Just like glittering diamond jewelry, or a fancy new sports car, a well-made designer handbag is an investment. Often fashioned by hand and using only the highest quality materials, an authentic designer bag is made to last a lifetime when lovingly cared for. What makes these handbags so special extends far beyond just excellent craftsmanship. Many are limited edition pieces, produced only in small batches for the lucky few to get their hands on. Similarly, some handbags have achieved icon status, elevating their value to astronomical heights. From the timeless designs of Chanel, to the stylish edge of Gucci, the following are our favorite classic designer bags to add to your collection.
Chanel Classic Flap Bag
It’s impossible to talk designer handbags without discussing Chanel, particularly the beloved Classic Flap bag. While the Chanel 2.55 is the original Chanel shoulder bag, the Classic Flap was conceived by Karl Lagerfeld in 1980, inspired by Coco Chanel’s original design. Boasting Chanel’s signature quilted pattern, interlocking logo, and shoulder straps interlaced with leather, the Classic Flap is instantly recognizable on the arm. It’s considered to be one of the most highly collectible handbags, with some sites reporting a nearly 70 percent jump in value, in just the last decade. With a variety of sizes and colors to choose from, there’s a Chanel Classic Flap bag to suit any style or occasion.
Fendi Baguette Bag
Popularized by the hit television series, Sex and the City, the Fendi Baguette was the “it” bag of the late 1990s. The small, slender design of the bag was very different from the oversized styles that were popular at the time. In fact, fellow Fendi colleagues initially expressed concern when designer Silvia Venturini Fendi pitched the concept. Luckily, it turned out to be a mega hit. To give the baguette bag a distinct twist, Fendi incorporated unusual patterns and colors, including flashy sequins and furry logos. It wasn’t long before everyone was rushing to score a Fendi Baguette bag for themselves. Indeed, the handbag created so much buzz that it became the first to ever produce a waiting list at department stores.
While not exactly your average handbag, the Dior Saddle Bag has been making waves since the late nineties. This kidney shaped bag was conceived by renowned designer John Galliano, and launched into super-stardom after appearing on an episode of Sex and the City. It wasn’t long before every “it” girl of the moment was wearing a Dior Saddle Bag on her arm. Fast forward to today, the Saddle Bag is once again in the spotlight, and has been re-imagined for modern fashionistas. Available in a range of colors and prints, the Dior Saddle Bag is an excellent choice for adding a touch of the unusual to your wardrobe.
Hermès Kelly Bag
When it comes to iconic handbags, it’s a tough toss-up between the Hermès Kelly and Birkin bags. And while both are without a doubt investment worthy, the Kelly bag stands out as the ultra-refined, sophisticated alternative to its more casual counterpart. The bag was named after Hollywood starlet and Princess of Monaco, Grace Kelly, who famously used the bag to hide her pregnancy from the paparazzi. The Hermès Kelly Bag features a clean, structured silhouette that adds instant elegance to any outfit. Each bag is handcrafted by a highly skilled artisan, a process that can take up to 25 hours from start to finish. With such attention to detail, it’s no wonder these handbags garner so much interest and demand. Though, most shoppers find the hefty price tag to be a worthwhile investment, as both the Hermès Kelly and Birkin bags are known to retain their value.
Saint Laurent Monogram Bag
Searching for a fierce, edgy handbag to complement your punk rock style? Look no further than a Saint Laurent Monogram shoulder bag. The sleek, slender design of this handbag is ideal for an evening out, and pairs beautifully with a little black dress. The bag’s bold, metallic hardware celebrates the brand’s heritage and namesake, as one of the only items to still carry the “Yves” of Yves Saint Laurent. Though the luxury fashion house officially changed its name in 2012, it has retained its signature monogram as a nod to the legacy of its founder.
Louis Vuitton Neverfull Tote
Few classic designer bags are as versatile and dependable as the Louis Vuitton Neverfull tote. It can easily be worn to work, as a travel tote, or even an everyday carry-all. Despite being one of Louis Vuitton’s youngest designs, the Neverfull tote has become an undeniable best-seller. This bag can truly fit everything but the kitchen sink, hence the name Neverfull. In fact, the Neverfull GM (grand modèle) is said to withstand up to 200 pounds of weight. As if that weren’t enough to impress, the Neverfull’s resale price has been steadily rising since about 2012, positioning the bag as a true classic.
Prada Galleria Handbag
The Prada Galleria bag is one of the most classic handbags of all time, epitomizing luxury and timelessness. The bag is often called the Saffiano Lux, a name that refers to the unique type of leather used in its construction. Saffiano leather was first created and patented by brand founder, Mario Prada, and is designed to be scratch-resistant and water-resistant, meaning the Galleria bag is about as durable as they come. If you’re a go-getter that’s always on the move, you can’t go wrong with the Galleria handbag. It will withstand everyday wear and tear with ease, so you’ll feel polished and put together, no matter what life throws your way.
Gucci GG Marmont Quilted Cross-Body
Cross-body handbags are a top choice for no-fuss ladies who seek the best of both fashion and function. And few cross-body bags rival the style and luxury of the Gucci GG Marmont quilted handbag. The Marmont collection is fairly new to the Gucci line of handbags, though it surely holds up against these other contenders. Gucci seems to have found the perfect balance, with designs that are artfully feminine, while still pushing the boundaries of fashion. The Marmont collection features leather chevron quilting, brass chain shoulder straps, and a bold GG logo that’s impossible to mistake. The bag is available in a range of vibrant colors, patterns, and textures. Our personal favorite is the soft velvet shoulder bag, which looks as rich and luxurious as it feels.
Dior Lady Dior Handbag
First unveiled in the mid-1990s, Christian Dior’s Lady Dior handbag became an instant sensation. Originally called the Chouchou, the bag was later renamed in honor of Lady Diana Spencer, who famously owned every available version. With her celebrity endorsement, and the bag’s exquisite detail, the Lady Dior was destined to be a classic. The Lady Dior features an intricately stitched quilt pattern, inspired by Napoleon III’s chairs, which were used to seat guests at Dior’s runway shows. The adorable charms that spell out Dior are the perfect finishing touch to this lovely, feminine handbag. And, like the Fendi Baguette bag, this classic designer handbag is making a considerable comeback. There’s never been a better time to invest in a Lady Dior for yourself!
Find the Best Deals on Designer Handbags in San Diego
Ready to splurge on a classic designer bag for your collection? Then you must visit Leo Hamel Boutique & Consignment Shop in San Diego! Our upscale consignment boutique boasts a wonderful selection of stunning, pre-loved designer handbags, from the brand names you know and love. All items are thoroughly evaluated for authenticity before reaching our shelves, so you can be confident you’re getting genuine designer fashion for the right price. Revive your wardrobe, and invest in something that lasts with a timeless designer handbag from Leo’s!
*All images courtesy of Evening Standard