BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention generally relates to women's purses and handbags and, in particular, to purses and handbags that can be coupled to changeable covers to change the color and appearance of the handbag.
2. Prior Art
The fashion industry has traditionally marketed purses and handbags having a specific appearance (e.g., color) that would permit the user to coordinate the purse or handbag with clothing and the like. The prior art discloses several inventions which intend to provide interchangeable coverings or panels that can be affixed or otherwise temporarily secured to the handbag in order to change its appearance.
U.S. Pat. No. 1,747,801 discloses a handbag with removable closures flaps that are retained by press button snaps in a pocket in the rear of the purse. The present invention substantially improves on this device by providing interchangeable covers having a variety of appearances that can be temporarily coupled to the underlying handbag without the need of removing essential elements of the handbag.
U.S. Pat. No. 4,027,710 discloses a handbag that has a plurality of facing members secured to the bottom of the handbag that can be moved to cover one side wall or the other and is secured by a clasp keeping them in place. The present invention improves on the structure and function of this invention by providing an interchangeable cover that fully envelops the entire underlying bag and which is coupled to the underlying bag by fastening elements that are not visible from the exterior of the handbag.
- SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
U.S. Pat. No. 5,503,204 discloses a handbag which has interchangeable removable flaps that are selectively attached to the handbag by a spring-loaded toggle lock and hasp system. The present invention is an improvement upon this device since the present invention employs a unitary, interchangeable cover that envelops the entire underlying handbag and may be secured to the underlying handbag by simple but effective fastening elements that are not visible from the exterior of the handbag.
The present invention relates to an improved handbag system which allows for combining a basic handbag body with one or more interchangeable covers which can be provided in varying colors, textures and designs. The handbag system permits the consumer with expanded choices and input into the design of their handbag and completely change the appearance of the handbag to match changes of wardrobe by altering the interchangeable cover.
The present invention comprises a basic handbag having a pair of substantially uniform side panels that are joined along the sides and bottom thereof and having an upper margin that is open for receiving articles. Removable, elongated carrying straps are detachably secured to the upper margin of each side panel. Fastening members are secured to the inner surface of each side wall on either side of the detachable coupling between the carrying straps and the body of the handbag.
An interchangeable cover is adapted to be secured to the handbag body. The interchangeable cover comprises a pair of side panels that are secured along the bottom thereof and along one side. A zipper is disposed between an end of the opposing side walls. The upper edge of the side walls extend into fastening panels that are adapted to be disposed over the upper margin of the handbag body and be positioned about the detachably secured ends of the carrying straps. Mating fastening elements are coupled to the fastening panels and are adapted to mate with the fastening elements that are secured to the handbag.
It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a handbag system incorporating interchangeable covers for a handbag body.
It is another object of the present invention to provide interchangeable covers for a handbag body that vary in color, texture and design to permit coordination with the user's wardrobe.
It is still another object of the present invention to provide interchangeable covers for a handbag body that may be coupled to underlying handbags along the interior closure of the handbag.
It is still yet another object of the present invention to provide an improved handbag system that simple and inexpensive to fabricate.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWING
The novel features which are believed to be characteristic of the invention, both as to its organization and method of operation, together with further objectives and advantages thereof, will be better understood from the following description considered in connection with the accompanying drawing in which a presently preferred embodiment of the invention is illustrated by way of example. It is to be expressly understood, however, that the drawing is for the purpose of illustration and description only, and is not intended as a definition of the limits of the invention.
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a handbag and an interchangeable cover disposed thereabout.
FIG. 2 is a side elevation of a basic handbag body and straps in accordance with the present invention.
FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of the handbag body and strap taken through line 3-3 of FIG. 2.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PRESENTLY PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
FIG. 4 is an assembly view illustrating the handbag and interchangeable cover.
As can be best seen in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, the present invention comprises a handbag 10 of a conventional shape and design which is adapted to be coupled with an interchangeable cover 11. Handbag 10 is constructed of a pair of side panels 12 and 13 which are joined on the sides and bottom by end panels 14 and 15 and bottom panel 16. A pair of carrying straps 17 and 18 are detachable secured to side panels 13 and 12 respectively through conventional buckles 19. It is understood that carrying straps 17 and 18 can be detachably coupled to side panels 13 and 12 respectively by other conventional means that are known in the art.
To be adapted to receive interchangeable cover 11, pairs of fastening elements 20 are secured to the interior surfaces of side panels 12 and 13 immediately adjacent the upper margin 21 of handbag 10. Each pair of fastening elements 20 are positioned on opposing sides of a carrying strap coupling 19. As will be discussed in detail hereinbelow, when an interchangeable cover 11 is mounted upon handbag 10, carrying straps 18 may be detached.
An understanding of interchangeable cover 11 can be best seen by reference to FIGS. 1 and 4. Interchangeable cover 11 employs a body that comprises a pair of side panels 25 and 26, end panels 27 and a bottom panel (not shown). It is an objective of the present invention to provide an interchangeable cover 11 that varies in color, texture and design. Coloration, design and/or artwork is adapted to be disposed on the outside surfaces 28 of side panels 25 and 26 and end panels 27 of interchangeable cover 11.
The upper end of side panels 26 and 27 depend into a closed end fastening panel 30, side fastening panels 31 and 32 and open end fastening panels 33 and 34. In order to facilitate mounting interchangeable cover 11 on handbag 10, zipper sections 35 a and 35 b are disposed between the ends of open end fastening panels 33 and 34. End fastening panel 30 is spaced from side fastening panels 31 and 32 by depressions 36 and 37, respectively. Side fastening panel 31 is spaced from open end panel 33 by depression 38. Side fastening panel 32 is spaced from open end panel 34 by depression 39. As will be discussed in detail hereinbelow, when cover 11 is mounted upon the body of handbag 10, depressions 36, 37, 38 and 39 will be aligned with detachable couplings 19.
To maintain the position of interchangeable cover 11 on the body of handbag 10, pairs of mating fastening elements 40 are secured to cover 11 on opposing sides of depressions 36, 37, 38 and 39 substantially adjacent the upper margin of fastening panels 30, 31, 32, 33 and 34. Mating fastening elements 40 are adapted to engage fastening elements 20. To maintain cover 11 in position upon the body of handbag 10, fastening panels 30, 31, 32, 33 and 34 are folded about creases 41 that will be positioned at the upper margin 21 of handbag 10. When folded, the depressions 36, 37, 38 and 39 will be deposed about detachable couplings 19 thereby aligning and permit the temporary joinder of fastening members 20 and mating fastening members 40.
As can be seen best in FIGS. 1 and 4, interchangeable cover 11 includes a pair of detachable carrying straps 42 and 43. Since carrying straps 17 and 18 coupled to handbag 10 may not be needed when an interchangeable cover 11 is mounted on handbag 10, carrying strips 17 and 18 can either be detached from handbag 10 or positioned along the interior enclosure of handbag 10. In a like manner, since the user may elect to employ carrying straps 17 and 18 when interchangeable cover 11 is mounted on handbag 10, carrying strap 42 is detachably coupled to fastening panels 30 and 34 by detachable fasteners 42 and 43. As can be seen in FIG. 1, carrying strap 43 is detachably coupled between fastening panels 30 and 33 by detachable fasteners 44 and 45.
It can therefore be seen that the present invention comprises an improved handbag system pursuant to which interchangeable covers having a variety of colors and designs can be affixed to and thereby change the overall appearance of handbag 10 in order to coordinate the handbag with the user's wardrobe.