Thinking about making your first designer bag investment? Here are the top luxury handbag brands that you should know about!
It has been said that a modern woman’s rite of passage is to have her first big girl bag purchase – we’re talking about timeless, expensive bags from luxury brands. After all, they are an investment piece.
The best thing about iconic bags from famous brands is that they can withstand the test of time since they are made from the highest possible quality materials. With the right amount of care, you can even resell them for the same price you bought them for, or even higher if it’s an exclusive bag.
A luxury handbag is the perfect accessory to top off any outfit. They can be used for work, school, or an evening out on the town. The top brands in the fashion industry come from a variety of countries and have their own unique styles that they are known for – and they are household names for a reason.
In this article, we will explore the best designer handbag brands so you can choose your next luxury bag!
What Handbag Styles Are The Most Popular?
Luxury handbags are elite fashion accessories. Whether you’re looking for the perfect bag to go with your new outfit, or you want something that will make an excellent gift for someone special in your life, it’s important to know that handbags come in a variety of styles.
“Handbag” is the umbrella term for most bag styles, but let’s break down the most popular ones:
- Shoulder bags have a long strap that’s designed to be worn over the shoulder. You can sometimes shorten the chain and wear these bags directly under your armpit as well.
- Tote bags or shopping bags have no straps and instead rely on top handles to carry them around without being slung over.
- Crossbody bags come with a very long strap that’s designed to be worn across the body.
- Top handle bags encompass multiple bag styles in one, but they have one common factor: a top handle. These bags can come with no straps, a shoulder strap or crossbody strap, and can be worn over your body, or simply hanging from your hand.
- A baguette bag is a small, compact, purse-like type of bag that can be worn under your armit, or simply hanging from your hand.
If this is your first time purchasing a designer handbag, we got you covered! Below, we’ve featured the top luxury brands where you can get the best investment bags in the fashion world today.
We also featured some cult favorites on each brand to guide you on what kind of bag style you’re looking for. And who knows, you might just find your new bag from this list of the best designer handbags!
15 Top Luxury Handbag Brands
Hermès is the king of leather goods, and definitely the most exclusive brand on this list. This top French luxury fashion and handbag brand was founded by Thierry Hermès in 1837 and is currently most famous for its leather goods and colorful scarves.
The brand’s most famous pieces include of course the highly coveted Birkin and Kelly bags, which are very hard to purchase unless you have a previous purchase history with the brand. Even then, you most likely can’t choose the color or size of your bag: you take what’s offered to you.
For this reason, if you do manage to bag either the Kelly or the Birkin directly from the store, you can immediately sell the bag for a profit. For example, in 2021, both the Kelly and the Birkin retail for around $10k depending on the size, color and leather of the bags, but the resale value is often around $20k!
While these bags are extremely expensive, it’s often said that they are better investments than the stock market. We don’t recommend getting these as your first handbags, but they’re definitely worth considering if you are a friend of luxury fashion and already own a couple of designer handbags.
You may want to try your luck in the store, but if you want to skip the games, go directly to a secondhand marketplace like Fashionphile instead.
Another iconic luxury brand would be Chanel. Chanel a French luxury fashion house founded by Coco Chanel in the early 1900s.
Its haute couture products are known for their elegance and simplicity, and while some brands are known for a specific product, Chanel is equally known for their bags, clothes, perfumes, shoes, and accessories.
Chanel handbags are incredibly chic and are totally worth every penny. In our opinion, the double C logo is the most beautiful logo among luxury fashion brands, but we may be biased.
If you’re looking for a luxury purse that will appreciate in value over time and that isn’t quite as expensive as Hermès, there’s no better bag than the Chanel classic flap.
The price of this bag (and other classic Chanel bags) increase twice a year now, so it’s better to get on the Chanel train sooner rather than later. During the health crisis, the bag’s price increased a whopping 40% in less than 2 years!
3. Louis Vuitton
Louis Vuitton is arguably one of the most famous top luxury handbag brands out there, so much that it is also the brand that has the most knockoffs and fakes in the market today.
The brand has been around since 1854 – enough to perfect the formula for the best handbags. LV handbags are extremely durable, and relatively well priced too, especially when compared to Chanel and Hermès.
Still, Louis Vuitton is one of the luxury handbag brands that does extremely well on the secondhand market, and if you hold the bags for long enough, you can even sell them for a profit.
Louis Vuitton’s bestselling handbags are often made with their monogram print, but they also produce many bags in more understated colors without the famous prints. Currently, their bestsellers include classics like the Louis Vuitton Neverfull, the Louis Vuitton Speedy, but newer bags like the Pochette Metis and the Palm Spring Mini also fly off the shelves.
4. Christian Dior
The house of Dior was founded in 1946 by French designer and businessman Christian Dior, and they’re well known for their handbags, perfumes, clothes, and accessories.
The now-iconic Lady Dior bag was a favorite of Princess Diana, so much so that Dior baptized the bag in her honor. The bag is now one of the most famous bags in fashion history, and one of Dior’s bestsellers.
In addition to this, Dior has produced quite a few hit bags in the last few years. First of all, we have to mention the beautiful Christian Dior Book Tote that is perfect for travel and thus often seen at airports on top of other luggage bags.
Then, we of course have the iconic Saddle bag which made its way back to the shelves of Dior in 2014 after Beyonce wore her vintage Saddle bag from the 90s.
The bag had been discontinued in 2000, but Beyonce had the power to bring it back and make it even more popular than before. We wonder if any other celebrity could pull off something like that – what do you think?
