– Iconic Designer Handbags IN THIS ARTICLE –
P.S.: In case you’re wondering why the Birkin and the Kelly are not on the list is because new authentic Birkins and Kellys can’t be purchased online, not even from the Hermés website.
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Designer handbags are one of the most desired, recognizable, and durable fashion items one can own. When it comes to authentic classic designer handbags, some of them are so iconic and exclusive, that they reached the level of becoming investment pieces, in the sense that you can actually make money out of them in the future, like art. But you don’t have to invest $150,000.00 in a vintage/exclusive Birkin to have your own precious designer bag. Personally, what makes a luxury item precious to me is how much I wanted it and for how long I’m gonna wear it. For some people, buying designer handbags is routine, but for most of us, it’s a very special gift for ourselves or a very important person in our lives, like our moms.
So, for this post, I selected the most iconic totes, clutches, cross-body bags, etc from high-end brands like Gucci, Dior, Chanel, Chloé, Saint Laurent, and more. No matter what’s trending or what is “last season”, these iconic accessories will never run out of style. Unless you buy them in neon, but that’s on you!
The Most Classic Designer Handbags Of All Time
Chanel Classic Handbag
Small Size | Lambskin | Made in France
Well, if you wanna have one and only one timeless designer bag, the Classic Black Chanel is the most iconic, recognizable, copied handbags of all time. For a new Chanel, I only feel comfortable recommending the official Chanel website, because I’m obsessively against counterfeit and not that other places don’t sell original Chanel, but you get the picture. I’d buy pre-loved from other places, not new. But that’s me.
If you, your Classic Chanel will become an heirloom piece in your family for generations because it’s made to last and to honor the Maison Chanel tradition.
Of course, it’s available in different sizes and as many colors, fabrics, and chains as possible.
Chloé “Marcie” Satchel Shoulder & Cross-Body Handbag
Medium Size | Semi-aniline textured-leather (Calf) | Made in Italy
The Marcie is the most recognizable Chloé bag and also the most practical for every day. The medium size is perfect to look flawless while running your errands. It has inside pockets and a phone pocket in a spacious cotton-lined compartment. And just look at those sculpted hand-wrapped handles, the carefully made perfect stitches, the golden metal.
The Marcie is timeless because it looks high-end, for being crafted by Italian artisans out of premium genuine leather, but without flashing logos.
It’s available in small and large sizes as well and many colors that vary according to each store inventory!
Dior “Lady Dior” Leather Handbag
Medium Size | Genuine Leather (Calf) | Made in Italy
Here is what the Dior website says about Lady Dior: “The Lady Dior, one of the most legendary Dior handbags, is instantly recognizable thanks to its quilted texture and its ‘D.I.O.R.’ charm.” On top of that, the Lady Dior brings the unmistakable Cannage stitching that everyone tries to copy but doesn’t get close. Finally, the Lady Dior has a thin and classy removable shoulder strap in leather, so you can carry it by hand, on the shoulder, or cross-body.
The ultra-matte black Lady Dior from the picture is a super modern and cool version, but it’s available in a lot of different colors, patterns, and sizes, to match any mood, style, or aesthetic you’re into.
Saint Laurent “LouLou” Quilted Leather Shoulder Bag
Medium Size | Genuine leather (Calf) | Made in Italy
Saint Laurent is such a classic and solid fashion house that any handbag you get from them, is likely to be a classic. The LouLou, however, is the most timeless of them all.
The perfectly quilted leather, the “YSL” plaque, and the chain handle create a neutral, but very chic purse, recognizable from far away.
The LouLou is available in so many different colors besides black and different sizes that vary according to each store inventory!
Prada “Saffiano” Leather Tote
Medium Size | Nappa Leather | Made in Italy
The classic of all the classics designer handbags to go to the office. For the ladies who made it to the C-suit or the ones around it, the Prada Saffiano is the iconic powerful (well-dressed) boss tote.
And it’s the perfect bag to go to work indeed. It has a zippered internal pocket in the middle, which gives you 3 practical compartments. The iconic, but discrete, Prada logo in metal is just right to show some power without being too much.
It’s available in different sizes and colors.
Balenciaga “Neo Classic City” Mini Leather Bag
Mini Size | Black croc-effect patent-leather (Calf) | Made in Italy
The Classic City was designed 20 years ago and received a recent update. If you buy one now, chances are that in 20 years you’ll be wearing it again. The mini will fit your phone, card, mask, hand sanitizer, and maybe a pair of glasses, so it’s perfect for the minimalist like me who doesn’t like to carry anything around.
The Neo Classic City is available in a lot of different colors, leathers, details, and sizes that vary according to each store inventory!
Gucci “Horsebit 1955” Leather Shoulder Bag
Small Size | Textured-leather (Calf) | Made in Italy
Gucci is a trendsetter powerhouse that has a strong relationship with cool celebrities like Jared Leto and Harry Styles and influencers. But the Italian brand also relies on classic accessories that have been trending since the ’50s. For handbags, Gucci has 4 big classics: the Marmont, with the iconic GG; the Horsebit, with the horse bit metals; the Ophidia, the logomania handbag, and the Dionysius, the one with the tiger clasp inspired by Greek mythology. They are all iconic, recognizable, and extensively copied.
But the most classic of them all has got to be the Horsebit 1955, which is inspired by a Gucci from 1955. If over 60 years later you can still wear a bag, how timeless is it? And it comes with a black leather strap beside the red and green one.
Stella McCartney “Falabella” Vegetarian Fold-Over Tote
Medium Size | Vegetarian brushed-leather | Made in Italy
Stella McCartney is a pioneer in introducing the notion of cruelty-free and sustainability in the luxury fashion world and The Falabella is the brand’s most recognizable handbag. It features an internal zipped pocket and a snap closure.
The Falabella has this cool effortlessly chic design that’s as beautiful as it’s versatile. It’s spacious to wear during the day, but it can be folded to go on a night out with you. And the chains trims and handles are the kind of “detail” that gets people asking where did you get this purse.
It’s available in small and large sizes as well, with different colors of leather, different fabric, gold, and silver chain that vary according to each store inventory!
High-end accessories may be the most successful case of efficient product placement of our time. If nowadays we have the top influencers flashing their collections on Instagram, in the past we had the celebs holding their huge totes while “casually” running errands across hoards of paparazzi. Since I can remember having some awareness about luxury fashion, the handbags are on top of most people desires. Probably because more than shoes or clothes, the bags are recognizable and in different levels, we all wanna be seen certain way when we wear design. Also, they suit everyone with no need for fittings. And finally, like this post just proved, classic handbags, made of quality materials and expert techniques will last for decades when taken good care of.
What about you? Which one of the most classic designer handbags from this list is your favorite?