Proenza Schouler's PS1 bag has been around for eight years — that's practically eons for an It Bag, particularly when people aren't buying them like they used to and millennials don't care about brand names when it comes to handbags. Perhaps in light of that, as Women's Wear Daily reported exclusively today, the brand has decided the time has come to refresh the classic purse and give it a new name. The update is called the PS1+ (very creative, maybe Apple inspired?), and will hit stores in January as part of the label's attempt to double its accessories sales in the next two to three years.
The original PS1 isn't going away, however. The classic will sit alongside the PS1+ on the shelves, and both are slated to retail for the same price ($1,780 for the standard size). So what's going to be different about the new bag? Here's a photo, let's see if you can tell.
Pop quiz: Did you notice the less slouchy structure, the fact that the PS1+ uses pebbled leather instead of smooth leather, or that the hardware is shinier? If not, you aren't alone. (Most changes you can't even see, like a canvas lining and the addition of more pockets, including one designed to hold an iPad.)
As Proenza Schouler's designers Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez told WWD, they think the handbag market is struggling because consumers just want something fresh. "It's saturated with a lot of sameness and I think people just want new product," said Hernandez. But if people aren't buying handbags because they're bored with what's out there, will a PS1 reboot with almost imperceptible changes be enough?
For those really seeking something different, Proenza Schouler has also launched a whole new handbag line online called the Hava, which comes in three styles (the top handle bag is pictured below) and several colors, starting at $1,250 for a small crossbody bag and $1,950 for a medium.
The brand is eventually going to add another line of bags called the Hex. Which makes sense, because the Proenza Schouler is going to have to move a whole lot of handbags to meet its ambitious sales goal — especially in a market where consumers would rather spend half as much on a knockoff or an indie brand... if they're buying a handbag at all.