Clothes of the Seventies, John Romain Purses

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Description
Sex: Women
Type of clothing: Purses
When it was popular: Early Through Mid 70s
Description: These where expensive, high quality all leather, or leather and tweed purses by John Romain. Very expensive, and a must if you belonged to the cheerleader/preppy crowd.
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User Stories and Comments

The following are comments left about John Romain Purses from site visitors such as yourself. They are not spell checked or reviewed for accuracy.

Mary Ellen - September 07, 2008 - Report this comment
How true!!! When I was in high school (early 70's. these were THE bags to have. I still have one of mine left, can't seem to part with it. They were definitely representative of the preppy set. I wish they would manufacture some more now, perhaps with a more contemporary edge - but still with the tweed and leather!
Shirley Dalton - September 13, 2008 - Report this comment
I had two of the long narrow John in 1967, leather and tweed. One was blue and one was brown. I wish I knew where they are now. I just wondered if they were still made.
janet lorraine - November 15, 2009 - Report this comment
I still have a navy and tweed coin purse. I got it when I was 13 yrs old I'm 53 now.I wish they would come out again. I'm sure they would be a sensation all over again with us baby boomers. We can afford them now too!
Elizabeth - January 21, 2010 - Report this comment
Wow!! I used to carry these purses when I was in high school in the 80's...and of course I was made fun of, but I also wore pencil skirts and cuffed white tuxedo shirts (women's) ....all the clothes and purses were my mothers..who was a bombshell in her time...I guess I was a minx before my time.... :)
FollowTheSun - February 02, 2010 - Report this comment
Found A Navy Blue John Romaine Purse In A Thrift Store About 12 Years Ago. In Mint Condition Except Needed A Good Cleaning. I Carry It On Occasion & Get Many Comments From The Baby Boomers.
Kenna - May 19, 2010 - Report this comment
1970! I was in high school, and got a navy & tweed large handbag, navy and tweed ladies wallet, and Romsin navy shoes for Christmas. It was really the first true "fashion" thing I had ever asked for by name, other than bell bottom jeans with the biggest bell available. My folks were so excited that their hippie daughter asked for a handbag that wasn't suede w/fringe, or maybe tapestry or carpet, that they got the wallet and shoes on top of the handbag. Carried them forever, until I literally worn them to pieces!
Meg - August 19, 2010 - Report this comment
So funny! These were the thing to have. I remember saving up all my babysitting money to buy one!!
Susan - February 10, 2011 - Report this comment
I got a brown and tweed john romaine in 8th grade for Christmas after a long wait. I had coveted two that a girl in my math class had. She had a navy/tweed and a brown/tweed. Still remember the wonderful leather smell. This had to be around 1967-68.
Susan - July 21, 2011 - Report this comment
I have two straw and two brown. I haven't the heart to get rid of them.
SUE - October 03, 2011 - Report this comment
JOHN ROMAIN..IF YOU ARE LISTENING...PLEASE BRING THESE PARTICULAR LINE OF PURSES BACK...WE BEG YOU !!! THE LEATHER AND TWEED NAVY AND BROWN AND !! THE PURE LEATHER NAVY AND CORDOVA.WHICH LOOKED LIKE A VERY RICH DEEP BURGANDY OR OXBLOOD LEATHER SHOULDERBAGS WITH PERSONAL INITIALS ATTACHED IF REQUESTED IN SOLID BRASS I BELIEVE..PLEASE !!!!!! WE BEG YOU.
Andrea - October 29, 2011 - Report this comment
I loved my John Romain bag. Mine was oxblood leather with a fold over flap. I didn't have my initials but my bag had a buckle over the closure on the front flap. It took me a few months to save the money to get it but it was worth every penny. I wish I could find one today!
crystal - January 22, 2012 - Report this comment
READING ALL THESE STORIES ABOUT THE JOHN ROMAINS BROUGHT BACK A LOT OF MEMORIES FOR ME.MY SISTER AND I HAD TO SAVE FOR MONTHS TO BUY ONE WHEN WE WERE TEENS.WE FINNALLY SAVED ENOUGH TOGETHER TO BUY ONE AND WE SHARED IT FOREVER.I FOUND ONE JUST LIKE IT A FEW YEARS AGO AT N ESTATE SALE AND IT STARTED ME ON A NEW QUEST, TO BUY EVERYONE I COULD FIND OR THAT I CAN AFFORD! I MUST HAVE ABOUT FOURTY NOW, BUT I CAN'T FIND ANY WALLETS! WOULD LOVE TO HAVE ONE.
