Talking about designer handbags worth the investment is something we definitely cannot stop doing. After a long and pleasant journey of analyzing the most popular Chanel handbags, Dior bags, and the most valuable Hermes bags, we decided to take another trip down memory lane in the fashion world, compiling a list of 35 most iconic designer handbags worth the investment right now.
Whether brand new or vintage, it’s always a good time to invest in the most popular designer bag, especially when it comes to those that held the higher fashion status during the Nineties. Accessories are (and will always be) the fashion industry’s it-items, with the designer purses being the ultimate hottest accessory choice for any fashionista.
Given the fact that so many fashion enthusiasts are now investing in designer bags, we decided to recap the most coveted ones right now, giving you a glimpse of the current fashion market. So, here we introduce 35 of the most iconic designer handbags of all time!
1. Hermes Kelly Bag
First introduced in 1935 and renamed later in 1956, the Hermes Kelly is not only one of the most coveted Hermes bags, but the one that is worth the investment the most in the history of fashion. Hard to get (the waiting list is endless), but definitely harder to get rid of, the Kelly was renamed after American-born actress turned Monaco princess Grace Kelly, who carried it everywhere she went and is also said to have used it to hide her pregnancy. Get yours from Farfetch!
2. Givenchy Antigona Duffel
First introduced in the Givenchy fall/ winter 2011 collection, the Givenchy Antigona has been reproduced in countless colors and finishes since then. It is one of the best designer handbags for those who are always looking for something simple yet practical and especially elegant. You can get this iconic Givenchy bag from Net-a-Porter.
3. Chloe Drew Bag
Here we introduce the designer bag that has been touted by countless celebrities so far, i.e. the Chloe Drew Bag! It is probably the most copied handbag in the history of high-end designer handbags, and it is not that hard to understand why! Elegant and simple, it is the timeless fashion investment everyone is looking forward to, and is available in various colors at Net-a-Porter.
4. Chanel 2.55 Bag
Born in 1955 and reborn in 2005 thanks to fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, the Chanel 2.55 bag is definitely one of the most famous around. Probably one of the most legendary designer handbags of all time, Chanel’s 2.55 was named after the month (February) and year of its creation and could be regarded a sort of personification of fashion icon Coco Chanel’s fashion views. If you happen to already have one, make sure to treat it like a treasure! Pick it up on Chanel!
5. Fendi Baguette
Fendi Baguette is a designer bag that was made famous thanks to the TV-series Sex and the City, which can rightly be considered one of the fashion industry’s biggest hotbeds for emerging fashion designers. Fendi’s Baguette Bag is, as hinted by its name, a small pochette that elegantly sits under any arm, like a loaf of French bread.
Designed by Silvia Venturini Fendi back in 1997, it was “the first bag that was treated like a garment,” as it’s stated on Vogue by Venturini Fendi as well, and is probably one of the fashion industry’s biggest comebacks. Those who love collecting designer handbags cannot miss this one! It’s available in various finishes, sizes and colors at Farfetch.
6. Legend Alexander McQueen
Alexander McQueen’s Legend has been a popular bag in the handbag world for the past few years, and will never stop charming fashionistas in the decades to come, too. It’s one of the most elegant and timeless designer handbags worth the investment, and it’s not that difficult to understand why.
7. Lady Dior Bag
Named after Princess Diana, the Lady Dior is one of the fashion house’s ultimate must-have handbags. Designed in 1995, Princess Diana received it as a gift from France’s former first lady Bernadette Chirac, and became an instant success as soon as the first magazine covers featured Lady Diana carrying it around. Like the Fendi Baguette, it is one of the designer handbags making the biggest comeback at the moment, hence investing in it is definitely a good idea! Find it at Farfetch!
8. Chanel Boy Bag
Inspired by Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel’s tendency to play with masculine leitmotifs, Chanel’s Boy Bag now comes in four sizes and is one of late creative director Karl Lagerfeld’s most successful styles. Actually pretty feminine and practical, it is a win-win accessory for any outfit, whether formal or not, and is the best fashion investment especially for those who consider Chanel as the ultimate, most soigné fashion house. Get it on Chanel!
9. Prada Backpack
Launched in 1984 by Miuccia Prada, Prada’s iconic Backpack evolved throughout the years, becoming the ultimate perfect designer backpack in 1987. When asked about the success and inspiration behind the backpack, Miuccia Prada told The New Yorker in 1990 she wanted “to mix the industrial way of doing things, with the patrimonio of the past, with the artisanal tradition.” The backpack is available at Saks Fifth Avanue.
