Typewriter handbags

by | Oct 13, 2019 | Uncategorized | 11 comments

In The Typewriter Revolution I discuss typewriters in 21st-century fashion, including some handbags. This vinyl “Underwood” bag was designed by Rod Rojas.

Better-known is the Kate Spade “All Typed Up” bag. (Spade herself, sadly, committed suicide last year.) These sell for around $500 on eBay.

But $500 is nothing. Meet the Dolce & Gabbana “Portatile” (portable) typewriter handbag:

The price of this fashion accessory? $8,195 at Saks Fifth Avenue. For that price, you could build a fabulous real typewriter! Or several of them.

Does the existence of this bag prove anything? Is it in good taste? Your opinions are invited.


  1. D.

    Ugly bags ;)

  2. Bill M

    Like typewriters on line, way overpriced.

  3. Unnamable

    To each his or her own, I suppose. I guess the question for me is whether the wearer sports the purse purely as some superficial fetish or invests the item with personal meaning—sort of the difference between the person who wears an AC/DC t-shirt because it looks cool verses wearing it because he or she loves the band. I once chastised a student for wearing an Iron Maiden shirt. C’mon, People, history matters.

  4. Amsterdam Assasssin Suspense Fiction

    I think they're like Steven Seagal for aikido.
    Seagal is kind of icky, but he did put aikido on the map for a lot of people who have never heard of Morihei Ueshiba. Regardless, many people have become interested in training aikido themselves.
    These fugly bags make typewriters hip. If people realize that typewriters, while quaint and vintage, are still valuable writing instruments, the people who look a bit further might find the Typosphere.

    As to the people who pay such ridiculous amounts for a bag — people who love fashion don't live on the same budget as ordinary folks. Dropping 8K for a bag is for a millionaire a non-brainer. Anyone who can afford these prices, is not worrying where their next meal is coming from.

  5. Ping A

    But it's a 3-Bank!

  6. Anonymous

    En el negocio de la moda ya han habido quienes basaron sus diseños en máquinas de escribir. D&G es uno más. Creo que estas bolsas no llegarán más allá de la pasarela (como los vestidos basados en máquinas) y que si alguna mujer pudiese tener una como decoración de su estilo, preferiría comprar una máquina de hierro, porque es muy probable que sea guerrillera de la Typosphere.

  7. Anonymous

    I would say to the designer this: If you climb to the top of this your fashion proposal and jump into the void … a moment, which void?

  8. Martha Lea

    Well the first thing that comes into my mind is that they are made of plastic! Yuk, no, let's stop making brand-new tacky plastic non-functional typewriters! The second thing, they're really not representing typewriters as functional machines with a future (and we all know typewriters have a wonderful future). Thirdly, they are whimsically fake-retro in the worst way. Fourth: Who in the name of Sholes uses a padlock on a typewriter? Dimwitted design choices. To me these things represent everything that is wrong with fast, and high-end fashion, and everything that is wrong with thoughtless nostalgia. These handbags are not there to promote the idea of actually using a typewriter. They're not there to make anyone think about anything other than the fact that you have a vast disposable income. And lastly, c'mon guys, a handbag is just not practical. (Don't even get me started on the stupidity of a clutch-bag!) The Spade gets a tiny tick for having a shoulder strap, and then loses it straight off for being too expensive for a container for your personal paraphernalia. I'd rather hand-draw a typewriter on a canvas tote!

  9. Mark

    So if I see a young lady giving me the eye with one of these bags I will know two things:
    She might let me get away with owning a huge pile of typewriters.
    And she is probably loaded.


  10. Mary E

    Unpopular opinion here: I think these are fun and cute. My usual uniform is a black t-shirt and jeans, but if I want to kick it up a notch, I'll carry a kooky handbag. I'd carry any of these (if I could find them at a yard sale since I don't have that kind of disposable income). The padlock on a typewriter is an interesting metaphor to me.

    High fashion at high prices is an easy target because many think of it as unserious and frivolous. Robin Givhan has some interesting insights into the source of the "aggrieved mocking" it inspires:



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