Hey, I am all for recycling but $42,000 for a handbag? Yes, you read correctly. French icon Louis Vuitton introduces us to a fresh take on recycling. According to the March 13th edition of The New York Post, fashion house Vuitton is preparing to launch its Tribute Patchwork Bag. Reminiscent of my grade-school collage days, the $42,000 handbag will combine patterns selected from 15 bags from the Louis Vuitton spring/summer and cruise collections. No slouch when it comes to promotion, Vuitton is limiting the number of Tribute bags to 24. Only four of these handbags will be crossing the Atlantic to the U.S. And yes, for those of you with the dough, all four have been taken.

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According to the U.K.'s Daily Mail, Louis Vuitton and designer Marc Jacobs, along with company executives, created the concept as an attempt to stem the tide of mass counterfeiting that generally occurs when new bags are launched. No matter that imitation is the best form of flattery  if you are creating a product that is generating income, it is definitely preferable that you get to keep the bucks. That said, let's ask ourselves why we are willing to pay exorbitant amounts for an item that, while it may serve a helpful function (where else would you put the pound of make-up needed for touch-ups?), according to one enterprising reporter can be re-created for approximately $205?

What is it about us that makes owning collections of expensive shoes, handbags, and make-up so vital? In fact, it appears that our need to be included and yet just a wee bit better is what keeps the counterfeiters counterfeiting and the Louis Vuittons so sure in their ability to attract people willing to spend $42,000 on a handbag. In our consumption-driven world, the end is never in sight. Whether we are filling our closets with the latest fashions, juggling our planners to fit in one more appointment, or adding one more book about organization to our shelves, we acknowledge the ironies only to return to the feast. For a lucky 24, the exclusive Tribute handbag will be served. Louis Vuitton will gorge on an extra $1,000,000. Street vendors, with a new vision to hawk, can hope for some additional bread. Thanksgiving in March, we can keep on giving thanks that there is room for just one more at the table, err, in the closet.

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