10. Gucci Jackie Bag
Originally meant to be a unisex handbag, Gucci’s Jackie Bag was designed in the Fifties and then relaunched by Gucci’s former creative director Tom Ford in 1999. In 2009, it was re-relaunched as the new Jackie by Frida Giannini, with all of its versions being instant sellouts. One of the best Gucci bags ever, its name comes from First Lady Jackie Kennedy, who carried it everywhere at any formal event. Pick yours from Gucci or Farfetch!
11. Louis Vuitton Graffiti Bag
Among the most iconic designer handbags we can mention two different yet equally iconic Louis Vuitton bags, namely the Graffiti and the Speedy. The former was commissioned by Marc Jacobs and designed by Stephen Sprouse in 2000. Jacobs described the bag’s aesthetic as “anti-snob snobbism”, and it became an instant success as soon as Paris Hilton began carrying it around along with her sister Nicky. The Graffiti is the bag that started the whole “Louis Vuitton designer handbags” craze.
12. Louis Vuitton Speedy Bag
What you may not know is that Audrey Hepburn is responsible for the popularization of Louis Vuitton’s Speedy Bag. In 1965, icon Audrey Hepburn asked Louis Vuitton to create a miniaturized version of their popular Keepall travel bag that she loved so much and could carry regularly. Little did they know that the Speedy would become one of the most coveted designer handbags in the early ‘00s!
13. Yves Saint Laurent Roady Bag
First seen on the runway for the Yves Saint Laurent fall/ winter show for the 2009-2010 season, the YSL Roady Bag became famous as Gossip Girl Blake Lively decided it was her favorite designer handbag. It is also one of icon Mary-Kate Olsen’s favorite it-bags and is therefore one of the bags that fly off the shelves the soonest whenever it drops in any high-end vintage shop.
14. Celine Luggage Tote
Out of all Celine handbags, the Luggage is the one worth the investment the most, along with the Celine Trapeze. Designed by legendary Phoebe Philo, who gave tote bags their luxurious turn in 2009, the Luggage was conceived as part of “a wardrobe, a practical ABC of clothes,” as Philo told The Gentlewoman, and is one of the accessory items that will always fly off the shelves the soonest in any vintage shop.
15. Celine Trapeze Bag
A Celine handbag is always one of the best designer handbags worth the investment, especially when it comes to the iconic Celine Trapeze. Available in numerous colors, finishes and different sizes, it features a sleek top handle and distinguishable travel wings, and if you want to own one in your favorite color, be ready to pay over $2300.
16. Alexander Wang The Rocco, FKA Coco
Often not a big fan of accessories, Alexander Wang is ironically one of the most popular when it comes to accessory items and designer handbags. Designed in 2009, the Rocco became extremely famous as soon as the Olsens got their hands on it, often combining it with equally rock-chic outfits. Whether you like to collect designer bags or are simply a fan of glam-rock styles, this bag is the way to go! Get it from AlexanderWang.com!
17. Gucci Dionysus Bag
Inspired by the myth and legend of Dionysus, Gucci’s Dionysus handbag is currently the one that embraces creative director Alessandro Michele’s maximalist style the most. It also celebrates Gucci’s legacy the best way possible, and is the right investment for those who don’t want to get rid of both worlds, namely Michele’s visionary and Gucci’s legendary one. You can find it online at Gucci or Farfetch.
18. Mulberry Alexa Bag
With many first ladies and princesses being the ones who inspired the fashion houses to rename their pieces during the XX century, having an it-girl as the source of inspiration for a handbag in the XXI century was a natural consequence. Designed by Emma Hill in 2009, Mulberry’s Alexa was named after icon Alexa Chung, who still carries it around from time to time.
19. Stella McCartney Falabella
Stella McCartney’s Falabella is the fashion house’s most celebrated item for sure. It is also very dear to the designer herself, as the handbag was specifically created to garner respect for the environment, as it was one of the first designer handbags to be made of eco-sustainable, cruelty-free materials. It comes in different colors at Farfetch.
