True classics never go out of style. These iconic designer bags from the following major fashion houses are the perfect embodiment of the traditional exquisite craftsmanship and outstanding quality of the brands. Let’s learn about the extraordinary charm of these masterpieces.
Dating back to the ’60s, Gucci’s signature Jackie 1961 hobo bag caught the eye of trendsetters around the world with its elegant curved shape and its unique piston closure.
Fast forward to 2021, the bag is still well-loved by many for its recognisable silhouette and its timeless appeal that pairs perfectly well with looks that run the gamut from the smartly tailored to grunge. Whether you’re out running errands or you’re meeting up with the girls for a night out, this contemporary classic is the consummate accessory for a modern lifestyle.
Of course, it also comes as no surprise that the Jackie 1961 bag is also offered in a slew of different colourways and various leather options. Think – buttery blacks to luscious reds, and not forgetting the version which sees the bag in jacquard denim too — the options are aplenty. And that’s not all, the new reinterpretations also come with longer, removable shoulder straps, making it more adaptable and practical for our everyday wear — delivering more flexibility that accommodates to our fast-paced lifestyles.
No surprises here — if there’s one covetable bag that any have dreamed of owning in their lifetime, it’d have to be the Hermes Kelly. The iconic handbag made its first debut back in 1892 that was large enough to fit a horse saddle, and convenient enough to be carried everywhere. But in 1935, the bag took on a more petite shape and was deemed a bag for the wealthy.
The Hermes Kelly is a classic, and even as one bag alone, can elevate your whole collection. It can be an everyday go-to or brought out for special occasions. Due to its desirability, the Kelly as an investment can hold its value just as well as a Birkin.
Designed in 2009 by the third-generation heir of the Fendi family Silvia Venturini Fendi, the Peekaboo bag is named after the popular childhood game of hide and seek.
The exterior of the bag looks elegant and dignified, but the interior is cute and fun just like its name. Over the years, the brand has come out with a series of Peekaboo bags in various shapes and designs, such as Peekaboo Essential, Peekaboo Essentially, Peekaboo X-Lite etc, and they have added all kinds of different elements such as new materials, sizes and various accessories like straps and furball keychains, to keep the bag fresh and interesting.
For Fall Winter 2020, the brand will launch an all-new Peekaboo ISeeU bag that is shaped like an Accordion fold, and will “smile” as soon as the bag lid is opened. There will be a total of three sizes, and amongst them, the medium sized bag will have a removable inner pocket which you can customise by printing your initials on the sheepskin leather.
Since French designer Hedi Slimane took over as Celine’s artistic director in 2018, he has shaken things up at the brand.
The Celine Triomphe bag was one of the first bags that he launched during the Spring Summer 2019 collection. Although it has only been on the market for a year, it has become one of the classic bags of the new generation.
The shape of the bag is simple and elegant, with a key feature being the double-C metallic hardware clasp, which was modified from brand creator Celine Vipiana’s creation, the Blazon Chaine metallic clasp.
The motif was inspired by the iron chain around the Parisian landmark, Arc de Triomphe, because the double C symbol on the chain looked similar to the C of the brand.
The Triomphe bag has since been released in various colours and materials, and although its small in size, it is still a practical and versatile choice for formal occasions or day-to-day wear. It is also a trendy bag that is popular among celebrities.
Created in 1994, the Lady Dior bag is designed by then-artistic director Gianfranco Ferre, who was inspired by high fashion, and at the beginning only had an unofficial name “Chouchou” which is a French affectionate nickname given to someone you love.
The handbag was officially named Lady Dior in 1996, in homage to Princess Diana who adored the bag and would flaunt her collection at various events.
Each step of the bag-making process must be done precisely and accurately. During the bag assembly process, specially-made adjustable wooden moulds will be used to ensure that each bag is of the exact same shape and quality.
The Lady Dior bag has constantly been reinvented, and you can also customise your very own Lady Dior through the ABCDior personalisation service.
The brand also started the Lady Dior Artist collaboration project, which invites artists to re-imagine the Lady Dior bag and turn it into a beautiful work of art.
