I was quite a big fan of New York-based Hayden-Harnett back in the day, though mostly for their small leather goods. I still use my Clutch Wallet and Emile Indexer Wallet, and they have held up beautifully. One of these days, I’ll do a post on all my HH SLGs: wallets, leather cuffs, shoes, and more. They came in such a fun range of colors and patterns!
I only owned one HH handbag, though, the Newman Hobo, which is a lovely bag but not really to my taste. (That’s how sale goggles get you!)
Finally, a few months ago, I snagged a second HH bag after all these years of being a fan. And I’m in love.
The Tharpe was introduced in the mid-2000s—the oldest references to it on the Purseblog forums are from 2007. Sure, it’s a little dated-looking, particularly the side pockets, but I think it’s dated in a good, vintage sort of way. I see a little Chloé and Marc Jacobs influences in its design. The graphic pieces (just look at the zipper pull on the front flap!) and the pewter metallic of the Anthracite colorway both give it a bit of a sci-fi edge, and I love the contrast of the aged brass hardware against the warm grey.
I acquired this bag over the summer, so I didn’t get around to using it until now. It shouldn’t really matter, but this bag just strikes me as a winter bag! I’m sure I’ll get over it and start using it in spring and summer next year. Grey goes with everything, right?
As was the case with so many smaller American handbag companies back in the 2000s (Rebecca Minkoff before she hit it big, Rachel Nasvik, Treesje, Linea Pelle), the leather, hardware and construction were all amazing for the prices that were well under “luxury” price points. This Tharpe bag feels soft, slouchy, and beautifully puddly. It’s just gorgeous!
The interior is quite organized, with a central zippered pocket dividing the bag into two equal compartments. There are just a lot of pockets in and outside of the bag.
The bag is lined with a discreet, tonal logo-printed canvas that matches the Anthracite exterior color. Different Tharpe colorways have different linings; I especially love the graphic lining of this Ruby Tharpe!
The piecing on the back echoes the front design.
An additional perk I didn’t expect was that even though the leather is really luscious, and there are so many internal and external pockets and dividers, this bag is not at all heavy.
I also love that the handles are attached to rings and they drop easily. I’m always annoyed by bags that have stiff top handles, and it’s worse if the handles refuse to lay down flat if the bag can be carried by an alternate shoulder/crossbody strap.
Hayden-Harnett says the dimensions of the bag are: 16½”L × 10″H × 6″D; the handle drop is 10″.
Also, Purseblog forum member RealMcCoy posted this design sketch for the Tharpe by Toni Hacker. It was originally published in Eastern Kentucky University magazine in Spring 2009 (you can read the full article here):
I bought my bag used/preloved from Bonanzle Bonanza (oops—it used to be called Bonanzle!), and it’s in fantastic condition, though it’s also nicely broken in (one of my favorite things about buying used, hah!). There’s one little spot on the front left where the metallic color has rubbed off, but it’s not too noticeable, and I’m thinking I can cover it up with a little leather paint or something. Or just leave it be: it’s a casual bag and it should definitely hold up to a bit of wear and “character”!
The Hayden-Harnett Tharpe Satchel was released around 2007. A second run of Tharpes was produced in 2012. It was made in the USA.