The Traditional Designer Handbags You Won’t Remorse Purchasing

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We frequently discuss ‘investment pieces,’ or items that are expected to last a lifetime of wardrobe problems.

Nevertheless, when it comes to fashion, understanding what to ‘invest’ in, when to do so, and why may be a minefield. Looking at the resale value of objects is important to us (after all, cyclical fashion is where it’s at), as is how much joy the item offers you, its history, quality, durability, and, of course, beauty.

This is especially true when it comes to handbag buying. A well-chosen designer purse may last a lifetime and perhaps become a treasured keepsake after you die (sorry, bit morbid). If, on the other hand, you want to make money as well as spend it, a well-timed buy and subsequent sale is a must.

The Big Hitters of 2023

We polled a panel of specialists, including Larizia, an independent luxury boutique founded in 1988, Romilly Proctor, Senior Buyer at Matchesfashion, and Tiffany Hsu, VP of Fashion Purchasing at Mytheresa.

1955 Gucci Horsebit

‘Our consumers are still investing in traditional styles from historical brands like Gucci,’ says Romilly Proctor, Senior Buyer at Matchesfashion. And at the top of their list? The 1955 Horsebit leather shoulder bag is an equestrian-inspired design available in glossy leather or Gucci’s distinctive monogram canvas.

It’s an archival design that’s been modernized, like many of the popular bags right now, so it feels both timeless and excitingly fresh. Proctor is also interested in the ‘new saddle bag in the trademark GG logo shown at Gucci’s SS23 show,’ which will be available later this year.

Chanel’s 11.12 Bag

Chanel’s 11.12 bag, also known as the Chanel Classic Flap Bag (designed in 1982 upon Karl Lagerfeld’s arrival), is a true classic.

The 11.12 is based on Coco Chanel’s 2.55 design (which we’ve included lower down), and it’s distinguished by its gold chain, diamond quilting, double flap, and ‘CC’ clasp, which combine to produce a superbly functional but yet gorgeous purse.

We’re not surprised that its popularity has skyrocketed in the previous year: Chanel has been slowly establishing waiting lists and raising costs, so the 11.12 may now sell for nearly as much as a Birkin, enhancing resale value. Extra points for a limited-edition design.

Loewe’s Paseo

It takes a lot to top one of the trendiest bags of the last several years, the Loewe Puzzle, but the premium Spanish fashion label (with Jonathan Anderson at the helm) has done it again with its latest release, the Paseo.

‘Loewe’s reinvented Paseo bag in tan is on our want list for 2023, and we predict it to be one of the season’s must-have products,’ says Romilly Proctor of Matchesfashion. ‘We adore the brand’s trademark volume play as well as the new elongated and streamlined elements,’ says the designer.

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It first appeared over a decade ago and was recreated for the Loewe SS23 runway in September last year, and it’s been the buzz of the industry ever since – so prepare to battle for what is already an icon in the making.

Matthieu Blazy had a lot of shoes to fill as Bottega Veneta’s new design director for AW22, but he literally pulled it out of the bag with a distinctive new shape: the Sardine.

It’s already been noticed on everyone from Rosie Huntington-Whiteley to Kendall Jenner, and it’s a brilliant, elegant mix of the Italian brand’s traditional ‘Intrecciato’-style leather pouch with a metallic handle fashioned like a sardine. It already has ‘it bag’ written all over it, not least since Mytheresa’s Tiffany Hsu lists it as one of the ‘hottest bags of 2023’.

It’s surprisingly roomy, but if you’re looking for something a little bigger to tote your life around in, Matchesfashion’s Romilly Proctor suggests waiting until the SS23 ‘Andiamo’ top-handle bag drops later this year. ‘It’s in keeping with the bigger tote bags we’ve seen on the runways,’ she adds, adding that it’ll be a strong favorite.

Jacquemus Le Bisou

With the unending popularity of its distinctive Chiquito bag, Jacquemus has done it again by introducing Le Bisou, one of the hottest new bags of 2023.

It was the star of the show (apart from Pamela Anderson, of course) during the Parisian label’s ‘Le Raphia’ collection in December, visible on the arms of models and fashionable FROW-ers alike in every color conceivable. And, thankfully, Simon Porte Jacquemus has given the public what they want by releasing it just a few weeks after the exhibition.

It comes in a plethora of various styles and colors, so there truly is a Le Bisou for everyone. Just arrive before the rest of the fashion world…

Coperni Heart Tote

Following the burgeoning Parisian brand’s internet-breaking SS23 presentation, which saw Bella Hadid spray sprayed into a frock live on the runway, practically everything from Coperni is hot stock – but it’s the Heart tote bag that’s particularly making headlines right now.

Larizia’s creators describe it as one of the year’s greatest releases, with both wow factor and lasting power: ‘Overall, we’ve observed a trend toward bright colors, exaggerated proportions, and statement accessories, and Coperni’s Heart bag checks all the boxes,’ says the designer.

Coperni was just named one of the top breakout brands of 2022 by Lyst, with searches up 50% in Q3 – so you know it’s only going to become larger from here, which implies better resale value.

The best aspect is that Coperni focuses on high quality at a reduced price point: ‘All of our women are in their thirties. We want people to be able to purchase a Coperni item without having to wait for sales,’ the brand’s co-founder Arnaud Vaillant told ELLE last year. That means the Heart bag won’t break the budget while yet providing all the style points of owning one of the season’s best designs. Did you hear ‘purchase two’?