Luxury Designers

In contrast with previous centuries, in which bag fashion evolved slowly and designs could remain popular for many years, today’s handbag has developed into a significant and fashionable accessory, changing with the season, with fashion and handbag designers like Chanel, Hermès, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Bottega Veneta, Mulberry, Prada and Michael Kors in the lead. Since the 90’s, bags, shoes, fragrances and sunglasses have become the designers’ primary sources of income and powerful instruments for affirming their brand name. Some bags are classics that have endured over the decades and have retained their popularity through contemporary versions.

Read more  about luxury designers at the Museum of Bags and Purses and find below a selection of these designers.

  • Canvas handbag ‘Bouvier’, Gucci, Italy, 2006

    Former U.S. First Lady (1961-1963) Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy — a 20th century icon — carried a similar, name-sake Gucci bag. Even now, Jackie Kennedy continues as the epitome of elegance, chic, and grace.

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  • Clutch ‘Le 69’, aluminium and leather, Paco Rabanne, France, 2014

    Paco Rabanne’s metal shoulder bag from 1969 is inspired by the chain mail bags from the 20’s. It is also a response to Coco Chanel’s 2.55, enfant terrible Rabanne having replaced Chanel’s gold chain by a toilet-flushing chain. It

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  • Handbag ‘New Tara Swirl’, leather, Paul Smith, UK, 2008

    Paul Smith (1946) is a UK fashion designer of long standing in international fashion, known for his typically British style, tinged with excentricity. Paul Smith started his men’s fashion label in 1976. These days, he designs virtually anything

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  • Handbag ‘Pyramid Frame’ with matching shoes, leather, Prada, Italy, 2012

    The Pyramid Frame handbag and Flame shoes were part of Prada’s spring-summer collection of 2012. This set is straight from the catwalk. Inspired by American cars from the 50’s, with flames along the sides to match, these stiletto shoes by

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  • Handbag ‘The Kelly’, leather, Hermès, France, 1990-2000

    Hermès’ Kelly bag, designed in the 30’s, was made famous by the Oscar-winning actress and Princess of Monaco, Grace Kelly, who began carrying one during her engagement to the Prince of Monaco in 1956. Today, this bag remains one of the

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  • Handbag ‘Fudge the Fashionistas’, patent leather, Moschino, Italy, 1996

    The Fudge the Fashionistas by Moschino, from 1996, is a parody of the luxury handbag. Carried out in beautifully polished calfskin and having the appearance of a vanilla cake lavishly doused with chocolate sauce, the bag takes a ruthless stab at the

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  • Handbag ‘Mini Linda’ (Limited edition), canvas and velvet with leather, Louis Vuitton, France, 2006

    The Louis Vuitton Limited edition ‘Mini Linda’ is part of the Monogram Charms Collection made by designer Marc Jacobs for the spring-summer collection of 2006. The collection was inspired by the Sixties of the 20th century.

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  • Handbag, patent leather with golden handle, Dior, France

    Christian Dior (1905 – 1957), the celebrated and influential French fashion designer, rose to fame when he launched his first collection for the spring and summer of 1947, soon known as the ‘New Look’, characterized by cinched

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  • Shoulder bag ‘2.55’, leather, Chanel, France, 1970-1980

    Coco Chanel introduced the 2.55 bag in February 1955, hence the name. Today, the 2.55 is still considered one of the greatest icons of bag design. It is available in many versions and colours.

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  • Shoulder bag ‘Kabuto’, satin with metal decorations, Stella McCartney, UK, 2004

    In 1995, Stella McCartney finished the Central Saint Martins College for fashion in Londen. In 1997 she was appointed creative director at Chloë in Paris and in 2001, she launched her own label, backed by the Gucci Group. Her bags are remarkable for

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  • Shoulder bag, patent leather, Alexander McQueen, England, 2008

    Known for his superb craftsmanship and chic street fusion designs, Alexander McQueen contrasts feminine versus masculine, gentleness versus power, and tradition versus innovation.

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  • Tote bag with French lace, Valentino, Italy, 2011

    Bags made of lace are rare because the material is very delicate. In the first decades of the 20th century, lace was used more often in bags for special occasions, such as wedding and evening bags. Around 2011, lace made a comeback on the fashion

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  • Vintage pop art ‘Mademoiselle Clutch’ wristlet Mint, patent leather, Chanel, France, 2001

    Since 1983, the famous German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld is the Artistic Director of Chanel fashion and the designer of Chanel Haute Couture, Ready-To-Wear and the accessory collections.

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