You’ve done it! You have bought THE bag! So go to that hip restaurant and show off your lovely new Birkin. They will act as though they are not watching, but you know they are. It’s shallow, sure, but there’s no denying the satisfaction you feel the moment you get your hands on that shiny new toy.
In most cases, premium designer handbags will set you back a fair bit of money, but it will be well spent. Even the less expensive designer brands, like Valentino or Chloe, have outstanding craftsmanship and look even better with age than when they were new.
Therefore, it seems that these bags aren’t just bags; they’re passports to an exclusive realm! But is it rational to expect such an awesome feeling from a combination of leather, metal, and thread? Well, the meaning we give it is entirely subjective, as is the case with any work of art.
But this reliable friend will stand at your side through thick and thin. Although you will soon forget that you’re even wearing it, the excitement you felt upon first rocking your designer bag will remain forever. We believe this happens because even the highest echelons seem more approachable in the presence of such a thing. Just let us explain it a little bit more!
This is the equivalent of striking up a conversation with a handsome stranger in the checkout line at the grocery store or taking the stage to belt out your favorite tune at a karaoke bar. It’s not that bad once you give it a shot. So, think of the bag as an inanimate symbol of the friend who nudges you onward.
You will be able to bypass the phase of nervousness and go straight to having a wonderful time once you discover something that makes you feel fantastic, be it a purse. Thus, the most famous handbag brands now function as status symbols rather than just accessories.
Luxury fashion is more than merely the extravagant price tag; it’s also about prestige and reputation. To put it simply, a high-end bag can turn you into the superstar of the day. Do you know why? Confidence. You’ll have plenty of that once you don your first Louis Vuitton bag. Do you consider this statement farfetched? Think again.
Moreover, when designer items become vintage, their value can surpass the original retail price. So, you can always reckon on them as a good investment. For example, the 2.55 Chanel bag was made in 1955, and the famous Louis Vuitton Damier pattern has been around since 1888, but they still represent classic and iconic fashion.
That being said, what do you say we go shopping for some world-class purses? While there are many lovely choices, there are some asset brands that are destined to become immediate treasures.
Nevertheless, we’ve narrowed the luxury handbag market down to 25 of the top brands by taking into account their product lines, heritage, and overall value. Curious?
The perfect handbag not only allows a well-dressed woman to carry her lipgloss, phone, keys, and wallet, but it can also determine the fate of an outfit. Guess purses are highly regarded for their beauty and craftsmanship, characterized by American-style features.
The brand was started by the Marciano brothers 40 years ago, and since then it has created one-off pouches designed to take you from the desk to the wine bar and beyond.
A Guess crossbody bag in sleek black leather is a fantastic alternative for the woman on the move; for a girls’ night out, choose a red patent leather purse with metal accents; and the list can go on.
24. Michael Kors
Behind this renowned company, there is a single designer with an inherent sense of elegance and an impeccable eye for everlasting finesse. However, Michael Kors’ exceptional fashion taste first came to the notice of the general audience during his time as a juror on “Project Runaway.”
Fully committed to a concept of design that is as refined as decadent, as classic as it is trendy, Michael Kors has established an international deluxe conglomerate, praised by famous trailblazers like Kate Middleton, Selena Gomez, and Katie Holmes. Still, most of its handbags are pretty affordable, so even those of us who aren’t famous can buy them.
Longchamp is akin to French style, creative ideas, and the active lifestyles of women all over the world who appreciate a little luxury in their lives.
The Le Pliage collection of totes is among the brand’s most conspicuous items. Taking design cues from the Japanese folding paper art of origami, these bags are an exceptionally practical accessory thanks to their compact, pliable shape when not in use.
There are so many different colors and sizes available that you are bound to find one that complements all your outfits.
22. Tory Burch
American fashion designer Tory Burch debuted her eponymous line in 2005 to widespread acclaim. Her brand represents the preppy-bohemian style influenced by travel, culture, art, and the sophisticated fashion taste of Burch’s parents. Though she is small in stature, her impact has extended far beyond the Big Apple.
Tory Burch’s purses are very appreciated among celebrities like Jennifer Garner, Paris Hilton, and Gwyneth Paltrow, and it seems that everyone in the fashion industry has fallen at her feet. These handbags are a testament to their designer’s originality, luxury, and great taste, while also being incredibly practical, on-trend, and crafted of superior materials.
