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First Posted: 9/2/2013

For years, monogrammed handbags have been the epitome of class. I used to be obsessed with the iconic LV’s in different colors sprawling across a white Speedy; then I switched to the classic brown monogrammed Louis Vuitton. Then I went vegan and sold them all.

10 years later, and I am pretty sick of staring at letters plastering every handbag walking down the street. My overzealousness for designer bags may have led me down this path. In my broke-but-having-more-fun-than-I-should in Hollywood, Calif., days, I would take Sunday afternoon trips to downtown Los Angeles. I frequented the seedy and famous Olympic Boulevard, where you could buy anything for under $100. I loaded up on Louis Vuittons, Gucci, Prada, and anything else that I thought was cute and would make me a little happier walking down the street without totally busting my personal assistant budget.

Downtown, you could find anything from knockoff sweatpants to knockoff lap dogs. Sad, but true. I remember when my mother and sister visited Los Angeles. I took them downtown to do some “hot shopping.” I will never forget the moment when my mother handed a shop owner $20 for a “designer bag,” and all of a sudden, the metal security gate was rolled down simultaneously from all of the shop owners and we found ourselves in an almost deserted shopping center, when just moments ago it was bustling. Then the cops came around the corner. Oh, damn, it was a raid. We grabbed our goods and just kept walking. The cops left shortly after. Ah, those days were fun. Now I realize the consequences of buying counterfeit goods. Not just that the handle will probably break off or the zipper will stick in a very important job interview, but the people who make these cheap bags have to work in terrible conditions, and some are even children.

The real Louis Vuitton has been monogramming their impeccable luggage since 1854. To me, they are monogram royalty. But in a sea of LV’s, G’s, C’s, and CC’s, I have come to appreciate the structure and function of a handbag over the in-your-face name-tagging on everything.

One day, my L.A. roommate had just bought a white Coach bag. She sat down for drinks and unstitched and ripped the Coach signature off the front of the bag! She said, “I hate labels.” I thought, “Then buy a $10 bag from Ross that looks like that one!” I was mystified. But now, I get it.

I want to appreciate the hardware, the stitching, the feel, and how the bag wears on my body. Whether it’s a $10 bag from Ross or a more expensive designer piece, I don’t care. It’s a personal preference, but for me, the love affair with designer monogrammed bags is officially over. I am no longer a logo ho.

Whatever you do…

• Buy what makes you happy.

• Remember that counterfeit items equal poor working conditions for many people and even child labor.

• Don’t have a designer budget? Try a designer collaboration like Target and Philip Lim this month! Great bags for around $35 at Target.

• Check out the plethora of bags at T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, and Ross in Dickson City or Wilkes-Barre.

• Still love monogramming? Make your own personal printable monogram design at

-Erin Rovin has been working in the entertainment industry for 10 years and writes for various national gossip publications. You can reach Erin at [email protected]