Debbie - March 10, 2012 - Report this comment
My father found a Marcolino by John Romain in an abandoned house. It's in very decent shape with the pin, warranty paper and 3 of the replacement brass tacks (instructions). I have been trying to do research, but with no luck on this style. Any help or ideas please contact me debbiehayes1@triad.rr.com
Julie - March 20, 2012 - Report this comment
I finally found the ultimate "it" bag John Romain 3 weeks ago on eBay. Got it after a tense bidding war, probably with another determined Baby Boomer. They were expensive for a reason, and in resale today, still command a good price. Snazzy, distinctive, built to last and worth the cost.
Darlene - March 30, 2012 - Report this comment
In what state were these the most popular?? I lived in Norfolk, VA in '67, was in middle school and Aigner were the "it" bag there...I envied all the girls that had one! Just don't recall John Romain bags. Just Aigner, John Mayer and Villager clothes...of which I had none!
Cindy J - April 05, 2012 - Report this comment
I lived in Georgia in the mid 60s and when in junior high everyone had to have a John Romaine purse. I saved up babysitting money for months to be able to afford one. When I began high school in 1969, everyone had to have an Aigner purse. Same deal, saved my money to get one, my parents refused to buy them. Then I moved to South Carolina in 1970 to finish out high school. They didn't seem to have the same standards for purses there so mine kind of fell by the wayside. Would definitely buy them again if they were still sold anywhere!
Leslie - April 17, 2012 - Report this comment
Had a John Romain bag bought in Summerville, GA at a shop my great aunt owned in the mid 60's. Loved it, trying to find another one on ebay like it. It was the "IT" bag to have. Wish they would bring them back because they held up for years of use I wonder why they quit making them?
Michele - September 22, 2012 - Report this comment
I had no idea what my beautiful leather and tweed bag was. But today I was in a store shopping handbags when a woman stopped me and asked if that was a John Romain. I was confused. "You mean the Donna Karan I just put back?" "No! The one on your arm!" I looked inside and sure enough! My $5 vintage store find is indeed a John Romain. With a dreamy look in her eyes, she told me how she remembered spending more than she has ever spent on a handbag on one in college. That prompted me to find out more, and I am delighted. I love this bag, but I had no idea how beloved it was by others.
Rena - October 29, 2012 - Report this comment
I purchased one of these bags not knowing what I had because I am an 80's baby, so I had never heard of John Romain. I purchased the bag becacuse I istantly fell in love with it. I walk into my Chiripractors office and he immediately says "Is that a John Romain?" Of course he said that he was just discussing this with some of his staff that John Romain was the coach in his day and it was the IT bag. It was hillarious because he pulled staff in to show them that he did not make John Romain up because they had never heard of it and thought that he was just making it up. This prompted me to reseach John Romain and came across this post as well as some amazingly beautiful John Romain handbags.
Rebecca - November 18, 2012 - Report this comment
I constantly look on ebay and other sights in the hope of seeing one of the two John Romain purses that I loved. I really was "in love" with my purses. I didn't carry it because I wanted to be preppy, but I thought they were classic and in good taste. I was a college student of the early 70's and continued carrying mine until they were no longer presentable. I pine for John Romain. No other purse has ever measured up. Were they expensive? They don't compare to the ridiculous prices of Michael Kors or Prada. They were affordable for a small town girl who wanted something beautiful. I will stop now, but I will continue to look.....