20. Balenciaga Classic City Bag
Balenciaga’s Classic City Bag is a designer handbag that is basically the best investment for anyone who loves to play and experiment with watercolor effects! Urban-chic, practical and elegant, it is a great investment perfect for any occasion for sure, as it combines Balenciaga’s high street allure with some of the coolest fashionista vibes of all those girls who, between the Nineties and the ‘00s, carried it everywhere.
Designed by Nicolas Ghesquière after the less famous Balenciaga The First Bag, Balenciaga’s Classic City is one of Kate Moss’ all-time favorites, and it is definitely worth owning if you are looking for something comfortable that exudes Balenciaga’s legacy. “It was a new fresh thing, but it looked like an old, good, friendly thing,” Ghesquière explained to WWD almost two decades ago. Get it in your favorite color from Farfetch!
21. Loewe Puzzle Bag
Loewe’s Puzzle Bag is a designer handbag only true bag addicts know, but that everyone learns to love eventually. Designed by designer Jonathan Anderson, who described it as “a soft, pliable bag that moves really well”, Loewe’s Puzzle bag “came on the market when everything was structured. It’s a new language in a bag”.
Fashion designer Anderson created Loewe’s most iconic handbag after a journey through the Loewe archives, where he found an old fake-leather bag that inspired one of his fanciest items. “I traced the lines where it had cracked off the leather, and this very abstract shape came out. I said to my assistant, ‘I think this is the bag!” he later declared, proving the beauty of the fashion industry is in the eye of the beholder, indeed. You can pick it from Farfetch.
22. Hermès Birkin Bag
The Birkin is one of those designer bags that are so famous that even those that aren’t very familiar with luxury fashion will have heard of it. As far as iconic designer handbags go, it’s relatively young. It was designed in 1984 for the British actress Jane Birkin. Birkin was a new mother, and she needed a bag large enough to hold bottles for her baby. This is how the large, fashionable tote with its little flap and glamorous metallic closure came to be.
Nowadays, this bag is considered a “Veblen good,” which means that as its price goes up, so does the demand. It’s a real investment bag, and you can rest assured that as long as you take good care of this stylish tote, you can always sell it and make back your investment. You can find it for resale at TheRealReal, Farfetch or order it custom from Hermès.
23. Bottega Veneta The Pouch
Despite being so new on the fashion scene, the Pouch has become one of the most talked-about Bottega Veneta bags. It was designed by Daniel Lee as one of his first additions to the Bottega Veneta line and instantly became a blogger favorite. It’s a large, puffy clutch that’s reminiscent of a cloud or a pillow, and while it’s not the most convenient bag to own, it definitely makes a statement.
In the following seasons, iterations of the Pouch came out in different sizes and with different handles, giving even the more practical options worth owning. Get the original directly from Bottega Veneta!
24. Dior Saddle Bag
The Saddle Bag is a purse that’s easy to recognize just by its rounded, asymmetrical silhouette. It’s one of Dior’s bestsellers, and also one of the bags most frequently copied by counterfeiters. It was one of the hottest designer bags to own in the 2000s, but Dior archived the design. They brought it back in 2018, and once again, it was a major hit.
It’s a relatively small, solid flap bag that’s great for day, and it comes with a simple handle that can be replaced with a longer crossbody strap. The original version, covered in a Dior logo jacquard pattern, can be purchased directly from Dior or Farfetch.
25. Louis Vuitton LV Pont 9
This is one of the most exciting designer handbags to come out during the lockdown seasons. The Pont 9 is named after Paris’ Pont Neuf bridge. Despite its newness, it looks classy and timeless, so we expect it to stay popular (and to retain its value) for years to come.
This medium-sized, rectangular bag is made of smooth calfskin, with rounded edges and circular LV hardware that give it a certain softness. It’s great for day-to-day use, with two main compartments to keep organized, as well as a few zipped pockets for smaller items. You can buy it directly from Louis Vuitton.
26. Jacquemus Le Chiquito
If you fell in love with the miniature bag trend from fall/winter 2019, do yourself a favor and get the bag that’s almost single-handedly responsible for the micro obsession. This itty-bitty bag from Jacquemus caught everyone’s attention partly because it’s adorable and partly because it’s ridiculous. Because of its size, the bag is more a statement jewelry item than a practical accessory.
It’s made of rubberized leather with multiple color options and is fitted with a little gold J hardware piece. It comes with a crossbody strap that probably weighs more than the bag itself. Find it at Farfetch!