5. Saint Laurent
Saint Laurent, previously known as Yves Saint Laurent or just YSL, has been around since the ’60s and it’s most known for its effortlessly modern, elegant bags that have a bit of edge.
Their classic bags with the beautiful YSL logo are cult favorites, and luckily the bags are among the most affordable ones inside the world of luxury brands. You can typically find a beautiful YSL bag for under $2,000 which makes them perfect for new luxury enthusiasts.
Gucci is an Italian fashion house with a rich heritage. It was founded by Guccio Gucci in 1921, and he got his inspiration from combining British aesthetics with Italian craftsmanship.
Gucci bags these days are head turners – they are simply gorgeous and they come in a variety of styles that can cater to any aesthetic you’re going for. Like YSL, Gucci bags are actually relatively affordable, and you can find many bestselling bags retailing for under $2,000.
By far, the most popular Gucci bag of the moment is the Marmont bag, which comes in multiple sizes and color variations. In addition to this, Gucci has a couple of other “it-bags”, like the Dionysus, and the Jackie bags.
Fendi is an Italian fashion house that started as a family-run leather store in 1925. When Karl Lagerfeld arrived in 1965 to lead with his creative mind, that’s when Fendi became a global luxury powerhouse thanks to his unique designs.
Fendi bags are timeless and trendy, and it comes with an elegant heritage. Their most famous bag – the Baguette bag is a cultural icon. It was designed by Silvia Fendi in the late 1990s, and it rose to prominence when it appeared on Sex and the City.
Prada is another luxury brand that has been around for a long time: it was founded by brothers Martino and Mario Prada in the early 1900s.
While it’s relatively affordable, it’s one of the hottest designer brands of the moment, thanks to the popularity of its Re-Edition bag. In addition to this, their Galleria tote is one of the most recognizable luxury office bags there are.
Prada bags are famous for their wearability, functionality, and durability. Prada makes use of both Saffiano leather (which Mario Prada actually invented and patented in 1913) as well as nylon. Most of their bags are simple and sleek – perfect for the modern woman.
Chloé is a French luxury fashion house founded in 1952 by Gaby Again, and this brand has a knack for creating cult handbags that are a favorite by women around the world.
Chloé bags are elegant and hyper-feminine, with gorgeous colors for each bag style. Their bags have unique designs that are perfect for any season there is. In addition to this, many Chloé bags are relatively affordable, hovering around the $1,000 mark.
We personally find the Chloe Woody Tote super cute and perfect if you’re going on a tropical holiday! This is the perfect bag to bring to the beach or by the poolside.
10. Bottega Veneta
Bottega Veneta has been around for quite some time: it was originally founded in 1966 in Italy, and its name literally translates to “Venetian store”. It’s always been a brand that’s well known for its craftsmanship, quality leather goods and understated appearance, so much so that it’s refrained from using any noticeable logos on its bags.
While the brand has always been on the radar for people who want the best quality bags, it failed to become a coveted brand among regular consumers until Daniel Lee assumed the role of creative director in 2018. The rest is history: Lee gave us iconic bags such as the Pouch bag, the Cassette bag and the Jodie.
While these bags are expensive, you can rest assured that they’re built to last and made with only the highest quality materials and craftsmanship.
Celine is a French RTW and leather luxury goods brand that was founded in 1945 by Céline Vipiana. This luxury brand is known for its scents, bags, and clothes.
One thing that sets Celine apart from its competitors is that it doesn’t usually rely on logo prints, although more recently they’ve started experimenting with monograms like the Celine Triomphe Canvas Mini Vertical Bag.
Celine bags have breathtaking, stunning details that can elevate your outfit instantly.
Loewe is a brand that’s handbags are perfect for people who prefer a minimalist look and don’t fuss about logos. Founded in 1846, this Madrid-based brand gained popularity with the Spanish royalty and has always been famous for its craftsmanship and leather goods.
While many top designers now have their own versions of the straw bag, it was in fact Loewe (and Jacquemus) that first made this trend popular back in 2020. So, if you’re considering getting one, you might as well go with the OG!
While Balenciaga is perhaps more coveted for its streetwear looks and shoes, its handbags also deserve a spot on this list.
This Spanish luxury house was founded in 1919 by Christobal Balenciaga, who at the time was very highly regarded for his excellence in haute couture and elegance.
His nickname at the time was “King Of Fashion”, thanks to the brand’s innovative use of structure that had never been seen before. Even Christian Dior acknowledged that Balenciaga was a cut above the rest and referred to him as the “master of them all”.
Nowadays, Balenciaga’s look is more focused on streetwear, and it’s very popular among younger consumers. Of their bags, we dare to say that the Hourglass bag is a new classic in the making, while the City Bag is an old fashion favorite that’s seen a revival in the last few years.
Givenchy is a French luxury fashion house founded by Hubert de Givenchy in 1952, and they’re well known for their bags, accessories, and beauty products.
Givenchy’s Antigona bag is by far its best-known leather piece, and it continues to be popular among working women who need a sturdy bag that can fit a laptop. It is beautifully structured and is made with calfskin leather. Plus, it comes in a wide variety of colors.
15. Valentino Garavani
Valentino Garavani is yet another Italian luxury fashion house that was founded in the 1960s by the man himself, Valentino Garavani. Valentino Garavani is an edgy brand, as you can see from their signature studded products.
If you’re on the bolder, adventurous, playful side, then you won’t be disappointed with Valentino Garavani bags as they are full of bold colors and unique designs.
We hope you found this guide on the top luxury handbag brands helpful! If you’re still looking for more fashion inspo, check the posts down below.