Teresa - January 19, 2013 - Report this comment
I just bought a beautiful John Romain purse in a Goodwill thrift store today because it just looked like a quality purse, unique and high end even if I knew it was vintage. Sure enough I went on the internet when I got home and came across this web page. I am an a late eighties; early ninties teen but I am so delighted to read about all the fond memories women have of the bags and their childhoods. The bag means even more to me now that I have read these memories. It seems John Romaine has become a cultural element of the American fabric of the 1960s and 70s in America. Thank you for sharing all of your memories. The memories have added value to the bag for me.
Susan - February 03, 2013 - Report this comment
Oh, I loved those John Romain purses. I carried them through high school AND college. My mother let me buy and new one every season, and they were the best. Remember, John Meyer and Ladybug? I grew up in the Atlanta area, and they were all the "rage." Bass Weejuns were the shoe, too, plus clothes from JP Allen. Those were the days!
Audrey - February 09, 2013 - Report this comment
I was born in 1971 and I'd never heard of John Romain until today. I love flea market shopping and this high quality leather and tweed handbag caught my eye and I just had to have it. I purchased it for $10 and is one of the best purses I've ever owned. I looked up the name on line and it brought me hear. I am glad to know that I got such a deal on a vintage bag!
Dee smith - March 19, 2013 - Report this comment
IN THE MID SIXTIES I BOUGHT MY FIRST JOHN ROMAINE BAG FOR $22.00. Hid it behind the door so my husband wouldn't know I had bought still another bag and that was a lot for a purse then. I loved that bag and remember to this day how I felt carrying it. Since the first bag I bought 2 more, one being his straw trimmed with leather for summer. I wish he would bring more bags back as I don't have any of them now and I still love the look and memory of a John Romaine bag
Suzi - March 27, 2013 - Report this comment
I have 11 John Romain handbags that I have purchased over the years. I love them all and get many compliments on the quality them. Of course there are a couple that are my favorites and won't depart with, but the others I would. I got my first in 1969.
Maureen - April 01, 2013 - Report this comment
I just came across this when I googled John Romain. I just picked up one of his bags at a thrift store and although I didn't recognize his name, I knew he must be a great designer because the bag is high quality - dark red tote - love it... in great condition, too. I love to hear how you all treasured your bags. I will love and respect mine. :)
Betsy - April 26, 2013 - Report this comment
Wow--Just purchased 2 John Romain bags today on Ebay. Love all JR and Aigner bags.. I have my Aigner from HS in GA. My daughter likes all this stuff too--she knows the quality.
Annegk - June 01, 2013 - Report this comment
Omg...I just pulled out my John Romaine and needed to lock on to this group...It is still so beautiful by the way! I also have my Fave lunch bucket Aigne stored away. We are sooooooo lucky to have experienced such amazing craftsmanship and design during our life time. Really!
Diane - June 07, 2013 - Report this comment
My John Romaine was my one true luxury item I owned as a teenager. I begged for one for Christmas, and for the Christmases of 1967 and 1968, that was my only gift, but it was all I wanted! They were beautiful and well made, and though expensive for the time, if you saved your money you could afford one. Oh, the adventures that purse went on with me! I'd love, love to find one, just to have something again that was so special to me.
Jane - June 08, 2013 - Report this comment
I remember begging my dad for my first John Romaine straw in 5th grade. I promised I would never ask for another one if he would buy it for me.It was the start of my love affair and addiction with handbags. I have Coach, Brighton, Michael Kors, Oroton, Cole Haan etc. but none compare to John Romaine I would love to have all of my old ones back. Why can't they make them again!
kfroschauer - July 03, 2013 - Report this comment
I have 2 john Romain purses still with tags on them. one is a Brown , tan , red purse . Silver John romaine decal .there is a geometric pattern between the brown trim Patent leather handle and accents and the other is a medium brown with an alligator print ( the name on the tag for this one says felix). Can anyone help me out with how much these would cost now a days or at least some more information on these. thank you
Susi - November 27, 2013 - Report this comment
Just found a John Romain handbag at a thrift store. I didn't know what it was--didn't see the mark--but I knew it was vintage and the quality was high, and the price was right. I am overjoyed to find so many wonderful memories attached to these handbags. I graduated from high school in 1974, and didn't know a thing about handbags then, and in college all the girls had Aigner bags. I am so happy to uncover this history and a lovely momento for myself.
dorothy - February 24, 2014 - Report this comment
I have over 50 John Romain and over 1oo Aigner vintage bags and i love everyone of them. I get compliments all the time when i carry one. I think they are the best handbags ever made, they last a long time.
terry - June 05, 2014 - Report this comment
I just got a John Romain on ebay and some of the studs are coming loose from the brads. Does anyone have one of the sets of extra brads and studs that, if memory serves, came with each purse that they'd be willing to sell? or does anyone know how to repair these? Thanks.