27. Chanel Classic Flap Bag
A designer bag as old as time! Okay, not quite, but the Classic Flap from Chanel is definitely a bag with longevity. It was released in 1955, making it an original Coco Chanel design, and it has been going strong consistently for the last 60-some odd years with seasonal updates from the late Karl Lagerfeld. This bag is similar to the 2.55, but the major difference is that the closure hardware is shaped into the CC logo, making it a great choice for logomaniacs. It’s available directly from Chanel.
28. Gucci GG Marmont
The Marmont is another Alessandro Michele addition to the Gucci designer bag lineup that was released in 2016. The overall silhouette is quite classy with a soft structure, but the flap stands out because of its tabbed silhouette.
These days, the Marmont comes in different sizes, colors, as well as some variations on the original design (including major departures like a round, zipped version, and a bucket bag). Most variations have a chevron matelassé leather pattern, with a secret heart decorating the back. The best place to get this bag is from Gucci or Farfetch.
29. Saint Laurent Niki Bag
Slouchy bag lovers, this one is for you! The YSL Niki is a newer bag that was launched as part of the label’s spring 2018 campaign. This bag came out just in time for a ‘90s fashion resurgence that is still going strong today, although we think it could easily look great beyond the trends.
Despite the slouchiness, this bag is quite secure and practical with a flap that closes with a strong magnetic button, a large main compartment, and a few additional pockets to keep you organized. Saint Laurent carries it in a wide range of materials and colors.
30. Fendi Fab Bag
The Fab is a cool little bag very recently released by Fendi for spring/summer 2020. The Fab bag is small, square, and solid, and right now, it’s available in a few fun, punchy colors. The most noticeable element in this bag is the large buckle closure, which is actually a square variation on the FF logo and comes in a solid gold color or studded with crystals. Though small, this bag is well organized with two compartments and some card pockets. You can purchase it from Fendi.
31. Marc Jacobs The Snapshot Bag
While The Snapshot isn’t big enough for a modern DSLR, it’s still a great camera-style fashion bag to own. This bag is fashionable yet affordable with a fun, sporty vibe. It has two zipped compartments, along with interior zipped pockets, so while it might be small, it’s still very practical. The most notable element about the bag, of course, is the canvas strap and rounded JJ hardware. Get it directly from Marc Jacobs in your favorite color!
32. Valentino Garavani Rockstud Spike
Valentino’s Rockstud bag bridges a gap we never even considered existed between ladylike luxury and punk fashion. As with other Rockstud accessories (especially the stunning Rockstud heels), the main point of interest in the Spike bag is the spiky metal stud detailing that lends an edge to any look.
The original design was a simple, single-compartment flap bag, though occasionally, other bag variations get released, including belt bags, totes, and buckets. The best place to get the original is My Theresa.
33. Louis Vuitton Multi Pochette
Rocking the multi-bag trend is easy with the LV Multi Pochette. This LV monogram bag might be a little over-the-top for some, but if you’re a fan of logomania and maximalism, then it’s worth your investment. It first appears as a small, multi-compartment purse with a round coin purse attached to the strap, but it’s actually a three-parter. What looks like one purse is actually two pouches, one larger than the other.
You can separate it out or carry everything at once depending on the day and your needs, while you can change up from the canvas crossbody strap to the more delicate chain depending on the time of day and your look. If you want one, you’ll have to make a reservation with Louis Vuitton.
34. Stella McCartney Marlee Bag
Real leather may have mostly ruled our list of the best designer handbags, but the vegan Marlee bag sits amongst them comfortably. This simple saddlebag is a new addition to the eco-friendly designer’s lineup, but we think its minimalist, boho charm gives it a timeless quality.
It’s made of PVC that perfectly mimics Nappa leather with recycled polyester inner lining and a perforated logo across the front. It comes with both a classy faux-leather strap and a more modern canvas one, so you can change up its look easily. You can get it directly from Stella McCartney.
35. Bottega Veneta Padded Cassette
Daniel Lee’s second major addition to the BV bag lineup is another influencer-favorite. This modern bag is more convenient than the Pouch while still standing out with its unique design. This bag offers an oversized, cushioned twist on “Intrecciato,” which is a leather weaving technique that is strongly associated with the Bottega Veneta brand.
Despite being very minimally adorned with just a gold triangle buckle on the shoulder strap, this bag is still noticeably a Bottega Veneta design. You can get it directly from the BV website.
Photos via @bartabacmode, Farfetch