To put it simply, they are works of art, the essence of classy versatility, serving as the ideal accessory for any outfit, with every new collection writing a fresh chapter in the Tory Burch success story.
21. Stella McCartney
Step into the world of Stella McCartney bags and fall head over heels with a diversity of candy-colored items and seductive vegan-friendly designs. From heart-molded purses with intriguing embellishments to satin clutches, it will be utterly impossible to choose just one.
The well-known designer was poised for greatness from an early age, being the daughter of Paul McCartney, the former member of the Beatles, and American photographer Linda McCartney. Her distinctive method of precise tailoring, moral backbone, and refined air have made her brand a rising star.
Furthermore, all of her lines reflect her commitment to sustainability, which is key to the label’s identity as a socially and environmentally conscious enterprise. In 2010, Stella McCartney created the quintessential Falabella handbag, marked by a braided chain accent, which has since become one of the company’s best sellers.
20. Marc Jacobs
Throughout his immensely lucrative career, American designer Marc Jacobs has garnered a great deal of attention. However, his goals were quite obvious from the start: he was out to do things differently and ignore established norms of style. In 1997, after being let go by Perry Ellis for a collection that was deemed too edgy, he became the creative head of Louis Vuitton.
On the other hand, he never stopped working on his brand, which he had established in 1984 and eventually skyrocketed thanks to his one-of-a-kind purses. The laid-back feel of the items appeals to ladies who are unafraid to express their originality and are searching for high-end brands at more reasonable prices.
Captivating works of art, Balmain purses are a must-have. And the more closely one analyzes Olivier Rousteing’s designs, the more out of the ordinary the workmanship appears to be.
His handbags encapsulate the inventive attitude that has always distinguished the Maison while harking back to its legacy. The mastery of its craftspeople becomes obvious in a plethora of fine intricacies, including spectacular quilting, exquisite weaving, laborious embroidery, and magnificent embellishments.
With top-notch leather, meticulous accents, and rigid shapes, these bags showcase the French brand’s impeccable attention to detail. And, this season, more than ever, Balmain’s purses have ruled the streets and captured fashion’s world heart.
18. Salvatore Ferragamo
Salvatore Ferragamo emigrated from Italy and settled in Hollywood, where he built his eponymous fashion company. He quickly made a name for himself with the introduction of his now-iconic Salvatore Ferragamo shoe line after buying a boot shop. He eventually became regarded as “the shoemaker of the stars” thanks to his expert artistry and innovative ideas.
Whether you’re searching for a clutch featuring the distinctive Gancino insignia or something with a more eccentric silhouette, the high-end label has your back. Craftsmanship in the best Italian leather mixes with jaw-droppingly beautiful colors and charming designs to rethink the brand’s standards.
When it first appeared as a ready-to-wear label, Chloe was immediately identified with the free-spirited aesthetic of the Left Bank. Phoebe Philo took over in 2001, and it was during her reign that the company made its successful foray into the world of leather products when the designer conceived the first IT bag for the brand, a leather purse with a signature padlock.
As the label that women resort to for a charming, whimsical look, Chloe is recognized for merging classic and rock & roll styles. Yet, each new season’s purse has the same recurring themes: contrast stitching, rounded hardware, and bold logo stamping. So, feel free to check out the wide range of cult products and new takes on the brand’s classic designs.
Celine, the French design studio co-founded by Celine and Richard Vipiana in 1945, is highly regarded for its quintessential, minimalist style. From its small beginnings as a store in Paris that made custom shoes for kids, the company quickly expanded to include ready-to-wear, footwear, leather goods, and fragrances.
In 2008, the brand hired Phoebe Philo as its Creative Director, and throughout her tenure, it gained popularity among fashion-forward young women as an elegant alternative to larger, snazzier labels.
Celine handbags are the essence of chic simplicity and newfangled Parisian flair, with excellent craftsmanship and versatile designs. To be fair, any outfit can be dressed up or down with the touch of a Celine purse.