Betsy - June 09, 2014 - Report this comment
I will never forget my 1st John Romain. My older sister had a navy w/tweed and oh how I loved that bag. I would go shopping w/her and stand at the counter longing for one. It must have been 1966 or 67. Well, one day she told me to pick one out and she would buy it for me. (She was 8 years older and working.) She bought me a brown w/tweed just like hers! If only I had that bag today.
Carol - July 25, 2014 - Report this comment
eBay is a god resource for used John Romain! I really love them. Just carrying them bringdps back the memories!
Thomas - October 04, 2014 - Report this comment
I loved reading all the above - my father was the John of John Romain and he would be very proud to know his bags were so cherished!
Paula - November 01, 2014 - Report this comment
Arrived at this blog after buying a John Romain at an estate sale today. This lovely lady's items were all classy. I walked in to the clothing display room and laid out were many purses. The John Romain bag caught my eye immediately. I thought it must be 1980's. I could not see the name on the interior (lighting is always bad at estate sales). I did know it was something. I paid $4.00 for the brown leather and tweed bag, which I now believe is from the 70's. Does anyone know if the stamped number below the interior signature is a style number or date stamp. My bag is stamped 8-69. My high school years in Alabama were dominated by Aigner. I am so proud of my new found love, John Romain. That is what is so wonderful about a truly classic bag, it is timeless.
Mitzi - January 09, 2015 - Report this comment
I had a brown and tweed one and LOVED it!!! One Saturday though while in town in the early 70's I left my prized possession in my unlocked Volkswagon bug only to return to no pocketbook...it was stolen! I was devastated! Meanwhile,life went on but I was so sad until one day my mom informed me someone found it and guess where it was?? On a truckload of collard greens about three counties south!! Life was good again!
GAil - April 26, 2015 - Report this comment
I graduated high school in '67--and had John Romain a couple of years --THe IT thing in Atlanta Ga along with Villager. Ladybug and weejuns I just posted a couple on EBAY that I got at an estate sale
Gail - May 06, 2015 - Report this comment
TO Paula --the 8-69 is the date and they were made in late 60's -I worked at Richs department store in handbags and of course, had a couple in high school and I graduated in '67...I was lucky enoughto find 4 of them here in Atlanta at estate sales -average price now on ebay is 125.00
Felice - May 26, 2015 - Report this comment
I too saved up babysitting money to but my first John Romaine purse...the little treasure chest one. I took the bus to the shopping center and carried that bag home guarding it like a treasure. It was perfect. I cannot bear to part with it even though my kids think it's quite funny that I've held on to it for 46 years. It represents so much. Life was definitely different then...good times!
Renee Sullivan - June 12, 2015 - Report this comment
Some of these purses are still available on eBay and Etsy.com. You can also find weekjuns (shoes) (new too).
Lynn - August 02, 2015 - Report this comment
John Romain!!!!! I was too young to carry a purse when these were all the rage, but I stumbled upon an article about them and quickly recalled my aunt talking about here when I was a child. I immediately Googled them and fell IN LOVE. This was just a year ago. Now I have over 25 John Romain purses in a special section of my closet. Some of them are identical to each other...I simply liked the way certain ones looked and had to have two, in case I messed one up, you know? I'm fanatical about my purses, only collecting Louis Vuittons and John Romains. Of the latter, my John Romain trunks are my absolute favorites...the Trunks are the most beautiful pocketbooks ever made, in my opinion. Do you know which I'm referring to when I say Trunk? They resemble a doctor's bag. As I was saying, I'm fanatical when it comes to my purses, so despite some of my Romains being older than I am, all are in mint conditions. NO STAINS! If the leather looks used, that's ok and what I even expect, but stains on the Belgian linen? Oh no no NO. I sure wish I could show you guys photos of my collection. You'd fall in love!
