With so many luxury handbag brands to choose from, finding the right one can be a challenge. There’s lots to consider about the different luxury brands and the styles they offer: does it fit my budget? Does it compliment my wardrobe? Does it fit everything I need? And if you choose the right luxury handbag and maintain it well, it can be an investment with excellent resale value, so there are many reasons to do the research before splurging out. I’m here to help you decide – keep scrolling for the 12 best luxury handbag brands and their most iconic handbags.
1. ChanelChanel is a fashion brand adored by many for decades for its timeless accessories, sensual fragrances, and elegant clothing. Gabrielle (Coco) Chanel’s brand is renowned for its classic handbags which are made to last.
The timeless Chanel 2.55 is one of the most iconic luxury bags in the World, there’s no doubt. Chanel made a bit of a stir in the market with the creation of this bag, launched in 1955. She was tired of having to carry her handbags around, so she designed one with a strap so the hands could be free for other things. Martini, anyone?
The Chanel 2.55 is a rectangular leather classic flap bag in Chanel’s signature quilted style, which has a Mademoiselle lock and a metal chain-link strap. Karl Lagerfeld later redesigned the 2.55 and launched the “Classic Flap” to include two distinct new features: a leather interwoven chain strap and a double C turn-lock.
2. HermèsHermès is a fashion house with a long history and tradition. It began in 1837 as a saddlery retailer, but then in 1922 the first leather handbags were introduced.
Hermès is famous for its outstanding craftsmanship and is owner to the most iconic It-bag in the World. Yes, I’m talking about the Birkin. This iconic bag was named after Jane Birkin in 1981 during a plane journey where she and Jean-Louis Dumas designed the bag together with a pencil on a sick-bag. And little did they know that this bag will soon become the definition of status, with millions of fashionistas around the World ready to pay thousands over retail through the pre-loved market just to get their hands on the bag.
Another worthy mention from Hermès is the Kelly Bag. Popularized by no other than the iconic Grace Kelly, the Hermès Kelly Bag features a sleek, trapezium-shaped body with a top handle and a long shoulder strap, which makes it a perfect choice for everyday. But just so you know, it’s not necessarily easier to get your hands on a Kelly. In fact, the bag is sometimes even harder to come by than the Birkin. Especially, Kelly’s in smaller sizes, like 20 and 25.
3. Louis VuittonLouis Vuitton established his brand in 1854 after working as an apprentice trunk maker for Monsieur Marechal in Paris.
If you love luxury but affordability and practicality are also important to you, Louis Vuitton might be the brand to consider. The “Speedy”, originally released in the 1930s as the Express, remains a timeless icon. This travel-friendly carry-all arrives with a rolled leather handle and an engraved, signature padlock and its unmistakable iconic silhouette. It comes in an array of different sizes with the popular and recognizable monogram print, as well as options in leather.
Other iconic Louis Vuitton bags include the Neverfull Tote with its heritage details and timeless design, with a supple monogram canvas and cowhide trim. Today this tote is a staple in every luxury lover’s collection.
4. DiorDior’s first collection debuted in 1947 and the first Dior boutique was established at 9 Counduit Street in 1954. Although Dior was founded on ideals of feminine beauty as well as timeless, classic fashion, over the years it has evolved into bold, feminist and powerful designs.
Dior’s most iconic bag is the Lady Dior, named after Princess Diana. This bag comes in various sizes and styles including all the features of Dior leather goods – soft lambskin topstitched with the iconic Cannage motif, rounded handles complete with D.i.o.r charms, as well as fully embroidered styles. The Lady Dior is the symbol of Couture elegance and refinement.
5. GucciGucci opened his first store selling leather goods on Via Vigna Nuova in Florence in 1921. Some of his early saddles and equestrian accessories featured the beginnings of the motifs which are detailed on today’s designs.
Gucci recently re-released a favorite of Princess Diana’s, the bamboo handled tote bag, first launched in 1991. Princess Diana was a style icon in the 90s and she was frequently spotted wearing this particular handbag. So, in honor of what would have been her 60th birthday, Gucci released the new Gucci Diana Bag, giving her beloved style an updated modern look. The Diana bag now comes in three different sizes and numerous materials, incl. exotics.