The year 2017 was a watershed moment in the evolution of the fashion industry, marking the beginning of a gradual blurring of the borders between subculture and the formerly impenetrable luxury sector. When many other labels rushed out to cater to millennial and Gen Z buyers, Jacquemus quietly debuted his incendiary line, “La Bomba”.
After his spectacular Spring/Summer 2018 presentation, his beloved accessories line became a phenomenon, with A-listers like Emily Ratajkowski, Kim Kardashian, Kendall Jenner, and Rihanna all sporting his miniature bags.
By honing in on his strengths, Porte Jacquemus was able to make sophisticated purses that stood in contrast to the current fashion trend, taking us back to simpler times, warmer climates, and a life free of chores and routines.
14. Dolce & Gabbana
In a Milan nightclub in the early 1980s, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana first crossed paths. Dolce, who was then employed by the label Giorgio Correggiari, facilitated Gabbana’s hiring as the designer’s aide. There, the two hit it off and, in 1985, founded their company, forever altering fashion history.
D&G’s mission is to create products that exemplify “La Dolce Vita,” as characterized by the brand’s namesake slogan. Its unashamedly glamorous bags are artworks of heirloom craftsmanship, being at once totally innovative and influenced by the Sicilian background, as well as the trademark ‘60s screen-siren ethos of the company.
They are the embodiment of all that is feminine with their flair for vivid hues, love for opulent details, and a modern edge, evoking a sensuality that will never cease to amaze.
The heritage British luxury fashion brand, which has been around since 1856 and was recently revamped by Creative Director Riccardo Tisci, has an amazing range of logo-stamped styles that combine a traditional look with a minimalist feel.
The Burberry check bag, first presented by the company in the 1970s, has been an eye-catching epitome of workmanship for generations. Today, it is not uncommon to see celebrities sporting Burberry purses, and several of them have even become the label’s official darlings. Kate Moss and Victoria Beckham, among others, are at the top of the pecking order.
With their exquisite patterns and remarkable quality, these handbags are not only a prized possession but also exude a sense of freedom from doubt when carried.
12. Alexander McQueen
Lee Alexander McQueen, a British designer famous for his extravagant and flamboyant creations, launched his namesake line in 1992. Sarah Burton, who is now in charge of creative operations, keeps up with his iconic style while also bringing her own skillset.
The company’s bags, which are inspired by McQueen’s hallmark bombast, passion, and audacity, are a must-have for any snappy dresser’s closet. Their ubiquitous skull design makes them easy to spot, allowing these purses to inject some intensity into any ensemble.
The label specializes in clutches, as their tiny designs provide the optimal backdrop for displaying its knuckle duster handle, modern silhouette, and lavish embellishments. When you have a bit extra to carry, go for a leather bucket that is robust with adjustable cross-body straps and allows for hands-free movement.
Valentino handbags are the wonderful partner you should bring to your impressive array of designer items, as well as a stunning pick for any style icon who appreciates elegance. Nonetheless, the most conspicuous Valentino purses are also the most powerful in terms of resale value.
Consider their stud themes, Rockstud, Candystud, and the more recent Roman stud, as brand masterpieces. Furthermore, even their V logo embodies the same visually powerful DNA. Therefore, we would recommend one of the Valentino classics for your first dip.
While we tend to be captivated by novelty, you should remember that they are called classics for a reason. Like most premium labels, Valentino carries their best-selling hallmarks from season to season, spanning decades and fads.
2001 was the year that forever changed America and the entire planet as well. Do you know that it is said almost any of us can remember what we were doing during that devastating day? However, let’s not get downhearted. During the very same year, Ghesquiere created a few iterations of what would become known as the Balenciaga Biker.
But the company was, to put it bluntly, not a fan of the purse. It believed it was too squishy, too gooey, and too devoid of substance. And it is true that rigid, structural posh bags, many with massive logos, hung from the arms of trendsetters at the time.
Yet when models, those fashion prophets, those first indicators of failure or success, glanced at the fringed, puffy item and inquired, “Is it vintage?”, “May I obtain one?”, everything shifted. Kate Moss herself requested a purse, and as everyone knows, when Moss endorses something, it should not be underestimated.
But Moss is not solely responsible for the rise of the purse. The bag’s swaggering nonchalance, an easy mix of refined and bohemian style, and ability to bridge the line between uptown and downtown, which was becoming less clear, all reflected the zeitgeist.
