The idea of wanting what everyone else has goes way back before the "Jones's".
When researching the trends of designer handbags, I began with the history of the handbag in general. The first handbags date back to the early 1400's with Egyptians. Hieroglyphics show people with pouches carried around the waist. The more elaborate the pouch, the richer the man. This is still true today. A pricey bag known by a well known designer usually means a wealthier person. In Gladwells' "Law of the Few", a tiny percentage of people start a new trend i.e.: a new trendy handbag and the masses catch onto it. Thus a new epidemic has occurred.
In trends, are you a follower, or a leader? Do you set the pace for new fashion? The "Law of the Few" states that there are three types of individuals who we owe for the success of a new trend: the connecters, the maven, and the salesman.
Connectors of trends with handbags are first the designers who put out a new bag and give it to "the few" to start the trend. One great example of this is the start of Hermes Birkin bag. It was designed with 1960's star Jane Birkin in mind. She was given the prototype and the rest is history. The bag today has a two year waiting line and starts at six thousand dollars. That's more than my car is worth! I feel that the reason this is a highly coveted bag is due to the fact that a glamorous movie star carried the bag and we as human beings want to feel, even for a moment, like a star.