Don’t call them just bags!
“It-bags” are the dream of every woman and to afford some of them you would need to win the lottery! Seriously. Lottery. Yves Saint Laurent once said, ‘Fashions fade, style is eternal.’ Iconic bags are the epitome of timeless style, quality and beauty.
The attention to craftsmanship and quality make these pieces worth the investment and some of these bags have become part of the history of fashion over the years.
These bags are not only great investments in terms of elevating style, but they often have higher resale values, making them a smart financial investment.
This means owning an “It bag” is like owning a piece of history in its original form. From the Hermès Birkin and Kelly bags to Dior’s Lady Dior, iconic bags have a long tradition and some were named and designed after stylish women and fashion icon who inspired luxury brands.
Exclusivity, rather than functionality, defines the “It bag” and these iconic bags never go out of style.
Here is my list of Iconic bags of all time :
- Hermès Kelly Bag
It was designed by Robert Dumas in 1930 and it was introduced in 1935.
Monaco Princess Grace Kelly fell in love with this model of bag and she ordered twelve different colors. In 1956 the Hermès Kelly was renamed after the Princess Grace Kelly who carried the bag everywhere to hide her pregnancy from the paparazzi.
It is hard to get and the waiting list is endless!
The Hermes Kelly is not only one of the most coveted Hermes bags but the one that is most worth the investment in the history of fashion.
2. Hermès Birkin Bag
In 1981, Jane Birkin was sat next to Hermès Chief Executive Jean-Louis Dumas on a flight from Paris to London in 1981. After placing her straw bag in the overhead compartment the contents fell out all over the plane’s floor, including her Hermes diary. Birkin confessed to Dumas that it had been difficult to find a leather weekend bag she liked. Dumas was immediately inspired to create a purposeful bag suitable for the modern women and invited Birkin to collaborate with the brand. Thus, three years later in 1984, he created a roomy black leather bag just for her, easier to carry, modern, unique, fashionable and practical. Jane Birkin was the inspiration for this, hence the name.
The Hermès ‘Birkin’ was released, and has continued to be one of the most iconic status symbols in the world.
The Birkin bag personifies Jane Birkin’s style completely. It is classic, beautiful and timeless. Always in fashion and forever coveted.
Waiting lists can be up to 2 years and even 4 for exotic skins. Clients are required to pre-order bags as they are not readily available in the stores.
3. Chanel 2.55 Bag
Probably one of the most legendary designer handbags of all times, Chanel’s 2.55 was named after the month (February) and year of its creation (1955) and could be regarded a sort of personification of fashion icon Coco Chanel’s fashion views. Ms. Coco Chanel designed her first bag in 1929, but like all the others available to upper-class women during the era, it was hand-carried.
In February 1955, she debuted the shoulder-carried version and changed handbag history. For the first time, it was acceptable for women of society to be seen carrying shoulder bags.
Aside from the beauty of the bag, each detail in the bag designed by Coco Chanel has a purpose, a memory or a reason for its existence. She stored her love letters in the zipper compartment of the bag, lipstick in the inside pocket and money in the back pocket and for example, the interior lining’s burgundy color represents the color of the uniforms in the orphanage where Gabrielle grew up.
In February of 2005, Karl Lagerfeld released a reissue in celebration of the bag’s 50th anniversary.
The starting price for a new purse is around $4,400. Prices go up around 10% every year. The handbag is viewed as an investment since the value of it goes up every year.
If you happen to already have one, make sure to treat it like a treasure!
4. Gucci Jackie Bag
Originally meant to be a unisex handbag, Gucci’s Jackie Bag was designed in the Fifties. When Mrs. Kennedy was spotted carrying it the bag became an instant hit. Mrs. Kennedy was without doubt one of the most stylish First Ladies that America had ever known and was a huge fashion icon in her time. So naturally, her choices for accessories and clothes had a great influence. As a tribute to Jacqueline Kennedy, Gucci changed the name of the bag to the ‘Jackie’.
So the bag was named after Jackie Kennedy who originally carried the Gucci Shoulder bag to shield herself from paparazzi. Many photos show Kennedy clutching a Gucci purse.
And decades later, the Jackie bag, unmistakable for its distinct shape, is still in production. It was later renamed the ‘Jackie O’ bag. Gucci’s New Jackie Bag was redesigned and reintroduced by Giannini in 2009.
Of course the Jackie bag embodies the classic beauty of Jacqueline Kennedy.
5. Lady Dior Bag
The Christian Dior Lady Dior bag is the epitome of style and elegance; its name is a tribute to Princess Diana, who frequently carried it.
Designed in 1995, Princess Diana received it as a gift from France’s former First Lady Bernadette Chirac with a charming stitched-leather handbag finished with dangling letter charms from Dior. The bag also featured a stitched square pattern that was reportedly inspired by the Napoleon III chairs that Dior used in its first-ever fashion show in 1947. Although it was a bespoke gift for one of the world’s most famous royals, Princess Diana’s obsession with the design soon caught the attention of the public, who wanted their own version. The bag became an instant success as soon as the first magazine covers featured Lady Diana carrying it around.
So, Dior named the bag ‘Lady Dior’ in honor of Princess Diana and an instant “It” bag was born.
6. Fendi Baguette
Fendi Baguette is a designer bag that was made famous thanks to the TV-series Sex and the City.
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 Venturini Fendi told Vogue, as well as being probably one of the industry’s biggest brand comebacks.
7. Louis Vuitton Speedy bag
Louis Vuitton Speedy is a must-have for a handbag collector. It is practical, classic and it has great history behind it.
The Speedy was designed in 1930 as a smaller interpretation of the hugely popular Keepall bag. The bag marks a turning point in the history of Louis Vuitton, as the Speedy was in fact the very first handag from the fashion house. While the Keepall was intended for the globetrotting elite, the Speedy was designed for everyday use still offering plenty of interior space for essentials.
The original size of the Speedy is 30 cm but in 1965, icon Audrey Hepburn asked Louis Vuitton to create a miniaturized version of 25 cm of the Keepall travel bag that she loved so much and that she could carry regularly.
Louis Vuitton created the bag in a smaller 25cm size just for her daily use.
After Hepburn made the Speedy an iconic finishing touch to any outfit, as a result the bag really became coveted and timeless.
In fact, the Speedy is one of the most purchased Louis Vuitton bags in history.
One day, I hope that all of these iconic bags will be in my closet!!!