Some bags are market investments, and some are ubiquitous. Then there are a number of bags that are both investment-grade and pervasive. Bags aren’t necessarily born that way; it takes time and plenty of popularity for bags to become omnipresent, but once they do, there’s really no going back. And it also seems there’s no disappearing! Here are 10 bags that just won’t go away:
1. Céline Luggage Tote: I was one of the first to jump on this bandwagon. My Luggage tote was an original leopard version with a metal closure instead of the zipper, and I also collected a few mini variations in bright colors. I tired of the weight and style quickly, however. The fact that the combination of the zipper pocket and handle details made the front of the bag look like a manic clown face mocking me was ultimately too disturbing to overlook. Not to mention it was soon on the arm of every.single.blogger on Instagram. But not everyone agrees with me. Demand for this bag is still at full tilt.
Céline doesn’t allow their bags to be sold online, so you’ll have to contact customer service via their site, get yours in person at Barneys or get a used one from Fashionphile. Available in mini-sized smooth black leather, $3,095, and micro-sized drummed red calfskin, $2,695.
2. Givenchy Antigona Leather Satchel: Relatively simple in design and easy to use, this is another bag of which I owned many incarnations. I collected it in croc-stamped leather, smooth calfskin, and miniature forms, to name a few. For a long time, it remained an editor favorite, but as it happens, too much exposure can kill a bag. That’s when I got rid of all of mine. Needless to say, it needs to go away.
3. Hermès Birkin: One can viably argue that this is the most ubiquitous bag of all time, but at the same time, it remains easily the most desirable – and difficult to obtain. The fact that Hermès controls the number of Birkins sold ensures it remains an attractive bag to collectors, myself included. It’s reaped many “inspired” shapes, like the Luggage tote (I always say all bag roads lead to Hermès). And the fact that it’s still 100% handmade by skilled craftsmen (and women), guaranteeing uncompromised quality, makes it a bag I’m happy won’t go away.
The investment value is also better than any other bag in the world. A Birkin that cost $4,800 in 2002 is now $11,000 (much more in the secondary market, even for used). This is a better performance than that of most stocks, not to mention the pleasure value it delivers. What other investment can you enjoy and wear each day?! Togo Birkin 35 in orange, $12,500, and Taurillon Clemence Birkin 35 in Bleu Thalassa, $9,750, on Fashionphile.
4. Chanel Classic Flap Bag: Here’s another obvious classic that pleases grandmothers and granddaughters alike. The chain-strapped flap bag is one of the most copied and mimicked styles in the history of bags. There are infinite iterations out there, but there’s only one Chanel. Keep this bag. It’s genuinely timeless and it won’t increase as much as the Birkin if you were to resell it, but it will hold its value in the long run. Quilted medium double-flap lambskin bag, $4,295, and perforated flap bag, $1,395, and on Fashionphile.
5. Rebecca Minkoff MAC Crossbody Bag: Compared to the others on the list, this one is fairly new (and significantly more frugally-priced), but it must be mentioned. This single little bag built Rebecca Minkoff’s brand and continues to be a cash cow to this day. I’m lukewarm about the MAC, as I think Rebecca has better bag shapes of late. Still, it’s become iconic for the brand and the masses seem to still love it. In black, $295, on Revolve Clothing, and bright fuchsia, $195, on Shopbop.
6. 3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli Mini Satchel: There’s nothing bad to say about this bag – it’s cute, spunky, and asserted Phillip Lim as a uniquely-minded force in the realm of accessories. I don’t mind anything about it, except perhaps the fact that it still manages to be everywhere. In taupe or black for $695 on Shopbop.
7. Fendi Baguette: Thanks to Carrie Bradshaw, this is one of my all-time favorite bag styles. I even got into the micro Baguette Monster bag this past year, and I use it all the time. It holds more than any other micro-mini bag I own and when traveling, it doesn’t count as a bag, so I keep my iPhone and ID or passport in it for easy access, rather than digging into my large travel tote. The recent reboot of the Baguette was met with popular approval, so don’t give up on this yet! Micro black leather Baguette, $1,100, on My Theresa, and micro rabbit fur, fox fur, and leather Baguette, $1,550, at Saks Fifth Avenue.
8. Bottega Veneta Cabat Tote: Oversized and especially wide in silhouette, I never got into this bag. In my opinion, Bottega has lots of better styles. Maybe it’s the hardware-free sense of ease that keeps consumers coming back for more. The Cabat remains to be the one bag women still request from the brand year after year. In large PVC, $2,850, and medium intrecciato, $2,250, on The RealReal.
9. Chloé Marcie Satchel: This one bag may have singlehandedly revamped the entire Chloé brand. I don’t mind the Marcie, and I appreciate the creative ways they continue to refresh and revitalize it. As much of a crowd-pleaser as it is, it’s still not an investment bag and yet definitely on top of the ubiquitous list. In medium tan, $2,262, on Saks Fifth Avenue, and in multiple shades, $1,990, at Barneys New York.
10. Valentino Rockstud Bags: It’s been a solid five years, and the Rockstud just will not go away. Entirely attractive, if somewhat played out, this style is one that I don’t mind. I would, however, like to see some of Valentino’s other great bags come into the spotlight. But supply is only determined by demand, and by the looks of ladies at the malls and airports (where I do much of my bag research), the Rockstud will live strong for seasons to come. Small leather trapeze bag, $2,005, on NET-A-PORTER and leather clutch, $1,695, at Saks Fifth Avenue.