Whiting & Davis: 125 Years of Shiny Mesh Handbags

Whiting & Davis’ mesh purses were retro during the disco days. Today the classic handbags are still perfect for a night out.

A Brief History of Whiting & Davis

Mr. Whiting made the first mesh purse by hand in 1892, 16 years after the company was founded in 1876. Fortunately in 1912 they invented an automated mesh making process.

According to Whiting & Davis, by the Gatsby Era their handbags were, “The coveted accessory of flappers, actresses and ‘well dressed women everywhere.’

Vintage Whiting & Davis Advertisement from 1950’s

During the Golden Age of Cinema movie stars carried Whiting & Davis mesh handbags. Then in the Seventies stars like Donna Summer, ABBA and Farah Fawcett were photographed with Whiting & Davis bags, halter tops and dresses at discotheques such as Studio 54.

Whiting & Davis in Fall/Winter 2017/2018

Now the clutches are still spotted on the red carpet all the time. You just have to do a Google search for Whiting & Davis bags and pictures of Lady Gaga, Paris Hilton, Nicole Kidman and Shakira pop up.

The company also has jewelry and studio design divisions that use their patented mesh fabric to make people and places more beautiful. This includes mesh curtains. They don’t make dresses anymore but it is possible to have custom made products special ordered.

We have assembled an assortment of the latest Whiting & Davis wristlets, cross bodies and miniaudieres right here. Click on the image you are interested in to learn more about each product.

Kisses Bucket Bag ($78)

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Quilted Tassel Bag ($175)

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Charity Heart Minaudière ($178)

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Mesh Bucket Bag ($235)

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Snake Head Bracelet Bag ($260)

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Serpents Clutch ($280)

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Rio Mesh Bracelet Bag ($340)

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Limited Edition Deco Crystal & Mesh Fringe Clutch ($370-420)

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The mesh fabric designs by Whiting & Davis are some of the best in the world. Their finely woven, metallic bags have been perfected over hundreds of years and are still being rocked on runways and red carpets. Click on the products above to shop for them.

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Editor
Elizabeth de Moya has contributed to DJ Mag, DJ TechTools, LA Weekly and Thump (Vice). She has a BA in Linguistics from UC Berkeley.