9. Bottega Veneta
The aesthetic lexicon of Bottega Veneta handbags, and the brand overall, are largely determined by what is left unstated, meaning that there is a less-is-more philosophy with no trademark logo on any product. Instead, you’ll notice the intrecciato woven leather technique, which, since we’re discussing linguistics, translates to “intertwined” in Italian.
Moreover, Bottega Veneta means “Venetian shop”, which takes us straight back to the start of the label in 1966 in Vicenza, Italy, where Michele Taddei and Renzo Zengiaro founded the company. Nevertheless, it was not a flashy, la dolce vita-style high-end manufacturer, but rather one that merely murmured luxury.
The brand’s tagline, “When your own initials are enough,” reflects the label’s minimalist approach to premium apparel, which has brought it a secret society reputation throughout the last decade or two. Vibrant yet cosmopolitan, Bottega Veneta bags are a must-have in any fashionista’s wardrobe.
Let’s get one thing straight: the inverted F in the Fendi emblem does not represent the letter F. It’s “Fun Fur,” a phrase coined by Karl Lagerfeld, the late design guru who was pivotal in bringing the label to the forefront of global fashion.
In terms of Fendi bags, however, it was Silvia Venturi Fendi who was the driving force behind the company’s most significant developments, like the Baguette or Peekaboo bags. Nowadays, fashion legends like Rihanna, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kim Kardashian have all been spotted carrying Fendi purses, which have always been on the dominant edge of the global trend.
Boasting romantic frills, distinctive stitching, psychedelic blooms with studs, and alluring snake scales, Fendi handbags are beyond any other elegant accouterments. Here, high couture meets modern art with a dash of whimsy, making these items a long-lasting venture.
7. Saint Laurent
Since its inception in the ’60s, Saint Laurent has become synonymous with a certain kind of sophistication, releasing outstanding purses over the course of several years. Originally a House of Haute Couture, the brand transformed how style and culture interacted in 1966 when it introduced high-end fashion created on a bigger scale than the elite shows.
The sustained cult-like devotion to YSL bags illustrates their excellence, creativity, and popularity, even though the brand changed several creative directors and eliminated the Y for a makeover. Yes, these premium items come with a hefty price tag, but keep in mind that they are an investment.
Oozing Parisian flair, Saint Laurent purses mix modern refinement with outstanding workmanship. The famous Sac de Jour, with its easily recognized concertina sides and padlock clasp, speaks volumes, while Monogramme clutches and messenger bags pay homage to the brand’s ‘70s peak.
When it comes to handbags, Prada is undoubtedly an authority. Since the company’s inception in 1913, whether courting stylish and refined clientele with elegant leather purses or taking the lead with edgy nylon innovations, Prada guarantees each of its bags embodies the heart and soul of one of the most highly regarded fashion houses.
After a couple of years of decline, there are compelling grounds to sling a Prada purse over your arms, given the comeback of the ‘90s and the stunning new collections. The truth is that Miuccia Prada is a designer who refuses to be boring, and the same logic applies to her handbags, with each collection distinct from the preceding one.
The first Prada nylon items were introduced in the 1970s, and this distinctive style has now become a symbol of exclusivity and style. With a design that appeals to both minimalists and socialites, Prada handbags are a source of inspiration for people who like well-defined pieces and appreciate the joy that retro purses can bring.
The year was 1897, and a guy called Guccio Gucci emigrated from Florence to London, finding employment as a bellboy at the exclusive Savoy Hotel. Helping wealthy guests with their bags gave him the skills he needed to start one of the most successful fashion companies in Italy.
In 1921, Guccio eventually opened the doors to his shop on Via Della Vigna Nuova in Florence, offering imported bags as well as items manufactured by local craftsmen, rapidly establishing his brand as an international phenomenon.
The original GG canvas diamond pattern has spanned generations ever since it was created in the mid-1960s, becoming a statement of economic power. Years later, Tom Ford was appointed Creative Director of the company, and after introducing his remarkable concepts of glamour to Gucci, sales grew by 90%. And the rest, as they say, is history.
With meticulous regard for detail and outstanding Italian workmanship at its foundation, Gucci’s range of women’s handbags offers the ultimate blend of boundary-pushing styles and timeless, understated pieces.
