Who is Enid Collins? For girls who grew up in the 1950s and 1960s, bags designed by Enid Collins were the 'must-have' item. Everyone who had the means would rush out to acquire one of these lovely handbags. Mothers preferred the bucket bag style, while the younger set inevitably went for the popular box bag.
Vintage and retro Enid Collins purses and handbags
A brief overview of the popular vintage Enid Collins wooden box bags. Learn how to identify these gorgeous retro collectible purses.
The quirky, brightly-coloured designs were attention-getting, and with good reason. With their shiny rhinestones and catchy design names such as Glitterbugs, Sophistikit, Money Tree, Gift Horse, and Les Fleurs, they are just as popular today as they were when newly created. The distinctive motifs of Enid's bags are certain to enhance any vintage (or vintage-inspired) wardrobe.
A brief history of Enid Collins handbags
Sophistikit box bag
Enid Collins' Original Box Bag
Enid Collins (neé Enid Roessler) was born in San Antonio, Texas. After studying fashion design in the 1940s, she settled down as the wife of an up and coming sculptor. They combined their talents to start a business selling handmade handbags.
The ever-increasing popularity of their designs required some simplification of the manufacturing process to increase productivity. Eventually in the early 1970s, the business was sold to Tandy Leather and continued for some time under Enid's guidance.
Enid died in 1990.
Enid Collins purse designs
After some initial design modifications, two basic bags were being produced. One type was the popular "box bag" -- this was a roughly cigar box shaped purse with a handle and clasp. The other type was a linen bucket style bag with a wooden base. The bucket bags were never as popular with the younger set as the box bags; this holds true to this day with modern collectors.
How are Enid Collins bags marked?
The earlier bags made in the 1950s through 1968 will be marked with Enid's name, or initials, or both. Some bags may also have a handwritten signature from a promotional signing.
Some bags are marked with both "EC" and "Collins of Texas". These are from the transitional period in which ownership of the company was being transferred to Tandy, but Enid was still actively overseeing production.
Tip: If the bag says it was made by "Collins of Texas" without
Enid's name or initials, it is a later bag made by Tandy Leather.
Enid Collins knock-off handbags
Often imitated, but never duplicated! Enid's distinctive style has its share of imitators, but with a little practice it's easy to tell her bags from all the rest. The important thing to remember is that her bags are almost always signed or initialed. If there's no marking, it is probably not hers!
Enid Collins links
- Flickr: The Enid Collins Pool: The Enid Collins handbag pool at Flickr.