Handbag Heaven at the SF Vintage Fashion Expo

Imagnin Vintage 1950s purse.

Although being surrounded by large crowds gives me major anxiety, I decided it was worth braving the vintage-hording masses at the Vintage Fashion Expo this weekend, which comes to San Francisco twice a year.

After hours of picking through racks of ’60s mod dresses, ’70s mumus, and cases of Art Deco baubles at the Concourse Exhibition Center, I came across this gem: a mint condition, quilted leather, 1950s chainlink purse by Imagnin Design Studios from the original San Francisco-based Imagnin department store. For only $30, bargained down from the original $35 price tag, I couldn’t pass it up. It was the perfect Chanel-like accessory to pair with a simple black cocktail sheath or to glam up a pair of dark skinny jeans and a boyfriend blazer.

History buffs will appreciate knowing that Imagnin was first opened in the late 1870s by Netherlands-born Mary Ann Magnin and her husband Isaac Magnin, who grew the business into a national retail operation over the course of many decades. The original flagship was once located adjacent to Macy’s Union Square.

For those of you who missed the Expo this weekend, the next one will be held at the Civic Auditorium in Santa Monica, April 24 and 25, and returns once again to San Francisco‘s Concourse Exhibition Center on Sept. 18 and 19.

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