Since the nineties, the elusive arm candy has been the “Holy Grail” of the fashion and luxury industry. The iconic classic handbag is the totemic accessory that announces you are the owner of all that is desirable in the world. In our opinion, there could be nothing more beautiful than the timeless appeal that comes with owning classic designer handbags.
From Grace Kelly and her namesake Hermès bag to Audrey Hepburn toting her Speedy en route the airport, women everywhere have always lusted over beautiful bags that deliver through the years.
With that in mind, we are sharing a roundup of the top classic handbags from five designer brands, that will truly last a lifetime and might even become a family heirloom someday.
Hermès, a legendary heritage brand that is best known for its strictly enforced exclusivity, is perhaps the most coveted name in luxury handbags. It is also this sense of exclusivity and scarcity that makes Hermès bags the most expensive accessories in the world.
However, one thing is for sure – Hermès offers a few handbags that have stood the test of time. Year after year, women are still in love with them.
We picked the top Hermès classic bags that are must-buys!
Hermes Kelly bag
Featuring a slightly trapezoidal, boxy silhouette and one top handle, the Hermès Kelly bag is one of the most memorable luxury bags in history. Introduced in 1930, the bag was named after the one and only Grace Kelly, Hollywood’s most precious princess in 1997. Like its muse, Grace Kelly, this Hermès bag is the definition of timeless elegance.
The Hermès Kelly bag is an investment, quality luxury item that either holds or increases its value over time.
The Hermès Birkin
The Hermès Birkin stands alone as the most sought-after, impossible to find and collectible luxury handbag ever made. This timeless bag is only seen on the arms of the fortunate few.
Named after famous actress Jane Birkin, who was gifted the first Birkin bag in 1984, this bag is otherwise known as the ‘Holy Grail’ of luxury handbags amongst the fashion tribe. The bag features a square shape and a sporty yet elegant appearance that has become a status symbol among the masses.
Hermès Constance Bag
The Hermès Constance bag is an evergreen, iconic fashion accessory that proudly sits alongside the Birkin and Kelly as the most sought-after Hermès handbag. Designed in 1969 by Catherine Chaillet and named after her newborn daughter, the Constance bag combines elegance with versatility, making it the perfect day-to-night handbag.
The bag’s instantly recognizable features, including the iconic ‘H’ clasp, sleek lines and a fully adjustable strap, have ensured that the Constance bag remains a permanent fixture in the Hermès collection.
While the Kelly eludes glamorous elegance and the Birkin is a global icon, the Constance bag features versatility and a classic design that effortlessly matches any outfit and can be suitable for any occasion.
Hermès Garden Party Tote
The Hermès Garden Party Tote has been around for a while. The bag features a formal, elegant style that is ideal for an everyday bag. The Garden Party has a simple, classic silhouette and isn’t as flashy or overwhelmingly recognizable like the Birkin and Kelly handbags.
The bag hits the mark on looks, functionality, quality, and is also elegant enough to look appropriate with a variety of looks. The straightforward design of the Garden Tote makes it a great on-the-go bag.
Louis Vuitton is one of the most renowned and coveted brands when it comes to beautiful, timeless pieces. Easily recognizable by their elegant style, this famous French house is characterized by their remarkable know-how, respect for traditions and great craftsmanship.
Here are our favorite classic Louis Vuitton bags.
The Speedy Bags
The Speedy needs little introduction. It is, after all, the masterpiece of the whole Louis Vuitton brand. Released to the market more than 80 years ago, the Louis Vuitton Speedy has a timeless design that is the most famous of all Louis Vuitton bags.
The Speedy’s rounded and generous shape reveals a very spacious interior, which is a must-have feature for the modern accessory.
Debuted in 1930, The Alma is another classic style of Louis Vuitton that is still around in a variety of colors, sizes,and fabrication today. Structure, elegance, style – these are the characteristics that helped the Alma make a name for itself.
Featuring a rectangular base with a curved top that tapers in and offered in every shade of the rainbow, the Alma remains to be the perfect bag, soaring through every age and every season with the same serene and timeless style.
Louis Vuitton Neverfull Bag
Other than being one of the hardiest bags out there, the Louis Vuitton Neverfull bag is also one of the most durable in terms of cost. Released in the market in 2007, this tote reached great levels of success, becoming one of the brand’s most popular items.
Even though the Neverfull is not an old product of Louis Vuitton, it features a timeless and beautiful design that makes it one of the brands’ most iconic handbags.
Throughout the years, Chanel has created some of the most coveted timeless handbags in the luxury fashion market. Emerging from the 20th century, Chanel handbags are luxurious accessories to pass down through the generations without falling out of style.
Chanel has three iconic classic bags that are permanent in their bag line and all are worthy of being investment pieces.
Chanel Classic Flap
Somehow, the Chanel Classic Flap Bag is even more popular now than it was in 1955. Famously known as the 2.55 or 255 flap bag, some handbag aficionados consider this bag as a staple in their collections.