Lynn - August 02, 2015 - Report this comment
I apologize for the two misspellings; I'm on my iPad and it wouldn't allow me to proofread what I'd written into this tiny box. I've decided to sell a few (only a few!) of my John Romains so if anyone is interested in owning a minty-looking 50 years old purse, let me know. Since I got my third Romain Trunk this evening--I had two before but my best friend begged for one and since I love her I caved and let her have one--I really need to make more space in my closet. While Romains can be found on eBay (I got several of mine there) it's not always easy to find one in minty looking conditions. Lots on eBay sport stains. Anyway, if you're interested I can be reached at TheReader@hotmail.com. A couple, like my Trunks, I flat-out will not part with. One of my Trunks was NEVER CARRIED. Not once. It's not broken in at all. It's my prized possession as far as purses go. A friend told me I should list the ones I feel like I can part with on eBay, but I've never sold there. Just bought. And bought.
Debbie Fleming - August 27, 2015 - Report this comment
Girls here is your answer to your long lost treasures. I too love them. So much so I have to share with others and for a good cause. It helps abuse victims and Veterans with P.T.S.D Check it out https://www.etsy.com/shop/GodOdditiesDecor?ref=hdr_shop_menu Go to my about page and listen to my testimony Thanks
Susan Mundis - September 24, 2015 - Report this comment
I graduated in 1970 and I finally got my John Romain in the early 70's. I remember blue ink got on the outside and I cant remember if I gave it to Salvation Army after having it for years or threw it out I should have kept it. I belong to a group in Facebook " If you were brought up in the 50's and 60's in York PA" They talked about the John Romain bag all the girls had. I don't think I did bc we couldn't afford it , but I did get one after school. After we talked about it on Facebook, I bought a John Romain large bag inexcellent condition on Ebay. I never knew there were so many different types. I am now on a mission to get more. Oh how I wish I could go back to the early 70's. I had a good job and could have bought more and kept them. I retired from that good job and will look out for more at flea markets and second hand shops
Kelly Harris - September 28, 2015 - Report this comment
My Mom just gave me hers today bc I had a fit over it! It's perfect condition is amazing! It was her graduation gift in 1971
Lynn - October 03, 2015 - Report this comment
Hello to all my fellow John Romain lovers, it's Lynn here--the woman who especially digs the Romain trunk looking pocketbooks. In looking through through these comments I see that Susan Mundis mentioned that there's a Facebook page for John Romain purses. Susan, could you please send me a link to that Facebook page? I'm not on Facebook so I don't know how to go about getting to that page. I sure would appreciate it. Terry, I have some brass John Romain studs somewhere. I'll look for them and give you one. No charge. Shirley, unfortunately John Romain purses are no longer made. I don't know the year Romain Luksberg (the founder) stopped making his handbags, but I do know that when he did he passed the company on to his son. The son's purses were distinguished by spelling Romain with an 'e' on the end. When you see a John Romaine purse, it's a purse from the son's line. The son's line of purses were not near as popular as were those of his father. Cindy, look on eBay or Etsy. Kfroschauer, if you show me pictures of the two you have I can tell you approximately what you could expect if you sell either of them. Not all John Romain purses enjoy the same immense popularity. Thomas, you're a Luksberg? I doff my cap, sir! Lynn
Jean Melilli - November 10, 2015 - Report this comment
Please bring the John Romaine purse back! Nothing looked like a John Romaine. Nothing dmelled as goid as a new John Romaine. I lost my very first one in 1971 in an awful rainstorm. it was sosked and dripping. i had to throw it awsy. Broke my heart. since then i have purchased and still possess six other John Romaines in brown, brown/black, oxblood, and blue. My first one was for my 16th birthday and was the brown/tweed satchel--the most popular if my day. I still miss it.