Another popular Gucci handbag is the Jackie, named after first lady Jackie O, with a piston-shaped closure and a half-moon, hobo-style silhouette. Love the look of these two luxury handbags but prefer a long shoulder strap? Then you might want to consider another of Gucci’s iconic bags, the Dionysus. This bag arrives in a rectangular, classic flap style with a chain shoulder strap.
6. Saint LaurentYves Saint Laurent was founded in 1961 and revolutionized the fashion industry with luxury, ready-to-wear fashion.
The Saint Laurent Kate Bag is a true classic, with an elegant shape and style which is easy to pair with any outfit. The Kate bag features the classic interlocked YSL initials, a magnetic snap closure, a chain shoulder strap and arriving in different styles from suede and leather to raffia. Other iconic YSL bags include the LouLou, another flap style bag offered in numerous sizes and colors, many of which feature a chain strap, and the Sac de Jour (meaning ‘day bag)’, which is known a fabulous alternative to the Hermès Birkin.
7. GivenchyIt was in 1952 that Hubert de Givenchy founded his luxury fashion house. His early designs included simple glamour, but over the years its different creative directors have given it a gothic edge, while still maintaining its notable elegance.
One of Givenchy’s most iconic bags is the Antigona, carried by international supermodels like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and the Kardashian’s, this is a true It-bag. It was released in the Fall/Winter 2011 collection by then creative director Riccardo Tisci. This bag represents his aesthetic of blending masculine and feminine details and silhouettes to create a bag that is both timeless and modern.
If a more casual bag is up your street, the Pandora Bag (now discontinued) is a unique cube shape that offers more than you initially think, with a front flap pocket, double zip fastening and a removable shoulder strap.
8. PradaFormed by Mario Prada in 1913, Prada originally sold bags, trunks and travel accessories to affluent Milanese fashionistas. It has a reputation for being one of the most influential and prestigious fashion houses in the World. Prada is renowned for producing top quality products with incredible attention to detail which makes them extremely appealing to celebrities and fashion-conscious consumers and that’s what makes it one of the best luxury handbag brands in the World.
One of Prada’s most iconic luxury handbag lines, which is super popular right now, is the re-edition nylon bags, inspired by designs from the 90s and early 2000s. The black Prada Re-Edition Shoulder Bag was the most purchased bag in 2022, beating other popular vintage revivals such as Dior’s Saddle Bag and Fendi’s Baguette.
9. FendiTalking about Fendi. Fendi began in 1925 as a small Boutique in the heart of Rome and this brand is synonymous with both tradition and daring creativity.
The most iconic Fendi bag, the Baguette, designed in 1997 and made popular by Sex and The City, comes with an assortment of features including leather, denim, canvas and shealing designs, with monogram prints, embroidered with flowers, and those featuring a monogram print – there is truly a Baguette out there for every buyer and collector.
10. Bottega VenetaAnother Fashion House from Italy, Bottega Veneta, also makes the list of the world’s best luxury handbag brands. Based out of Milan, Bottega Veneta is a luxury Italian fashion house which specializes on ready-to-wear, shoes, handbags and accessories.
On trend this season and plastered all over Instagram, the Bottega Veneta Jodie Bag comes in five sizes and is made from premium leather, woven using the brand’s signature intrecciato (braided) design. This bag is a current favorite among celebrities including Hailey Beiber, with the most popular size being the Mini Jodie.
11. CelineFounded by Céline Vipiana and her husband in 1945, Celine is a French luxury ready-to-wear and leather goods brand which began as a made-to-measure children’s shoe shop.
One of Celine’s most iconic luxury bags includes the Celine Triomphe Bag, featuring premium quality shiny calfskin and lambskin lining and the Triomphe Motif, which was inspired by the Arc de Triomphe monument. The Celine Classic Box Bag (now discontinued) is another iconic luxury handbag, designed by Phoebe Philo who is remembered to this day as one of the best Celine designers. This bag features a sleek, classic design with internal flat and zip pockets in a range of colors and finishes including python and classic leather.
12. ValentinoValentino’s first couture fashion line debuted at the Pitti Palace in Florence in 1962 where it began what would become an international reputation. This brand became sought-after by icons such as Audrey Hepburn, Jacqueline Kennedy and Princess Margaret of England.
This brand’s most iconic luxury handbags are from the Rockstud line, with options in a wide range of shapes and sizes, from the Grainy Calfskin Bucket Bag to the Micro Rockstud Calfskin Bag in rose violet, with all bags boasting studded metal detailing, giving them the “Rockstud” name.