After boosting sales of sapphire, pantyhose, nude pumps and every designer she’s ever worn, Kate Middleton is now influencing the handbag category. Lulu Guinness says the Duchess, who favors solid color clutches, has brought attention to tinier handbags, an influence customers can expect to see in the fashion designer’s next collection. “I am making my clutch bags smaller next season, so they’re more delicate and ladylike, and that’s to do with her, I think,” Guinness said at the Condé Nast College of Fashion and Design’s opening party in London.
But even if tiny clutches will comprise her next collection, Guinness admits that the smaller size isn’t exactly practical for the average woman. “[Middleton's] very elegant, but she’s also got people carrying the other things she needs, and a big car waiting for her,” Guinness said. That may be true. But practicality hasn’t been a motivating factor for high-end designers for decades. Just two seasons ago, Chanel—the house that brought us purses with a very practical chain strap for durability—abandoned functionality by sending hula hoop purses and Lego clutches down the runway.