"Hammittland" Draws Thousands of Handbag LoversNov 05, 2022 06:24PM ● By Jeanne Fratello
A sale on "retiring styles" from the handbag company Hammitt drew 3,000 devotees to Manhattan Village on Saturday.
What two words will drive a significant portion of Manhattan Beach's population into a frenzy?
You guessed it: "Hammitt Sale."
A sale on "retiring styles" from the handbag company Hammitt drew a record 3,000 bargain-seekers to Manhattan Village on Saturday. The outdoor event, called "Hammittland" with a Candyland theme, was a colorful spectacle with costumed characters, cocktails, crowds, and of course Hammitt bags galore.
The Hermosa-beach based luxury handbag company is renowned for its popular sale events. Often held in a large gathering space, the sales are characterized by purse-lovers clawing over one another to find that perfect Hammitt treasure at a bargain price.
But those events went on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic, and a Hammitt sale held last year didn't quite meet the magnitude of this year's extravaganza.
"3,000 people is a record turnout for us," Jenna Gulick, Hammitt's head of marketing, told MB News on Saturday as she gestured to the enormous crowd. "Last year we had a good turnout, but it was nothing like this."
The "Official Handbag of Manhattan Beach"
Hammitt bags, first created by Stephanie Hammitt and now a multi-million dollar company led by "Chief Cheerleader" Tony Drockton, are known for their high-quality leather and trendy styles. But their most distinguishing characteristic is their rows of metal rivets - a signature look that allows you to spot a Hammitt bag a mile away.
The bags range in price from around $95 for a wallet to more than $1,400 for a large travel tote.
Since the company's start in 2008, Manhattan Beach purse-carriers have shown a steady devotion to the handbags, with Hammitt bags earning the title as the "official handbag of Manhattan Beach."
The bags even appear as familiar supporting players in comic strips that poke fun at Manhattan Beach, including The Bubble and Bubble Mama.
Hammitt opened a store in downtown Manhattan Beach in April 2021. Gulick said that store has served as a "great focus group" because Hammitt devotees come in and give their feedback on what they like and don't like on certain styles (i.e. "I'd like to see a longer strap on that bag.")
And in general, the Beach Cities are a place where people show "a lot of pride" in their local handbag company, said Gulick. "There's no other place like it where you just see people walking around with Hammitt bags."
Sample Sale Takes Endurance
Saturday's sample sale was typical of many Hammitt sales, with handbags splayed out on tables and hanging from racks. There were different styles and shapes of handbags everywhere you looked - all at 40 percent off the price tag.
Hammitt fans posed for pictures and enjoyed the drinks and treats, but most were there to get down to business. In just about every direction, you could see clusters of friends guarding their special finds and deciding which ones to bring to the checkout.
MB News collected the following tips from a handful of Hammitt sale veterans:
1) Get hydrated and eat your food before you go, so you can focus all of your attention on the sale.
2) Bring a friend - or friends - who can help you watch the bags that you pick out, and who can help you decide which ones to buy.
3) If you see something you like, grab it. There might be plenty more on another table, but it might also be the last of its kind. If you decide you don't want it, you can always put it back.
4) Conversely, make sure you take several laps through the sale so you don't miss the bags that someone else might have put back.