Summer is pretty much here, and with it, those requisite weekend getaway trips! If you are a purse enthusiast, why not plan a trip to the ESSE Purse Museum? It's so much more than a collection of fabulous handbags through the ages. The museum is located in downtown Little Rock, which isn't exactly viewed as a universal hotbed of fashion, but it is Middle America and integral to the fabric of our culture regardless.
Even better, the ESSE Purse Museum just launched an online store. While it brings the offerings of the museum's store to your fingertips, it just might provide a little inspo for you to book a trip to visit the real thing and to take in the permanent exhibit, which celebrates much more than the style of the 20th Century.
The exhibit is all about what bag women carried and what was nestled inside their bags, as well.
While I thought the online hallway Tonya Harding x Nancy Kerrigan Museum, while emblematic of our beloved '90s, was... odd, I have pretty much fallen in love with this concept when it comes to handbags.
There are some gorgeous items in the store and there area chances to nab one-of-a-kind items, so you need to submit your email address so you can be notified when such gems become available.
As it states on the site, the museum honors and celebrates the American woman and the store does much the same for artisans, craftsmen, and customers. Purchases support the arts!
Here are three reasons why a quick, in-and-out weekend trip to Little Rock for the ESSE Purse Museum is totally worth the time and the spend, for bag snobs and beyond.
1. Good Things Come In Threes
There are only three purse museums in the world. The other two are in Amsterdam and Seoul. If you can't quite sneak away and go abroad, why not head to Little Rock? It's much closer!
2. Pretty On The Inside
Yes, the exhibit collects amazing bags through the years, but it's also a history museum that tells the unique story of the 20th century American woman. The parlance is the purse and its contents.
I can imagine that the things women carried in 1950 are the same but different than in 2015. Pads? Tampons? Birth control? Condoms? Female Viagra? These items can certainly put not only the pursue of the period — no pun! — and the societal norms into focus.
The permanent exhibit is dubbed "What's Inside: A Century of Women and Handbags, 1900-1999." There are also temporary exhibits, as well.
Maybe they'll do an updated exhibited focused on murses, since man purses are also a billion dollar industry.
3. The Store
There is a store at the ESSE Purse Museum and it has become a destination unto itself. There are tons of offerings, including leather and vegan options, as well as briefcases, messenger bags, and laptop holders, along with one-of-a-kind pieces, like bespoke Anya Sushko handbags.
With the opening of the online store, you can shop conveniently from the comforts of home, but that shouldn't replace the actual desire to see the museum or to visit the brick and mortar store either.
Take in some culture and history. Purses and handbags exemplify fashion and feminist form and function, internally and externally.