Whenever a designer releases a new handbag, I think it can't get any better but it almost always does. There were plenty of great releases in the past year—the Prada Cleo, the Saint Laurent Le 5 à 7 Bag, and Gucci Jackie 1961, for example. While these bags are still on my wish list (A girl can dream, right?), it's my job to keep track of what's to come on the rise on the high-fashion scene.
Fashion trends are mapped out far in advance, so we can tell you with authority the designer handbags that will dominate in 2022. It's not just guesswork, because I reached out to the luxury exerts of the industry. They work at retailers like Nordstrom, Shopbop, MyTheresa, and Editorialist, so you can trust that they know their way around the luxury sector.
Whether you're looking to make an investment purchase or take your daily dose of online browsing, these responses are worth viewing. Keep scrolling to see, read about, and shop the bags that luxury experts are going to define fashion this year.
Victoria Slane, Designer and Luxury Handbags Buyer at Nordstrom
"Demna Gvasalia is the master of marrying Balenciaga’s iconic heritage with his own contemporary cool—the Le Cagole bag is the embodiment of Y2K making a resounding (and relevant) comeback. While the bag in metallic pink leather with pink crystal-studded hardware is jaw-dropping on its own, the attached pouch and heart-shaped mirror take it to over-the-top-levels of desirable."
"A new take on the Valentino "V Logo”, the Stud Sign shoulder bag is equal parts retro revisit and chic modern practicality, thanks to an adjustable chain allowing it to transition from day-to-night in seconds. Mixing Valentino house codes with a pillowy soft leather, it feels as gorgeous as it looks. Iterated in a bright cheery grass green- it’s not only the color of new beginnings- but the color of the season."
Danielle Naer, Senior Fashion Editor at Editorialist Magazine
"The Mini Tote renaissance is alive and well in 2022. Coach's iteration on the trend is particularly interesting—its Spring 2022 runways featured tote bags with playful, kitschy motifs. My favorite: the candy-pink styles that feature kisslocks on their facade, serving as a purely decorative, ironically useless form of ornamentation. While we wait around for the real thing to hit stores, I'll be adding this elongated, milk-white silhouette to cart."
"There's a big uptick in nostalgic '00s shoulder bags, especially those that are heavy on the hardware. Shoppers are scouring secondhand shops for Chloe Paddingtons and Balenciaga Motorcycle bags in droves—hence, why the latter smartly tapped into this appetite with the Cagole. With this hobo bag, Bal refashions aughts-era studding and stitching for the Gen Z crowd. The cherry on top? Its heart-shaped mirror attachment. Alexa Demie wore a custom bedazzled version to the Euphoria premiere, and I refuse to stop talking about it."
Tiffany Hsu, Vice President Womenswear and Kidswear Fashion Buying at Mytheresa
"There are quite a few bags with iconic potential going to be released this year: My favorites are the Balenciaga Cagole and the new Loewe Luna bag. The Loewe Luna is a timeless piece, but with some great details such as the monogrammed strap."
Kelly McSweeney, Women's Merchandising Manager at The RealReal
"Louis Vuitton recently released a throwback collection of monogram denim styles, a favorite trend from the Y2K era. We've already seen these styles rise in popularity over the last couple of years with the average selling price up to $450 since 2019. Now that this trend has been reimagined by the fashion house, we've seen demand for Louis Vuitton denim increase 26% in the last month and expect resale value for these vintage bags to continue to climb."
"Christian Dior has released several new styles in their classic Cannage topstitching, including the Vibe bags, so we're keeping our eyes peeled on the halo effect to other Cannage favorites like this vintage bowler. This month, we're already seen coveted Cannage styles are being waitlisted the most among our Christian Dior handbags."
Caroline Maguire, Fashion Director at Shopbop
"Bags in interesting shapes will be on everyone’s arm this year—cylinders, in particular. The shape is perfect for the essentials: your phone, mini wallet, hand sanitizer, lipstick, and keys! This Mansur Gavriel pencil-case crossbody is perfect for running errands around town. I would wear these unique styles with my maxi dress and flip-flops for spring to make the bag pop!"
"With returning to work in person and putting together real-life outfits top of mind, the updated work bag is on the horizon for the handbag market. The Mini Briefcase iteration is my favorite—I love the concept of taking a very traditional shape and modernizing it with a cool twist. This JW Anderson chain lid bag is a great example, and the option to use the top handle or long shoulder strap gives you versatility in styling. Dress it up or dress it down, but make it fashion! When using the top handle, I'd go for an unexpected but fun look of a dress worn over my wide-leg denim. As for the long shoulder strap, I would choose an oversized blazer or bomber jacket with denim cutoffs and my favorite flat lace-up sandals."
Kristen Nichols, Senior Editor at Who What Wear
"From the moment Prada released the Cleo bag, it was an instant hit among fashion people. Now, there's a just-released mini version that is the ultimate nighttime bag, and I expect it to pick up a lot of steam in 2022."
"The Hermès Kelly has always been an iconic bag, but it's now gaining more of a cult following than ever. I'm betting that it's tied to the uptick in luxury investment buys we've seen over the last several years. There's been a shift to shopping for pieces that will stand the test of time—and no bag is more timeless than the Hermès Kelly."
Nicole Akhtarzad Eshaghpour, Senior Market Editor at Who What Wear
"As soon as I saw Lisa Aiken endorse it, I knew Loewe's re-issued Amazona bag (which was originally introduced in the '70s) would be a hit for seasons to come. As expected, its popularity is steadily still rising since launching late last year, with new iterations coming for S/S 22."
Libby Page, Senior Market Editor at Net-a-Porter
"Contemporary bag shapes and 90’s silhouettes, such as Bottega Veneta’s ‘Jodie’ knotted intrecciato leather tote, Loewe’s ‘Puzzle Hobo’ or Gucci’s ‘Jackie’ shoulder bag, have endured in popularity. These cult classics can be styled as the focal point of any outfit while remaining practical and functional."
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