30 Iconic It Bags

World's Most Coveted Accessory Of All Time

An iconic handbag has the power to transform and elevate even the simplest of outfits. The new smell and soft touch are not the only things to obsess over, but also the status one feels as soon as it’s draped over the arm. Though, with classy taste comes steep prices, which we have to argue is a great investment. Unlike usual perishables like clothes or shoes that have a 5-second trend life, a classic bag always stands the test of time. In fact, a study by NPD group states that handbag sales have increased in the U.S. by 5 percent since 2014, totaling to $11.5 billion in 2015!  To celebrate these lifelong bags/soulmates, here are our 30 favorite iconic handbags. Salivating over the Gucci Dionysus? Lusting after a Givenchy Antigona? Dreaming of a Birkin?

Handbag sales have increased in the U.S. by 5 percent since 2014, a total of $11.5 billion in 2015!

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Classic Handbags

As said earlier, bags are a lifelong investment-- not just a Christmas present, and these classic handbags prove it. The Speedy Louis Vuitton was created in 1930 and still remains a style stalwart; originally crafted in 30cm, a smaller bespoke, 25cm version was created for actress Audrey Hepburn in 1965. Vuitton’s competitor Goyard was then founded a year later and it’s Saint Louis tote is still as popular today as it was when first created without the help of promotional advertisements. 

And, let’s be real-- ‘classic’ really started with Chanel’s 2.55. As the chicest bags of all time, it actually owes its name to its date of fabrication (February 1955). Due to its celebrity notoriety, the classic flap bag goes up in price every year and now comes in a variety of colors and fabrics. The Fendi Baguette undoubtedly earned it’s ‘It Bag’ status after being worn by Sarah Jessica Parker in the hit TV show, Sex in the City. Released in 2007, Vogue reported that 100,000 baguettes were sold in the first year alone

Fashion house Gucci started using bamboo during the second world war as an alternative material to craft their products. The bag catapulted to success and was worn by the likes of Elizabeth Taylor and Lady Diana. Today’s hand-made Neo-Bamboo bag is composed of 140 components.

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French fashion house, Hermes created their classic ‘It Bag,’ which we all know as: Kelly. Created in 1930, this bag wasn’t coined ‘Kelly’ until after it was worn by The Princess of Monaco (Grace Kelly). Apparently, she used this bag to cover her pregnancy bump! Speaking of celebrities, many of the most popular bags were actually named after the ladies who inspired them… take the Gucci ‘Jackie’ bag, named after the First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy. And there’s Lady Dior, named after Lady Diana in 1995 after she ‘instantly fell in love with it.’ Ricky Lauren, Ralph Lauren’s wife and inspiration behind the Ricky bag, was said to represent the stylish, classic American woman. In 2013, it was redesigned and renamed as the ‘Soft Ricky’.

 

Historic Handbags

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Twerkin' for Birkin

The term ‘It Bag’ should might as well be credited to the most acclaimed, iconic, and priciest of them all: The Birkin. The story of the Birkin began in 1981 when English doyenne Jane Birkin met Jean-Louis Dumas on a plane; the two exchanged ideas on how to make a bag that was more functional and practical. By 1984, the Birkin was created and the rest is history. The Birkin has been seen on the arms of Lady Gaga (who scrawled in Japanese 'I Love Little Monsters, Tokyo Love' on her white one); Victoria Beckham (who has a collection worth in the region of £1.5 million) and Clint Eastwood’s daughter who gave a $100,000 crocodile skin Birkin to her boyfriend, Tyler Shields, so he could destroy it in the name of art. The Birkin is now understood to be the most expensive resold bag in the world! Just last month a 35cm Birkin from 2008 in rouge crocodile skin and 18-karat diamond hardware was sold for a phenomenal $298,000!

 

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It wasn’t until year 2000 when the term ‘It Bag’ actually caught popularity. Nicolas Ghesquière’s Balenciaga City bag really kickstarted the trend as it was seen on the likes of Kate Moss and Sienna Miller, and has since been widely imitated. In 2003, Mulberry launches the Bayswater, named after the area of West London, and designed by Nicholas Knightly who had joined Mulberry in 2002. It quickly became a bestseller despite its £600 price tag. Shortly after, the PS1 Proenza Schouler satchel was known as the ‘anti It Bag’ because of its minimalistic design, sans an obnoxious logo. 

2009 was a great year for bags as it witnessed the birth of Celine’s infamous Luggage Tote. It’s structural design has been draped over the arms of Nicky Hilton, Rihanna, Kim Kardashian, and Leighton Meester. Business of Fashion reported that Céline’s revenues are said to have doubled between 2010 and 2013, and surpassed €400 million in 2012-- and the tote was credited as one of the ‘pillars’ for that growth. In the same year, Alexander Wang’s hit bag, Rocco, was released, as well as Stella McCartney’s Falabella bag with its unstructured silhouette and trademark silver chains, which it is still the brand’s best seller. 

The 2000's and Beyond

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Did we miss your favorite ‘It’ Bag? Tell us!