Sources said today that Richmond City Councilman Douglas G. Conner Jr. was seen during his regular workday sporting a man purse, a discovery that immediently sent shockwaves throughout the local men’s fashion world.
Conner, the 9th District Councilman and chief executive of Conner Brothers Collision Centers, was spotted by a group of college students late Tuesday evening with a brown leather Cole Haan bag saddled over his right shoulder, crossing diagonally over his chest, and resting near the left hip.
Branded as the Portage Newspaper Bag, Cole Haan’s man-bag sells for $298, according to the company’s Web site.
“There’s nothing wrong with a man wearing a classic-looking bag for holding his personal belongings, it’s just that you wouldn’t really think of a city councilman being that up on the latest styles,” said John Sarvay, who writes the local men’s fashion blog Manbags & Driving Mocs and who, in recent years, has been sharply critical of public-sector men’s style. “You just would not expect this, particularly from a politician in Richmond’s 9th District.”
If confirmed, the man-bag sighting would be the second instance in less than a week of councilpersons showing their knowledge of the latest fashion styles. On Friday, Reva M. Trammell – fresh off her first viewing of MTV’s Jersey Shore – was seen shopping in Carytown with a Bumpit in her hair, which offered the 8th District Councilwoman some additional volume.
When reached by phone, Conner refused to comment over his possible ownership of a man-purse, but noted that, if he in fact did have a murse, it would be a great place to store his guyliner.