A bag that changed the history of women handbags, the Chanel 2.55 bag was born in February 1955, and was designed by the French luxury brand’s founder Gabrielle Chanel.
The flat metal chain that was used on the original bags and the logo-free metal swivel on the front of the bag flap is also known as the “Mademoiselle Lock”. Inspired by Ms. Chanel’s favourite equestrian sport, the quilted texture of the bag has since become one of the iconic features of the brand.
A series of processes is required to construct the 2.55 model. Except for the cutting of the leather and lining which is done by a machine, it takes six workers 10 hours a day to complete all 180 steps by hand to complete a bag.
During Fall Winter 2020 season, the brand’s artistic director Virginia Veard ingeniously incorporated the coarse tweed fabric from the Ready-To-Wear collection into the 2.55 handbag design.
Louis Vuitton opened his first store on Capucines Avenue in 1854, which is how the elegant and timeless Capucines handbag series got its name. Since its launch in 2013, it has rapidly become one of the classic designs of the brand.
This sophisticated and refined bag, which takes more than 250 individual handcrafted operations and numerous detailed steps to complete, is definitely one of the bags that showcases Louis Vuitton’s craftsmanship in its entirety.
One of the most important processes is the leather edging technique. The leather goes through a four-step process to create a slightly rounded profile, after which a custom-blended colour will be applied. It is then air-dried and dried again at 46 degrees Celsius. This not only allows the rim to be beautifully curved, it also makes the bag more resilient.
In an era where machines are replacing manual work, the Capucines series still uses a traditional technique called filetage to make the leather on the inside and cover of the bag more sturdy. Because of the special way it is made, only highly-experienced craftsmen can execute this technique well.
Since 2013, the Capucines bags have been released in a wide range of colours and special materials to give customers more variety.
The matlasse motif is iconic to the Miu Miu brand.
Most of their wrinkled leather handbags are made of extremely soft top-grade sheepskin. Gentle and elegant, it is soft to the touch like a sponge, and stylish at the same time.
During the Fall Winter 2020 season, the new Miu Belle handbag was introduced and its craftsmanship and design combines many of the brand’s most distinctive and iconic elements.
The body is constructed with the classic matlasse leather, and a polished metal frame and glossy black hooks are used as decorative elements for the playful cloud-shaped Miu Belle bag.
The new handbags are available in a wide range of seasonal and classic colours.
The large-sized bags are fitted with tubular leather handles and removable shoulder straps, while the small handbags are portable and can be fitted with long chain straps that matches well with everyday casual attire or formal wear.
Rivets have always given people a rock-and-roll and street vibe, but Valentino has managed to blend them into high-fashion, presenting a unique style that is a perfect embodiment of rock and elegance which is now the brand’s signature element.
In addition to the classic Rockstud series, the Rockstud Spike handbag, which made its debut in the winter of 2016, is also designed with rivets, and quickly became a best-selling style.
Created by creative director Pierre Paolo Piccoli, the handbag is a classic rectangular shape made of fine leather with a diamond pattern created by a craftsman’s skilful quilting technique. You can carry it on a chain or hand-carry it.
Since its launch, the series has also added new design elements such as materials, colours, and prints to make the bag more visually interesting. For the brand’s Spring Summer 2020 collection, the Rockstud Spike handbags have been given a makeover and now sport bright fluorescent colours, adding even more character to the bag.
This year, the Givency Antigona handbag celebrates its tenth anniversary.
The bag is designed by Riccardo Tisci, and first made its debut in the brand’s Fall Winter 2010 collection. It is inspired by the tragic story of Greek mythical heroine Antigone and her persevering spirit.
This classic structured boston bag with its elegant simplicity is built on the premise of clean and minimalistic design. To celebrate the Antigona’s 10th anniversary, the brand has given the bag a softer and more relaxed look through the release of the new Antigona Soft series.
The new bag is made from slouchy leather but it retains the unique outline and triangular leather details of the original Antigona bag. Its fluidity and delicate texture has softened the rigidness of the original design, giving it a more relaxed and casual feel.
This article was first published on ICON and is translated by Valerie Toh.