When it comes to wardrobe investments, there is nothing quite like a timeless designer handbag. For many, they are a statement of style, a symbol of status, and an investment. As we enter 2024, the landscape of designer handbags is as diverse and dynamic as ever, with many brands, styles, and trends vying for attention. From timeless classics to bold new designs, the choices are endless. But which ones truly stand out? Which ones are worth your investment?
In this article, we explore the top picks for the best designer handbags, according to fashion experts, celebrities and cult favourites, exploring each brand and model’s unique features, craftsmanship, and allure. Whether you’re a seasoned collector or looking to buy your first designer bag, this list has been vetted to include only the must-have handbags on the market.
The Hermès Birkin 35 is a timeless piece that effortlessly merges quiet luxury with the trend of larger bags. This iconic handbag, first introduced in 1984, has been a staple in the fashion industry and continues to be highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts alike. The Birkin 35 is known for its practical size, logo-free design, and enduring appeal.
It has been released in several limited editions, including the Birkin 35 FrayFray and the Sunrise and Sunset Birkin 35, both of which feature unique details and high-quality materials such as Twill H cotton canvas and Swift leather. Despite the rise in popularity of smaller bags, the Birkin 35 remains a classic choice for those seeking a blend of style and functionality.
Retail price: $13,500, but it can resell for $20,000 or more, with some pieces selling for over $74,000 at auction.
The Rosa tote bag from Lawful London is a top contender for the best in handbags list. This generously sized tote is not only stylish but also practical, making it an ideal choice for daily use. It features a dedicated zipped compartment to safely store a 13” laptop, along with multiple pockets for organized storage of essentials like a water bottle, mobile phone, charger, and bank or travel cards.
The bag’s design is minimal yet sophisticated, offering versatility with its soft top handles and a detachable adjustable shoulder strap. Made from vegan leather, the Rosa tote is easy to maintain and clean. It also comes with a protective dust bag for proper storage. The bag is available in two colors – black and tan. With its thoughtful details and roomy silhouette, the Rosa tote is destined to become your go-to carryall.
Retail Price: $427.00
The Medium Lady Dior Bag in Black Cannage Lambskin is a standout piece that deserves a spot on the best handbags list. This bag is a testament to Dior’s commitment to elegance and beauty, embodying the brand’s vision with its sleek and refined design.
Crafted from black lambskin, it features the instantly recognizable Cannage stitching that creates a quilted texture, adding a touch of sophistication. The bag is adorned with pale gold-finish metal D.I.O.R. charms, enhancing its elegant allure.
Its thin, removable leather shoulder strap also offers versatility, allowing it to be carried by hand or worn crossbody. Its size suits essentials like a wallet, phone, card holder, and sunglasses. This timeless creation, first seen on the arm of Lady Diana, has since had an extraordinary destiny, making it not just a bag, but a symbol and a legend.
Retail Price: $8,600.00
The Coach Pillow Tabby Shoulder Bag is a standout piece in luxury handbags. This bag, introduced following the success of the Tabby Shoulder bags, adds a puffy silhouette to the classic design. It’s crafted from ultra-soft leather and features signature wrapped ‘C’ hardware.
The bag also offers versatility with its two detachable straps, allowing it to be carried by hand, styled as a short shoulder bag, or worn crossbody. The Pillow Tabby comes in protective packaging, including tissue paper, padding, and a dust bag for storage.
Retail Price: $495.00
The Nora Shoulder Bag is a standout product in the handbag category, earning rave reviews for its unique design and exceptional quality. This crescent-shaped shoulder bag is comfortable to wear and exudes an undeniable style described as “really attractive” by the head designer.
The bag’s playful design and elegant details make it a versatile accessory that complements casual and formal outfits. The adjustable shoulder strap with Sam Browne closure ensures a perfect fit for all seasons, whether you’re wearing a tank top or a puffy jacket.
The bag is available in various colors including honey, pebbled black, cognac, grizzly, and nutmeg, allowing customers to choose according to their preference. Crafted from U.S.-sourced full-grain leather, the Nora Shoulder Bag showcases unique textures and character that develop a beautiful patina over time.
