The fashion industry can place a lot of weight on newness, with a constant quest for the next It thing, the next big designer, and the trend we’ll be wearing in six, 12 or 18 months’ time. We are, however, seeing a shift in how we think about shopping, with an emphasis on longevity and wearability over viral pieces. Building a wardrobe of classics can offer a more sustainable approach to fashion.
This is why we spend much our time highlighting the items we think will always rise high above trends, making them the perfect pieces to invest in and add to your capsule wardrobes. We’ve already covered the best basics (think leather jackets, trench coats, Breton T-shirts, little black dresses and white shirts), and next up we’re giving you a rundown on the classic designer bags that will always be in style.
A designer handbag is a big purchase, as they tend to cost £800+ when you’re dealing with brands like Gucci and Loewe. This means you want to be sure you choose a bag you’ll love and treasure forever—one that’s not only practical but will slot within your existing wardrobe, and certainly won’t be passé in a year or two. If you’re in the position to invest in a designer bag, you’ll probably want to put some thought into this decision. Below we have done the research for you and identified twelve classic bags that have only become more and more popular with age. There are bags that were created over 100 years ago and some that are just a few years old, but they’re all modern classics that will always be considered the height of chic.
The clue is in the name when it comes to Gucci’s newly iconic shoulder bag. Simple yet refined, the horsebit detailing is a signature code of the label’s that dates back to the 50s. So you can be confident that this handbag is a timeless one.
There has been a lot of change in the overall aesthetic at Celine over the years, but one thing that has remained constant is the classic satchel-style Triomphe bag, which continues to be produced in an array of sizes, fabrications and colours thanks to its ongoing popularity. A clear indication that this shoulder bag is resistant to passing trends.
The A.P.C. half-moon bag is a classic saddle bag that is one of the most timeless minimal pieces. It’s so simple that this crossbody will go with every outfit.
JW Anderson has turned Loewe’s handbag department into a greatest hits collection, but it’s arguably the Puzzle bag that will be his real legacy. This has a soft yet structural silhouette, with multiple straps so that it can double up as a top-handle, shoulder or crossbody bag, and it now comes in dozens of colours and textures.
Acne creates timeless, elevated basics, so it’s not surprising the Scandi brand has a handbag on this list, even though it was only launched several years ago. The knot detail on the side of the bucket bag is a distinctive touch to this otherwise simple style.
The Chanel 2.55 is the brand’s original quilted flap bag and arguably the most famous bag in the world. It was the very first shoulder bag when it was created in 1955 and remains one of the label’s most popular styles. When Karl Lagerfeld arrived at the label in 1983 he reinterpreted the 2.55, adding the double CC logo to create the 11.12 Classic Handbag that has become almost as iconic.
If you’ve got your heart set on a Bottega Veneta handbag, but are unsure which style will prove the most timeless, opt for one of their beautiful Intreciato leather styles. The woven pattern has been a house signature since the ’70s, so it’s not only iconic but it’s already stood the test of time.
It doesn’t really matter which particular style you choose here— if it’s black with a gold YSL logo emblazoned on the front, it’s instantly iconic. Classy and timeless, a YSL logo bag is undoubtedly a great investment.
The New York Times has called this Prada’s ‘most iconic bag’ which should tell you all you need to know about this perfect accessory. First released in 2007, it’s still the first choice of editors and influencers alike and will be for many years to come.
This story was published at an earlier time and has since been updated.