Enid Collins is a handbag designer from the 50’s and 60’s. She began making bags to bring in some extra cash for the family, but became a sensation when she was discovered by, and her bags began to sell at Neiman Marcus (The differences between the “It bag” from the 60’s to the one’s today is quite drastic isn’t it?).
What makes these handbags so coveted is their whimsical and playful quality. We are talking about a ton of bedazzling (putting Martha Stewart to major shame). No one since then has done anything quite as lively and charming, despite efforts (at one point in the early 70’s kits to recreate these bags were commonly found).
Her handbags are still quite popular amongst vintage enthusiasts and continue to be a collectible item when in good condition.
Although I had run across some of her bags on both Ebay and Etsy in the past, it wasn’t until NYFW in September that I got to see one in person. Whitney, a contributing writer for Chictopia was sporting one of Collin’s amazing totes and caught my eye (to see a close up shot of Whitney’s bag you can check out this post). I ended up chatting with Whitney for a while about our mutual love for vintage and specifically her tote bag.. and that’s when I got the scoop on how to recognize an imitation, and was also schooled on the vast range of themes that were featured on the bags (bugs, flowers, travel, transportation just to name a few). A super charming aspect of them (and part of why I am so in love) is that they are all titled with really kitschy and cute names and some earlier designs were also signed by Enid herself. A few of my favorite titles include: “Glitterbug” (which as you can imagine, has jeweled bugs on it) “Night Owl”, “Love Bird”, “Money Tree”, “Sea Garden”.
Some of my current favorites below:
“It Grows on Trees III” which you can buy here.; “Carriage Trade” you can purchase here.; “Pavan II” can be purchased here. “For The Birds” can be purchased here.; Cable car wooden bag can be found here.