The bag’s durability is further enhanced by the natural oils in the leather that rise to the surface, smoothing any scuffs or scratches that may have accumulated. Despite its compact size, the bag can hold a surprising amount of personal items, making it a practical choice for those who prefer smaller bags. The bag’s moon shape allows it to fit a lot of stuff, making it a perfect companion for weekend outings or daily use.
Retail price: $195.00
The Chanel Lambskin Double Flap Bag is a timeless classic in the luxury handbag market. This bag, part of Chanel’s Classic Flap line, is known for its high-quality lambskin leather and iconic turn-lock fastening.
The double flap design adds an extra layer of privacy and functionality, separating the interior of the handbag from the main exterior flap. This bag is a fashion statement and an investment piece, as Chanel regularly increases its prices.
Retail Price: $10,200.00
The Gucci Jackie Shoulder Bag is a timeless piece that has been a staple in the fashion community for decades. This classic handbag, named after the iconic Jackie Kennedy, is renowned for its versatility and enduring appeal. Crafted from durable leather, the bag features a longer, removable shoulder strap that can transform it from a ladylike tote to a practical crossbody bag.
The bag’s design has remained essentially unchanged since its inception in 1961. However, a notable modification was made in 1999 by then creative director Tom Ford, who replaced the bag’s signature piston lock with a more futuristic, geometric-shaped buckle. This bag is a fashion statement and an investment, as it is expected to last for many decades.
Retail Price: $2,950
The Hopper Black Leather bag by R. Riveter is a standout product in the handbag market, offering a blend of luxury and versatility. This bag is designed to transition seamlessly from day to night, making it an ideal accessory for any occasion.
The Hopper is crafted with real vegetable-tanned leather, which ages beautifully over time, enhancing its appeal. Each bag takes a journey across the country before reaching your doorstep, with components crafted by independent military spouses.
The bag is named after Grace Hopper, a trailblazer in the field of computer science, reflecting the brand’s commitment to celebrating strong and influential women. The company offers a flexible return and exchange policy, ensuring customer satisfaction.
Retail price: $198.00
The Fendi Baguette Bag is a true icon in the world of fashion accessories. Its rise to fame was cemented when it was featured on the popular TV series “Sex and the City,” carried by the show’s fashion-forward character, Carrie Bradshaw. The bag quickly became a must-have item, earning the status of an “It bag.”
The Baguette Bag is characterized by its crescent shape, slouchy posture, long strap, and zip top closure. It is made of high-quality black soft nappa leather with a three-dimensional texture FF motif and is decorated with an FF clasp. The bag is not only stylish but also functional, suitable for everyday use and capable of carrying everything from laptops to textbooks.
Retail price: $3,590.00
The JW Anderson Mini Twister Hobo Leather Bag is a chic and functional accessory that impresses with its quality, durability, and beauty. This mini tote bag features a single twisted top handle and main compartment, making it perfect for carrying essentials. The bag is made of calf leather and has a cotton lining, an embossed logo on the front, and concealed magnetic fastening.
Retail price: $850.00
Among the top picks for the best designer handbags of 2024, according to fashion experts, celebrities, and cult favourites, are the Hermes Birkin 35 Bag, Chanel Lambskin Double Flap Bag, Gucci Jackie Shoulder Bag, JW Anderson Mini Twister Hobo Leather Bag, R.Riveter’s Hopper Black Leather bag, Nora Shoulder Bag, Fendi Baguette Bag, Coach Pillow Tabby Shoulder Bag, Lawful London’s Rosa tote bag, and Dior’s Medium Lady Dior Bag. Each bag has unique features, craftsmanship, and allure that make it stand out in the market. As we move forward, it will be interesting to see how these trends evolve and what new designs and styles will emerge in the fashion handbag industry. Regardless of the changes, one thing is certain: handbags will continue to be an essential accessory, a statement of style, and status symbol.