The “Tassen Museum Hendrikje” is a special museum dedicated to bags and purses in Amsterdam. It's the largest museum of its kind in the world, showing the history of the handbag in western culture from the late Middle Ages to the present time. It is the only museum in Europe exclusively dedicated to gathering expertise on the subject. Internationally, the museum is increasingly referred to as “The Bags and Purses Knowledge Centre” with more than 4000 bags in exposition, including the work of contemporary designers like Gianni Versace, Elsa Schiaparelli, Pierre Cardin, Paco Rabanne, Yves Saint-Laurent, Gucci, Hermès, Dolce & Gabbana, Donna Karan and Judith Leiber.
Today’s developments in bag design are strongly influenced by the great fashion labels such as Chanel, Prada en Hermès and by general trends in fashion. The handbag is no longer an accessory complementing women’s dress, but a hot fashion item changing with the season, contributing to a woman’s standing and success.Contemporary bag designers each have their own characteristic set of principles concerning functionality, form, material, fashion and emotion. Through expositions and by offering their designs in the Museum Shop, the Museum of Bags and Purses promotes contemporary designers.