York, ensuring all classic styles are still available at regular price in the designer retail stores, and in pristine condition.

Each bag is certified and inspected, and less than the original price!

Stay tuned next week for more fashion news from New York!