Designed for men, many of these guy purses often known as shou bao in Mandarin would be right at home in the women's handbag section of an upscale department store. Popular styles include the oversize wallet with wraparound zippers like Zhang's and the embossed leather Coach handbag with the slinky shoulder strap and handles. Colors trend toward solid brown, black and gray. But some fashion-forward gents don't mind showing a little flash: Burberry plaid, Gucci's interlocking GG pattern or Louis Vuitton's distinct LV monogram.
Luxury leather goods makers can't believe their luck: Both sexes in the world's most populous country adore purses.
Men represent 45% of the $1.2-billion market for all luxury handbags in China, according to Victor Luis, president of Coach Retail International. That figure is just 7% in the U.S.
Perhaps all of those "European carry-all" jokes will have to be re-written for the 21st century.