Design Elements: How Closures Secure the Content of Your Purses

All about purse closures


Our well-designed purses and most importantly, their content often become easy prey for street theft pros, and this is why some smart bag closures have been invented. After more than 60 years of research, the zipper closure was perfected in the early 1920s. Metal frame bags with clasps go as far back in history as the Renaissance. Push locks and the creation of other types of metal hardware were the results of the Industrial Revolution. Along with twist locks, they became popular in the 40s. Widespread use and production delayed for a decade due to WWII. Without such closures, the content of our bags would have been easily exposed, and busy women have such awkward moments every now and then as they move fast along with their filled-to-the-top bags dangling from their shoulders, wrists, or hands. Let’s take a little ride through the most representative purse closures and how they make our lives easier.


Metal Snaps


Also known as press stud snaps or anorak snaps (from their original use), these pairs of interlocking discs sealed with fingertip pressure, are still regarded to be quite safe and reliable. They were invented back in the 1880s and were first featured in apparel. They were patented around the same time by the German Heribert Bauer, the Danish Bertel Sanders, and the French Albert-Pierre Raymond. Snaps of great quality are a casual chic accent, polishing fashionable everyday accessories such as the super practical and relevant Sanette which is a vegan-leather sanitizer holder you can hang from any hardware or handles, without having to retrieve it from your bag’s interior. This type of closure works perfectly with lightweight small-size flap design elements, as well as with flexible materials. Snaps are often attached to the belting and narrow flaps holding partially the top of a bag together. In the case of the summer-perfect Corrine bag, the snap belt is combined with a zip. The effortless evolution of it is the magnetic snap closure seen in the Gemma bag, which ‘supports’ a completely decorative faux buckle closure.   



There is no doubt that zippers, first used in military uniforms and utility clothes, are our busy schedule saviors. Originally conceived as “Automatic, Continuous Clothing Closures” and patented in 1917 as the “Separable Fasteners” by Swedish-American electrical engineer Gideon Sundback, zippers are everything. Placed along a bag’s top, side, or interior pockets – with a stopper on not – they safely hold all our essentials, which are easily retrievable with a single slide of the runner. Sometimes, they are open-ended, while other times, they are stopped from opening completely, depending on the design. Zip closures are flexible enough to follow the contours and shape of the bag, a feature that artfully applies to the Sasha Summer bag and its rounded top flap panel. Its hoop-shaped pull takes us back to the glorious 70s.  

Frame Bag Closures

Inspired by the retro metal-frame bags that were sealed with clasps and kissing locks, the clamshell styles without any visible clasp at all, and with a ruched top imitating that of a clam, are quite popular right now. They secure your bag’s content without requiring much effort to open. With a concealed frame that maintains the original shape, they present themselves as the softer version of the medieval frame bag. The form is whimsical, and the style is user-friendly. It is ideal for small purse sizes, meaning micro bags, clutches, and mini-medium ones. Frame bags have more of a Parisian-chic attitude and an aura of girly nonchalance.

Push or Press Lock


Most famous as the ‘thumb catch’ found in several retro school bags or doctor bags, it comes in a wide range of design variations, many of them rather show-stopping and avant-garde. The thumb-released lock opens up with pressure, which is practically the opposite of the snap closure. It is quite efficient and pleasant to use; we might quite often get caught playing with its smart mechanism! Design versatility makes it a quite coveted detail among bag designers. The visual appeal of the gold-tone semi-circular lock in the Clementine bag says it all. It is a sleek way to finish a timeless piece, plus a nod to modernity and engineering evolution.

Creative Hasp Closure

Interlocking elements that get released with pressure are the key behind an array of creative iterations of locks on purses. Pressing towards a particular direction, you allow such a lock to open in a relatively unfussy manner. This logic works seamlessly on foldover flap bags. The related hardware, usually consisting of two parts, can be molded into fascinating shapes, including the adorable oblong tear-shaped lock of the stunning Brenna bag in complete harmony with its fashion-forward mixed-width chain strap. Simple structured bags need such a creative touch to shine bright. Possibilities are endless, although the core mechanism is pretty simple and mainstream. Taking it to the next level, the elongated geometric hasp or tongue lock of the Vivienne bag matches its attention-grabbing linen-and-vegan-leather paneling. Such cool details are “the salt and pepper” in bag design!



Pursh Collection offers a variety of bags with traditional and fun and unique closures. Take a look at our full collection of handbags, shoulder bags, crossbody bags and more and remember: think about the purpose and function of the closure you need for your new bag.

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