Loretha Leaks - February 26, 2016 - Report this comment
I just got my first JR today from eBay for $16. I wanted to know the year it was made the only thing I could find on the inside of the handbag was his name and No. # 00923 can anyone tell what this means? I have another John Romaine come by this weekend : ) !
Debbie - April 01, 2016 - Report this comment
I just bought 2 John Romaine purses at shoe show In Georgia.They now carry them, I did not know the info about the son taking over. I used to have shoes and bags in the 70's. I was really excited to find these.
Merryl - June 20, 2016 - Report this comment
A cousin uploaded a photo to Fscebook of herself as a child, along with her mother, father and grandmother. Lo and behold, she was carrying a John Romaine straw purse. My father had a handbag store in Jamaica, NY and I have the very same bag (and others). Loved and still love John Romaine bags.
Lisa - September 11, 2016 - Report this comment
OMG I found a tweed and leather JR purse at a thrift store last summer for SEVEN DOLLARS!! I had a waitress who couldn't remember my order, or to bring me some ketchup, or refill my iced tea because she was giddy every time she looked at my purse. So I gave it to her. And since then I've purchased a few more, and every time I go out I get compliments. So. Something to love about getting older - John Romain Purses, ladies! Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous, indeed.
Linda - September 17, 2016 - Report this comment
Back in the 70s, I worked for John Romaine handbags in Manhattan. I was too young to appreciate them at that stage!!!
Linda - September 18, 2016 - Report this comment
Does anyone know the Hartmans (I think that's the name)? I worked for them at JR. Clifford was the son. Nice people, way back in the 70s...
Chelsea - October 26, 2016 - Report this comment
My mom carried and loved her John Romain bags in the mid '60s! She also loved Ladybug, as many of you spoke about. She worked for Ladybug in the mid '60s, too! If anyone has any Ladybug clothing or accessories that they are interested in selling, please email me, as I am looking for them for my Mom. My email is Chelsea3349@MSN.com - thank you!
Cindy - November 13, 2016 - Report this comment
I have a John Romain bag that was never used. Still has original paper stuffing inside and the John Romain stringed tag.
Debbie - December 28, 2016 - Report this comment
Had a John Romain score in the 80's at a yard sale. I loved that purse. I wore it out. I never knew what it was. This Christmas my daughter gave me three purses from eBay! I'm in heaven.
Christine - March 05, 2017 - Report this comment
I still have my oxblood leather John Romain shoulder bag, it is in very good condition. My bag was given to me by my preppy boyfriend in 1969,his name is David. This was my Bd present, I was 17, when I was 19 I bought myself a pair of John Romain penny loafers,I no longer have the loafers, but I will never sell my shoulder bag with my 3 braass initials
Marco - July 10, 2017 - Report this comment
I am the son of the designer John Romain. I was a 3rd generation handbag maker. Nice to see all the great comments about our bags. Unfortunately we had to close our operations in 1996 due to cheaper import products
Audrey - July 23, 2017 - Report this comment
Thank you Marco for commenting! I have three of these gorgeous vintage handbags. I was wondering if you would give of a brief history on the company's beginnings, as well as how to properly interpret the codes inside these bags. Thanks!
Vivian - August 16, 2017 - Report this comment
A shout out to John Romain and his sons Thomas & Marco. I recently learned about John Romain's bags from 60's & 70's. The designs, quality (leather insides) are timeless and still relevant today. I am starting this vintage purse collection anew now. Hope it is not too late. If Thomas or Marco is reading this comment, I wonder if you can shed some light on whether there is any old designs catalogues or documentation on John Romain and his designs that I can search for? I love to learn more about John Romain, his design philosophy and process? Where was the leather, tweed, straw, rattan of purses from and who are the craftsmen/women that made these quality works of art?
Kim - October 10, 2017 - Report this comment
I am in love with my past two purchases of John Romain handbags . I purchased them not knowing anything about them . I have learned a bit my question is on the small wicker/rattan and leather pocket book size . Does anyone know the year these were made? I have one with the stamp and the other has brass studs that connect the leather with lions embossed in them?

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