Discoverha 10 Classic Designer Handbags to Treasure for a Lifetime fashion accessories, but investments to treasure for a lifetime. From iconic names like Chanel and Hermès to classics like Louis Vuitton and Gucci, these luxury bags transcend trends and remain symbols of enduring style and sophistication.
Explore the luxury handbag landscape with these 10 curated pieces from classic designers that are destined to stand the test of time. Be it the iconic Chanel Flap Bag or the one-and-only Hermès Birkin, each handbag shrieks craftsmanship, elegance, and eternal charm. Invest in these timeless treasures and elevate your wardrobe with pieces that will be as elegant and fashionable years from now.
10 Classic Designer Handbags to Treasure for a Lifetime
Chanel 2.55 Flap Bag
One of the best and most easily recognizable classic designer handbags of all time, Chanel 2.55 is named after the month and year of its creation. The House of Chanel always defined grandeur and allure at its best with founder Coco Chanel leaving her high-fashion legacy as an endless reference for style. Named after the month and year of its creation (February 1955), Chanel 2.55 Flap Bag was released by Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel herself, who commenced a handbag revolution that finally enabled women to carry their glamorous storage units hands-free.
Gucci Jackie 1961 Small Shoulder Bag
Renamed after US First Lady Jackie Kennedy in 1961, this classic designer handbag was first introduced in the 1950s as the Constance. In the 60s, this distinctive curved half-moon hobo bag was much loved by First Lady Jackie Kennedy Onassis and she also used it to shield herself from paparazzi. Just as famous photographs of her sporting this slouchy Gucci asset started circulating amongst the press, the bag’s popularity catapulted to a new dimension altogether.
Prada Nylon Backpack
Many of the ’90s supermodels love the Prada Nylon Backpack. This one was a staple in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Spotted on sporty fashionistas, the classic silhouette added an athleisure vibe, which wasn’t even a thing yet, to every ensemble.
Launched in 1984 by Miuccia Prada, this icon paved the way for Prada’s signature use of industrial-weight nylon, also used in Army tents, in its accessories. While high-end handbags focused on elegance, this cult item was more about an effortless casual look and was also found being carried by many 90s supermodels. Even today it’s cherished for its highly functional interior and suitable-for-work design. And, it is Kourtney Kardashian approved. Do we need to say more?
Price: S$3,200 (approx. THB84,978)
The Fendi Baguette was launched in 1997. This one totally fits a brunch nearby aesthetic. If there was one bag that Carrie Bradshaw was more loyal to it was the cute Fendi Baguette. In one episode of the show Sex and the City, while Bradshaw is getting robbed, she indignantly informs the mugger that her purple sequinned Fendi is not simply a bag, “It’s a Baguette.”
Louis Vuitton Speedy
The signature model of the Speedy is now available in a variety of sizes and colours. Since its inception in the 1930s, Louis Vuitton’s monogram printed bag has redefined everyday style with great elegance and comfort. Once touted by fashion icon Aubrey Hepburn, the Speedy 25 soon acquired iconic status. First launched as similarly shaped but a larger Keepall in sizes 30cm, 35cm and 40cm respectively, LV soon introduced a compact version customised to Hepburn’s preference and the growing consumer demand.
The Hermès Birkin is said to be a better investment than stocks or gold. Birkin’s breakthrough moment in pop culture took place with an appearance in Sex and the City (2001). Since then, the bags have dominated fashion magazines and graced the arms of the likes of Victoria Beckham, Lindsey Lohan and Melania Trump.
This status symbol was inspired by and created for an English-French supermodel, singer and actress Jane Birkin in the 1980s. It all started in 1981 when she had a chance to share a flight with Hermès Chief Executive Officer Jean-Louis Dumas. Noticing her struggle and frustration of not being able to fit all her stuff in a bag, he sought to design the perfect carryall bag. Three years later, Birkin, the bag, happened.
Since its 1984 launch, the prices have been increasing 14.2 per cent per year on average. This bag is said to be a better investment than stocks or gold. Its production is also tightly controlled to add an unobtainable element to an already limited edition. With a collection that’s available in different leathers, sizes and colours, the fashion elite is unmissable because of its top flap over buckle loops. Each piece also comes with its specific number-coded locks and keys.
Lady Dior by Christian Dior
Before being renamed as Lady Dior, the bag was originally known as ‘Chouchou’, which means favourite in French. An instant favourite of one of the most photographed women in the world, this one takes the top spot as one of the most recognised and classic Dior handbag designs. Gifted to Princess Diana in 1955 by First Lady of France Bernadette Chirac, a signature topstitched ‘Cannage’ motif in a diamond pattern forms the identity of this timeless product. It is said to be inspired by the cane work of Napoleon III’s chairs on which guests would sit at Dior’s haute couture shows.
This plush quilted leather classic with complementary metal alphabet charms in a rich gold tone became an immediate hit. Originally introduced as ‘Chouchou’, which means favourite in French, it was renamed as Lady Dior in honour of the Princess of Wales and remains the brand’s one of the most coveted pieces ever. Many reinterpretations have been introduced in an array of sizes, colours, materials and one of them has even evolved into an art project.
Longchamp Le Pliage
Many renowned women like Kate Middleton, Alexa Chung and Miley Cyrus have been seen carrying Le Pliage. Le Pliage in French means ‘folding’ which is in sync with the bag’s envelope-like trapezoidal shape. Inspired by the Japanese art of Origami, this lightweight and durable tote was designed by the son of Longchamp founder, Philippe Cassegrain. It is available in a range of prints and colours reimagined in over 150 varieties.
The Motorcycle was a favourite of many ‘It’ girls of the 2000s. Launched in 2001, this Balenciaga bag quickly became a hit as it attracted of the decade’s most influential style mavens and celebrities. The style inspired by a motorcycle jacket with its zip detailing and studs came into being at the hands of the then creative director Nicolas Ghesquière and originally execs didn’t think it would work. Their minds changed when model Kate Moss requested one from Ghesquière after a show.
Celine Medium Classic Bag
Durable, versatile and flawless, Celine handbags are a classic wardrobe staple. The aftermath of the Phoebe Philo era witnessed the rise of the Medium Classic Bag. The calfskin leather of this box bag holds up beautifully and effortlessly symbolises luxury.