Coveted Bag: Straeter Lite-On Bag

A bag’s exterior is what we judge when deciding if it worth our money. Is it appealing? Well made? Suitable for your needs? However sometimes what appears to be average, becomes extraordinary when we look inside. When I first saw this bag, I was intrigued. Then I saw the interior and that’s what captured me fully. A designer that I have never heard of before nor does there appear to be much information available.

As far as I can tell, the bag is called a Lite- On (the reason for the name will become clear soon). Created in 1953 by L.F.W Straeter, an Amsterdam based designer. As far as the exterior goes, this style of bag is not unique. Stunning but a style that has been duplicated many many time. A reasonably sized bag, made with sumptuous leather and a 24 carat gold frame and matching push top closure. An insignia on the front depicting a kind of lantern.So far so good. What makes the bag so special is the stylish compartments that include a swing mirror,  allocated places of lipstick, perfume and a light. Yes, you read that correctly.  Straeter had the ground breaking idea that since women need to be able to find loose change, lipstick etc and often in areas of poor lighting. Why not provide a light source from with the bag itself? As charmed as the Lite- On is, one must wonder how easy it would be change such a delicate light fitting.

Contrary to popular myth, this is NOT a Salvador Dali nor an Elsa Schiaparelli design. Why Straeter seems to have joined Anne Marie of Paris in the handbag Bermuda Triangle, I cannot be sure. It does not appear that Straeter made any other bags except this one unique style.

straeter vintage bag

straeter vintage interior

straeter crocodile

inside croc straeter

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3 comments

  1. Very interesting from the standpoint that it was hell to find good bags in the Netherlands when I lived there…and this fabulous gem came from Amsterdam, hmm? Interesting.

  2. I’m a longtime vintage clothing collector and curator of an online handbag museum. I just learned about the Straeter bag, which is how I found your site. Your comment about “handbag Bermuda Triangle” is one of the best things I’ve ever read! I have an Anne-Marie champagne bucket bag, so I know exactly what you mean.

    1. Thank you Wendy, so pleased to be able to spread the word of Handbags. You are a very lucky lady to be able curate a bag museum. Especially since you own an Anne-Marie champagne bag, so envious! Will try to keep up to your standards.

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