10 classic designer handbags you should invest in:
- Bottega Veneta Cassette Bag
- Classic Channel Flap Bag
- Chanel 2.55
- Dior Saddle Bag
- Dior Lady Dior
- Fendi Baguette
- Hermes Birkin
- Hermes Kelly
- Loewe Puzzle
- Louis Vuitton Speedy Bag
Purchasing a designer bag is a huge event in every women’s life–most especially when it’s their first. Reaching a point where you can finally splurge on the finest things in life is definitely a milestone, which is why it’s important to spend on only the best ones. With tons of handbags in the market, though, how do you pick the right ones? It’s actually quite simple–choose the most iconic pieces that are sure to stand the test of time! Here are some of them.
The Bottega Veneta Cassette bag was introduced in the brand’s pre-fall 2019 collection. Named after its rectangular shape, the crossbody bag features an oversized version of the Maison’s classic Intrecciato. Updated versions include the Padded Cassette, the Chain Cassette, and an assortment of candy-colored leathers and suede fabrications.
In February 1955, Coco Chanel revolutionized fashion by creating bags to be worn over the shoulders, hence the name Chanel 2.55. To this day, the famous straps remain to be iconic. It features a quilted wool exterior which was apparently inspired by the saddle blankets at the horse races that the designer frequented in her early days, and a burgundy exterior allegedly the same shade as the uniforms she wore in the convent she grew up in. As for the distinguished chains that converted a shoulder bag into a crossbody, they were said to be inspired by the chains on which the nuns’ keys jangled.
The Chanel Classic Flap Bag is an iteration of the famous Chanel 2.55 later introduced in 1983. It was Karl Lagerfeld who thought of adding the interlocking Cs to the bag, making it more recognizable. Leather was also applied to its chain strap. This collector’s piece is traditionally offered in lambskin or Caviar.
Renowned for its unique shape, the Dior Saddle Bag has proven its timelessness over the past two decades. It was first introduced in the late 1990s by Dior’s then-creative director John Galliano and made a glorious return in 2018 under the direction of Maria Grazia Chiuri as part of Dior’s spring 2000 ready-to-wear collection. With the rise of Y2K fashion in this generation, this handbag’s relevance today is absolutely a no-brainer.
Named and made for Lady Diana, Dior Lady Dior is one of the most coveted bags today. It was reportedly a request by Bernadette Chirac, the wife of French President Jacques Chirac, who rang up Dior for a custom bag that would be gifted to Princess Diana on her visit to Paris in 1995. With its quilted leather feature and minimal elegant silhouette accented with playful metallic charms, the bag that was made for a princess has held its spot at the topmost iconic designer pieces for decades. It has even been spotted on the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, in New York in September 2021.
Released in 1997, the Fendi Baguette features a slight silhouette, a single strap, and a flap closure. Sex and the City fans will recognize this right away as this handbag appeared in the October 2000 episode of the series and made an epic comeback on And Just Like That in 2021. Thousands of variations have been introduced since its debut, including a swirling monogram print of the classic Zucca logo called “FF Vertigo” in collaboration with artist Sarah Coleman.
The Hermes Birkin needs no introduction. It was named after Jane Birkin, who was apparently seated next to Jean-Louis Dumas, then-chief executive of Hermès, on a flight from Paris to London. During their exchange, the contents of her bag spilled, which led them to design a bag based on a paper bag provided by the airline for nauseous passengers, giving birth to the investment pieces that we know today.
Slightly less known but equally as iconic as the Birkin, the Hermes Kelly was renamed after Grace Kelly in 1977. This handbag was first released in 1923 and was eventually re-designed in 1935 by then-creative director Robert Dumas as a spacious travel bag and then called the piece “Sac à dépêches”. Meanwhile, the Hollywood star turned princess of Monaco was photographed with the bag in the 1950s.
First seen at the Men’s Spring 2015 show in Paris, the Loewe Puzzle is handcrafted in Madrid with approximately nine geometric pieces of leather precisely patchworked together. It’s available in calfskin, pebbled calfskin, and goatskin variations; and in regular, small, mini, and nano sizes.
In 1930, the Louis Vuitton Speedy bag made its debut as the “Express”–a bag made for frequent travelers in replacement of stiff luggage. It features the famed monogram in a waxed and coated canvas with Vachetta leather handles and piping. However, Audrey Hepburn reputedly repurposed it into a purse in 1959, asking the Maison to size the width of the bag down from 30 centimeters to 25 centimeters. Now, it even comes in Nano sizes that are one and a half smaller than the Speedy 20.