4. Christian Dior
To present a chronology, the house of Dior was founded in 1946 on the prestigious Avenue Montaigne in Paris, and its groundbreaking New Look collection debuted in 1947. By 1949, the brand’s haute couture confections represented more than three-quarters of France’s clothing exports, so it would not be an exaggeration to say that the world had gone nuts for Dior.
However, Marc Bohan, the designer who took over the Maison after Christian Dior’s unexpected death from a heart attack in 1957, can be credited with the development of the brand’s signature handbags, including the Lady Dior, the Saddle bag, and the Book Tote, which became a means to express oneself via fashion.
Most of the current Dior models are reinterpretations of the iconic purses made famous by celebrities such as Princess Diana, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Paris Hilton. Designed with the brand’s creativity and savoir-faire, Christian Dior bags have become a symbol of refinement and an essential part of every fashionista’s closet around the world.
The Hermes Bag is the perfect illustration of a heritage item due to its emotional significance. In 1837, Thierry Hermes launched the House as a Parisian harness manufacturer. The company’s purpose was to provide leather equestrian accessories for European aristocrats. Its focus switched in the years that followed, and its first handbag was introduced in 1922.
The Kelly, formerly known as the Sac a Depeches, debuted in 1935, followed by the Constance in 1959 and the Birkin in 1984. Since then, the high-end brand has never backed down from its commitment to excellence, which makes its bags the quintessential sin qua non.
Moreover, according to recent studies, owning a Hermes bag is a safer investment than getting gold or joining the stock market. Gold and equities can be fickle, with their values continuously growing and dropping. However, the Birkin’s worth simply increased over time. The value soared in 2001 when it grew by 25%, but it has climbed every year thereafter.
Chanel, whose given name was Gabrielle, but who became famous across the globe as Coco, was one of the most influential figures in the world of fashion, and her legacy continues in the guise of luxury handbags emblazoned with the company’s signature double-C mark.
In the almost 100 years since its founder created her first line of purses, with basic yet exquisite stitching and instantly identifiable tweeds, Chanel has become an international powerhouse. And our adoration for it shows no signs of fading, as Chanel handbags are the pinnacle of everlasting sophistication.
Much like a Burberry trench coat or a little black dress, every woman needs a classic Flap Bag from the sought-after brand. Regarded by many as the holy grail of purses, buying a Chanel for the very first time is a defining moment, one that spans generations, and, without a doubt, an investment you will never regret.
1. Louis Vuitton
At the age of 14, Louis Vuitton set off from his birthplace in the French town of Jura to begin the trip that would eventually lead him to build the bespoke trunk associated with the upscale label that bears his moniker. Little did he know that he was laying the foundation for a company that would become a household name in luxury handbags worldwide.
Therefore, carrying a Louis Vuitton purse is like having a piece of fashion history on your arm, as each one of its items achieved legendary status thanks to the brand’s iconic logo. Not only have high-end pieces like Speedy, Alma, or Neverfull preserved their widespread popularity over the years, but they have also become the IT bags of each new season.
Every famous trendsetter, from Audrey Hepburn to Jackie Kennedy, has hailed the high-end accessory for its timeless elegance, making Louis Vuitton bags the epitome of classic luxury, with designs inspired by decades of style memorabilia.
Taking a short glance at these luxury handbag brands, we can easily observe that all of them adhere to the same guiding principle: no compromises. What is fashionable must also be practical; what is innovative must also be classic; and everything, regardless of size, shape, or style, must be flawless.
- 25. Guess
- 24. Michael Kors
- 23. Longchamp
- 22. Tory Burch
- 21. Stella McCartney
- 20. Marc Jacobs
- 19. Balmain
- 18. Salvatore Ferragamo
- 17. Chloe
- 16. Celine
- 15. Jacquemus
- 14. Dolce & Gabbana
- 13. Burberry
- 12. Alexander McQueen
- 11. Valentino
- 10. Balenciaga
- 9. Bottega Veneta
- 8. Fendi
- 7. Saint Laurent
- 6. Prada
- 5. Gucci
- 4. Christian Dior
- 3. Hermes
- 2. Chanel
- 1. Louis Vuitton