This was the decade of the it bag. I don’t mean to say that there weren’t iconic bags before – the term “it bag” was coined in the ‘90s! And there were many (yes, Dior is on this list twice – no, I won’t apologize). Which of these styles did you carry?
I was all about my Prada backpack in the ‘90s and I was not the only one! There’s nothing like the original (at Saks Fifth Avenue for $795), but if you’re looking to save on a nylon backpack, Marc by Marc Jacobs has a more structured version (on Shopbop for $248) that will get you to and from class looking just as chic.
Lady Dior Bag
The Lady Dior bag was made famous by another Lady – Lady Di (or Princess Di, I should say!). She began carrying it to high-profile events after the First Lady of France gifted it to her in 1995. Dior now sells the bag in a variety of sizes and materials varying from leather to croc to tweed. For a somewhat less expensive alternative, check out Patricia Al’Kary’s strikingly similar piece (on Luisa via Roma for $1,104).
Gucci Horsebit Bags
The ‘90s was the era of Tom Ford at Gucci and YSL. While the horsebit has been around since the ‘50s, my boyfriend’s work as creative director brought Gucci to the top of its game (he bolstered sales by 90% between 1995 and 1996 alone!). Get the signature hardware with the signature GG canvas on the Emily hobo (at Neiman Marcus for $1,390) or go modern with the candy-colored patent clutch (at Neiman Marcus for $850).
Longchamp Le Pliage Tote
The Le Pliage (at Bloomingdale’s for $125) has built up a massive following thanks to its convenient foldable structure. Everyone from Duchess Kate to Kate the Great has been spotted with the leather trimmed nylon tote since its release in 1993. MICHAEL Michael Kors has a more wallet-friendly version (at Nordstrom for $98), though it’s not foldable. If that was the draw for you, you might as well go for the Longchamp.
Dior Saddle Bag
John Galliano’s Saddle bag was a serious hit when it came out in 1999 (it had the Carrie Bradshaw seal of approval). Its time in the spotlight came to an end relatively quickly, though – Dior no longer sells the bag. Get a fresh take on its saddle shape with Chloé’s Marcie satchel (at Neiman Marcus for $775).
Silvia Fendi dreamed up the Baguette (named after the idea that it must be carried under your arm like a loaf of French bread) as the antithesis of ‘90s minimalism. The it bag (at Saks Fifth Avenue for $2,680) – another Sex and the City fave – is available in virtually every color, material, and pattern imaginable. Fendi even lets you customize your own! While there’s really no comparison, you can get the shape for a frugal price with Longchamp’s patterned shoulder bag (at Bloomingdale’s for $255).