The Classic Flap features an interwoven leather strap, double CC lock, and a double flap. However, the Classic Flap available today has gone through many subtle tweaks and changes with vintage sizes differing over the years. The bag is also available in many colors and variations, which means there’s likely a version that will suit your tastes and needs.
Chanel Reissue Bag
Created in February 1955, the Reissue bag which is also known as the Chanel 2.55 Reissue, is an homage to the vintage era that Coco Chanel grew up in. The Reissue bag is a beautiful dichotomy, featuring a modern spin to the Classic Flap Bag, making it an attractive piece to edgy-loving fashionistas.
The bag features an all-metal design shoulder strap, worn leather and gunmetal-toned hardware inspired by vintage pieces. The vintage feel and brightly colored exteriors add further interesting elements to an already iconic classic bag.
Chanel Boy Bag
Perhaps there’s no greater clothing dream than owning a Chanel Boy Bag. Introduced by Karl Lagerfeld in 2011, it would usually sound hyperbolic to call this bag an ‘instant classic,’ but that’s exactly what the Chanel Boy Bag is.
With its more casual feel and an endless array of seasonal variations, this highly structured bag features a rectangular border, a modern interlocking C logo clasp, and an adjustable chain strap. As Chanel’s mainstay design, The Boy Bag is perfect for young shoppers who love the brand.
The bag may only be in its 7th year of existence, but its ageless style makes it seem like it has been around for a long time.
Here’s an interesting fact: The Boy was named after Boy Capel, the love of Coco Chanel’s life!
Founded in 1921, Gucci is also one of the world’s most covetable brands. Unlike other labels, Gucci maintains a subversion of leather expectations by regularly elevating more mundane materials such as cotton canvas into stylish handbag designs.
You are guaranteed to bring a touch of Florentine style home with you when you choose one of Gucci’s handbags. With Gucci now more desirable than ever, let’s take a look at the brands most iconic timeless bags.
Gucci Jackie Bag
Utterly elegant in its structure, yet roomy enough to carry everything you might need throughout the day, the Gucci Jackie Bag is as timeless and evergreen as it is modern and fancy.
Also called the Bouvier bag, the purse is named after Jackie Kennedy, who was spotted wearing an unnamed Gucci bag in 1961. The bag thereafter became a Gucci brand staple and an inevitable ‘It’ accessory that everyone wanted to have.
Spinning out in seemingly endless directions with hardware, exotic inlays and beyond, the Gucci Jackie Bag is one of the best Gucci classic bags worth the investment.
Gucci Bamboo Bag
Exotic, one-of-a-kind, synonymous with traditional craftsmanship, and easy to handle, the Gucci Bamboo Bag has become a design classic thanks to its contrasting bamboo handles.
With a history that started in the 40’s, this purse was the world’s very first “It” bag, decades before the Birkin and the 2.55 stole the spotlight.
Designed in an era that experienced scarcity of materials such as leather, Gucci came up with an out-of-the-box idea to use bamboo – the perfect solution and also a ground-breaking innovation in the bag industry.
There is no doubt that the most iconic classic designer handbags in the history of fashion are signed Dior. Featuring legendary patterns, lines, and styles, Dior’s classic bags are some of the most coveted of all time.
Christian Dior Lady Dior Bag
The Lady Dior, a.k.a Dior’s most iconic classic bag, is the epitome of class and fashion. Its beauty has captured the hearts of many women across the world.
The classic Lady Dior bag made its first appearance on the arm of Princess Diana, who immediately fell in love with the unique stitching of the bag. Later on, the princess ordered the charm-adorned bag in every color imaginable. The exterior of the bag features a divine quilted pattern that resembles the shape of a polished diamond. It is topped with the signature bejeweled D.I.O.R. letters, adding to its delightful dazzling charm.
Handcrafted in 1994 and rarely seen in the secondary luxury marketplace, The Lady Dior is a real treasure that will forever hold a special place in the fashion industry.
Christian Dior Diorissimo Bag
The Dior Diorissimo is an iconic classic bag with a timeless elegance that showcases the exquisite craftsmanship of the renowned label. Featuring a rectangular structure with soft leather and gussets that bend inward, the Diorissimo displays a casual look that makes it perfect as an everyday bag.
The beautiful leather, the contrasting colors and the two handle options make the Diorissimo a standout luxury bag.
Dior Saddle Bag
The Dior Saddle Bag, popularly recognized as one of Carrie Bradshaw’s all-time favorite purse, was considered to be an ultimate must-have bag in the late 90’s. The bag’s direct jump from the runway to Sex and the City’s wardrobes, made it standout from the pack to become a covet-worthy accessory.
Featuring hundreds of patterns, formulations, and limited-edition variations, the Dior Saddle bag is a fun, one-of-a-kind classic bag that is on almost every vintage lover’s wishlist.
The Saddle Bag has long been discontinued but its charm still appeals to bag lovers, who find excitement in hunting vintage pieces like they are collectible treasures.
Do you own or have you ever had your eyes on these classic designer handbags? How do you think they compare to other well-known luxury bags? Share your thoughts below!