Female fashionistas worldwide just absolutely love iconic designer handbags and to see the latest designer handbag collections hot off the runway and in the latest style magazines, every woman will agree you can never have enough accessories for your collection because every woman wants to add that unique ”purse-onality” trait to their style.
We take a look at some of the most lavish iconic handbag styles of recent years and other designer classics still in high demand today with new re-designed touches of chic including the likes of Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Hermes Birkin, Prada, Fendi, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Christian Dior, Mulberry and Gucci.
Designer Handbag History
Handbags starting from as far back as the 1800’s all have an enchanting story to tell with most being named after many famous iconic women in fashion over time.
The Christian Dior Lady Bag famously re-named after Princess Diana was originally titled the Constance bag.
The American actress Princess Grace Kelly and the Hermes’ Kelly Bag, famously known for using it to cover her baby bump whilst carrying her first child. In the series Sex and the City, stylish character Carrie Bradshaw brought the Fendi Baguette Bag onto the screen to an enormous reception from women everywhere to be titled as the first “It bag”.
Luxurious high fashion accessories and keeping up to date with the latest styles also come with high prices. Any luxury classic handbag brand ranges from £1,000 all the way up to £200,000 with prices on the increase yearly in the fashion industry.
An iconic designer handbag or purse is a true investment into fashion and always will be, the versatility of a handbag from day to night allows the high-end designers to charge high prices due to detail, fine craftsmanship and high-quality materials. There are thousands to choose from but we have picked 10 of the best old and new.
The Top 10 Iconic Designer Handbags
Luis Vuitton Speedy
Originally launched in 1932, this iconic monogrammed handbag was given new life when Georges Vuitton was asked to make hand luggage after many years of the luxury travel baggage collection doing so well.
From the 1960s the bag became a must-have, iconic women like Audrey Hepburn was a huge fan of the brand. Marc Jacobs joined Louis Vuitton to re-vamp a modern look to the Speedy with pop art and graffiti designs from 1997.
Coco Chanel launched the ever classic quilted 2.55 in February 1955, hence its name and birthday. Also known as the Chanel Flap Bag, the design was mastered around Coco’s love for horse riding from a young girl and inspired by the jockeys’ padded jackets styling, a strap was designed especially for women who were forever losing handbags and finding an easier hands-free way of carrying their favourite style accessory.
Karl Lagerfeld used his creative flair when taking over as creative director in 1993 to modernize the bag with the famous ’CC’ clasp.
The Hermes Birkin
With a waiting list of up to six years, this wonderfully intricate handbag takes two full days to make by expertly trained craftsmen. The well-known story of Hermes Chief Executive Jean-Louis Dumas, creating it for the actress and singer Jane Birkin after being sat on a plane next to her in 1984, Jane had complained that she could not find a suitable leather carrier she liked.
The Birkin has speciality hardware and is typically plated with gold and other precious metals.
Prada Bowling Bag
Women looking for a practical go with everything elegant handbag were delighted in the year 2000 when Prada unveiled its spring/summer collection of the semi-circle Bowling Bag.
Selling out worldwide it became a massive hit, Prada was having to open up its stores for long waiting lists of customers looking to purchase the modern must-have designer handbag.
With more than 1,000 different designs and also widely known as the ”It Bag” due to its often on-screen presence by fictional fashionista Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City. The Fendi Baguette was designed by Silvia Venturini Fendi and launched in 1997.
Designed to be easy, functional and carried under the arm like a baguette loaf.
Bottega Veneta Intrecciato
The signature style technique of the handbag is made with fine woven leather and was designed in the 1960s by Vittorio and Laura Moltedo.
Made from superfine woven leather to be used easily on machines and then woven for strength into the Intrecciato pattern to make a more durable handbag.
Celebrity fans include Charlize Theron and Cameron Diaz.
Balenciaga Motorcycle Bag
The company was established in 1915 by the Spanish designer Cristobal Balenciaga and had success in its early days, becoming an established brand once again when Nicolas Ghesquiere joined as Creative Director in the 1990s.
Nicolas designed the Motorcycle bag exclusively for a runway show in 2003 where Kate Moss fell in love with the modern classic handbag.
Christian Dior Lady Bag
This beautiful handmade quilted handbag had been around for many years but was re-named in September 1995 when it was given as a gift to Princess Diana of Wales by France’s First Lady Bernadette Chirac.
Forever gracing the arms of the elegant and sophisticated, it is told that the quilted stitched pattern was inspired by Napoleon III chairs used at Dior’s first-ever fashion show in 1947.
Each handbag has a gold or silver hardware signature charm.
Mulberry Del Rey
With an elegant modern-day retro twist, this fabulous handbag is named after the iconic captivating songstress Lana Del Rey.
The bag launched in 2012 and is known to have had success in selling out on Bond Street in just one day.
Already a hit with celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence, the handbag is shaped much like a doctor’s holdall with a flap over the top and the signature mulberry lock for a beautiful finish.
Gucci Jackie Bag
This timeless Florentine crafted handbag was created as the Constance in the 1950s and re-named after the former fashion icon first lady of the United States, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
It takes between seven and thirteen hours to make the bag and was unveiled once more in 2009 by Creative Director Frida Giannini.
Handmade in Italy the comfortable shoulder bag comes in many styles and is made in different materials.