A designer handbag is one of the most magical and poignant purchases in fashion. When you find The One, it’s as if the stars have aligned, and when you hold it for the first time, the ground begins to shift beneath your feet. That’s what I felt when I unboxed my first designer bag, call me romantic. It took months of saving every penny that wasn’t needed to be spent on essentials (just thinking about how much I’ve loaded onto my Oyster card over the years makes me physically tremble), but the pride I felt when carrying my designer bag for the first time is something I will never forget. I didn’t feel the same way about wearing my wedding dress either.
Even though I’m not a designer handbag collector, having spent years analyzing and comparing the latest It bags as they ebb and flow in popularity has given me a discerning eye for investment handbags. While flash-in-the-pan trends can be fun and bring you joy in the moment, I’m firm on the fact that any designer handbag purchase needs to be made with the expectation that you’ll cherish it for years to come.
My preference will always be for timeless handbags. I am able to do this because my budget makes me only think about shopping sensibly and with the utmost consideration—if I spend upwards of four figures on something, it’s going to stay in my wardrobe or accessory rotation for the rest of my life. As many designers revisit their archives and celebrate significant milestones, there’s also an element of nostalgia woven into 2023’s designer handbag offering; something that will appeal to those who currently adhere to the Y2K aesthetic. In the process of reimagining classic handbags from decades past and winning over a legion of fashion-hungry fans, I have only reinforced my point—a designer handbag should last a lifetime.
There are also the jovial bags that I am referring to. It wouldn’t make sense for me, someone who only wears neutrals, to buy a hot pink handbag. The right bag is the right choice if bright colours and bold patterns are integral to your signature style. And there are plenty of bags of this ilk to choose from in 2023, too. Browse 2023’s designer-handbag line-up to find your forever bag from the latest creations at Bottega Veneta and Celine to the new brands making their luxury-arm candy debuts.
The Louis Vuitton M81979 LV LVxYK Nano Speedy Bag is a stylish and functional accessory that boasts a unique monogram coated canvas with 3D Painted Dots print, measuring 6.3 x 3.9 x 3 inches (length x Height x Width). The bag features natural cowhide-leather trim, printed cotton lining, and gold-color hardware, as well as an inside LVxYK signature. It also comes with a zipped closure and a removable, adjustable strap with a drop range of 17.9 to 23.2 inches, allowing for versatile carrying options. The bag’s chain is Z01 and it has a double handle. This bag is perfect for anyone looking to elevate their fashion game.
The Celine 199992 BOX TRIOMPHE Bag in Triomphe Canvas and Tan Calfskin is an elegant and versatile accessory that measures 9 x 5 x 2 inches (22 x 13.5 x 6 cm). The bag features a combination of luxury materials, including Triomphe canvas and trimmings in calfskin, with lambskin lining and gold finishing for a sleek look. It can be carried by hand, shoulder, or cross-body thanks to its removable leather strap with a drop of 19 inches (47 cm) and leather handle with a 4-inch (9 cm) drop. The metallic Triomphe closure adds a touch of sophistication to the bag’s one main compartment and inner flat pocket. This bag is the perfect addition to any wardrobe looking to add timeless style.
The Saint Laurent 733667 YSL GABY Chain Pouch in White Quilted Lambskin is a stylish and practical accessory. This Gaby zipped pouch is adorned with the iconic Cassandre and carré-quilted overstitching, resulting in a high-end, designer look. The bag features a combination of materials, including 80% lambskin and 20% brass, with light bronze-toned metal hardware and leather lining. Measuring at 9 x 13 x 3.5 cm (3.5 x 5.1 x 1.1 inches), it is the perfect size to hold all your essentials. The adjustable strap has a drop of 57 cm, providing versatility for shoulder or cross-body wear. This White Quilted Lambskin Chain Pouch is a must-have for any fashion-forward wardrobe.
The Christian Dior M0540 Lady D-Joy Bag in Red Cannage Lambskin is an elegant and functional accessory. The bag features a removable chain strap and a removable and adjustable leather shoulder strap, providing multiple carry options. A dust bag is included to help protect the bag when not in use. With dimensions of 26 x 13.5 x 5 cm (10 x 5.5 x 2 inches), it is the perfect size to hold an iPhone and other essentials comfortably. The bag is crafted from high-quality red cannage lambskin, adding a touch of sophistication to any outfit. The Christian Dior M0540 Lady D-Joy Bag is a chic addition to any stylish woman’s wardrobe.
The Gucci 588351 Globe-Trotter GG beauty case in GG Psychedelic Supreme canvas combines quintessential British style with Gucci’s signature design elements. Designed as part of a special collaboration with the luxury travel lifestyle brand, Globe-Trotter, this beauty case was showcased on the Fall Winter 2018 runway. The beauty case features a brown leather trim and palladium-toned hardware that accentuates its unique look. Its red cotton linen lining and lock closure enhance both security and aesthetics. Equipped with a bamboo handle and detachable strap, the beauty case can be carried by hand or worn over the shoulder, making it convenient for travelers. With a capacity of 2.9L and dimensions of 9.5″W x 9″H x 4.5″D, this GG beauty case is perfect for makeup, toiletries, and other travel essentials.
The Loewe XS Military messenger bag is crafted out of supple smooth calfskin and jacquard, providing a sleek look. It is designed for shoulder or crossbody carry with an adjustable strap that has a metal slider to customize the fit. The bag features a magnetic closure that makes it easy to access your belongings while maintaining security. It comes with an internal slip pocket that allows you to organize your essentials. The herringbone cotton canvas lining adds durability to the design. The metallic palladium tone hardware completes the style with sophistication. It weighs 0.53 kg and measures 18cm x 23cm x 9cm (7.1″ x 9.1″ x 3.5″), making it ideal for everyday use and travel.