Fashion People Shared Their Best Designer Buys of 2023—Here's What Made the Cut

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Let's take a stroll down memory lane. Think back to the first time you were genuinely curious about the contents filling someone else's cart. Maybe you secretly scanned other people's shopping bags in an oversize box store. Or perhaps you found yourself scouring social media to spot the buzzy items others are wearing. No matter when it first happened to you, you've likely spent a great deal of time wondering about what others are coveting, collecting, and curating. While some might say it's rude to be "all up in other people's business," curiosity is a natural part of being a fashion person.

We all should consume in a mindful way informed by our own fashion preferences, budget, and styling needs, but at the end of the day, we're human. No one is immune to being influenced to adopt a few out-there trends, buy the buzziest items, or generally concern themselves with what others are wearing. Rather than seeing it as a fault, why not use it as a way to shop more strategically? After all, there's no better way to know if items live up to the hype than by pulling the receipts, and boy does the fashion set have them. When it comes to discerning what designer items are worthwhile investments, no one knows quite the fashion crowd—they've got a degree in girl math.

It's only natural, then, that we'd want to get the full rundown from stylists, publicists, influencers, and editors about the best designer buys they made in 2023—call us nosy, baby! Ahead, you'll hear from 14 fashion insiders about their personal style and favorite designer items and even get a peek into what they've currently got in their carts for next year. Consider this the highlight reel for other people's shopping carts.

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(Image credit: @venswifestyle)

WHO: Renia Jaz, Fashion Creative 

How would you describe your personal style? How, if at all, has it evolved over the last year? 

My style is classic with a modern twist and elements of current trends. I like to pair unique and extravagant clothes and accessories with classic essentials. My style evolves a bit each year, as I often look to the catwalks for inspiration. I'm always carving out free time to watch New York, London, Paris, Copenhagen, and Milan Fashion Week shows in search of elements that I will be able to adopt and add to my current wardrobe next season. 

What is the best designer item you've invested in this year? Why do you love this item? 

I've been able to invest in so many great items this year, but one item that I'm obsessed with is my Bottega Veneta dress. It's the same style that Kendall Jenner was spotted wearing, and it's now sold out! But it's such a beautiful piece, and I plan on wearing it repeatedly for the next few years. I am also obsessed with my Alaïa rhinestone ballet flats, as I've spent the last few months wearing them a lot. They are so comfortable, they're fun, and I can't wait to wear them with thick socks this winter. And lastly, I bought a Hermès cashmere skirt this year and have no regrets. A good-quality cashmere skirt had been on my wish list for a while, and the Hermès one I bought goes with everything. 

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(Image credit: @venswifestyle)

We've seen the quiet-luxury movement boom over the last year—how do you define luxury in your own life? What makes something a worthwhile investment for your own wardrobe? 

For me, luxury means timelessness. It's something that will last indefinitely, something that you could leave to your children. I invest in high-quality pieces I know can be paired with other pieces in my wardrobe easily and worn repeatedly.

Finally, are there any specific pieces you're adding to your shopping list for next year? If so, why?

Yes, I have quite a few items I'm hoping to invest in for the new year. Since I'm always looking to runways for inspiration, I was particularly moved by Saint Laurent's F/W 23 collection—the '80s-inspired suiting was so sharp! I hope to add one of their pinstripe blazers to my closet soon. Additionally, I've loved everything Matthieu Blazy is doing for Bottega Veneta, especially with the new offering of bag shapes. I'm coveting the Gemelli Shoulder Bag, as it feels like the perfect everyday handbag. 

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(Image credit: @thevisuelofgrace)

WHO: Loïcka Grâce, Stylist 

How would you describe your personal style? Has it changed over the past year? 

I'd say that my style is pretty sharp and chic at the same time. I've always mixed my looks with masculine pieces such as moccasins or blazers. My style has evolved over the seasons as I've introduced long skirts to my looks, which I think have brought a much more assertive femininity to my silhouettes. 

What is the best designer item you've invested in this year? Why do you love this item? 

It's quite a difficult choice because I have several items in which I've invested this year that I'm happy with. I will share my top three instead, starting with my Alaïa heart bag. I've been obsessed with Alaïa in general this year, and this bag has given me a very fashionable finishing touch to my looks. I also love my Magda Butrym coat—a longline style in beige with big shoulder pads. I wore it to Copenhagen Fashion Week, which was a massive success. And finally, I'm obsessed with my Victoria Beckham thigh-high boots. It was my very first purchase from the brand, and I fell in love with the shape of the heel and the quality. I know I'll be able to wear them again every season.

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(Image credit: @thevisuelofgrace)

We've seen the quiet-luxury movement boom over the last year—how do you define luxury in your own life? What makes something a worthwhile investment for your own wardrobe? 

For me, quiet luxury is an attitude, a way of being, and a whole lifestyle that then defines the way you dress, which is both discreet and hardworking. In my day-to-day life, luxury in clothing is defined by the importance of quality, materials, and the choice of brand.

Finally, are there any specific pieces you're adding to your shopping list for next year? If so, why?

Yes, absolutely! I would like to buy these gray heeled mules from Gucci. I love the silhouette and find them timeless. Also, I'm loving everything Loewe at the moment. Their Toy Panta thigh-high boots are at the top of my wish list.

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(Image credit: @sobalera)

WHO: Valeria Soba, Fashion Consultant and Influencer

How would you describe your personal style? How, if at all, has it evolved over the last year?

I would describe my personal style as chic, clean, and refined. I usually lean toward bold natural fabrics and simple, matchable colors. My forever go-to formula is one basic silhouette in a monochrome palette with statement accessories. Compared to last year, not much has changed. Although, I am obsessed with red this season like never before. 

What is the best designer item you've invested in this year? Why do you love this item? 

It is such a hard choice, but I have no regrets about investing in The Row's Margaux 17 Bag—I genuinely believe this Margaux bag is a new Hermès Kelly Bag. What's great about this bag is that it has different sizes and finishes, from suede to crocodile leather. It also matches almost every type of outfit, from casual chic to formal business attire to airport looks! Additionally, I'm obsessed with my Khaite python-effect boots. They're an actual statement piece, as they elevate every look and add a bit of spice to it. I am not a big fan of the prints, but I feel like leather pieces with animal effects immediately give you a confidence boost.

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(Image credit: @sobalera)

We've seen the quiet-luxury movement boom over the last year—how do you define luxury in your own life? What makes something a worthwhile investment for your own wardrobe?

I believe this movement is for the good, as we all need to slow down a bit to produce and consume less. Luxury is about the experience, not the product itself. A luxury item in your wardrobe—such as, let's say, The Row's cashmere coat or a Hermès Kelly Bag—must provoke certain positive emotions. It must conjure up memories of hunting for it, saving for it, and, most importantly, wearing it. We can call it an investment piece only when we feel we are emotionally linked to it and plan to keep it and wear it for years ahead. 

Finally, are there any specific pieces you're adding to your shopping list for next year? If so, why?

I cannot wait to buy the Gucci Jackie in burgundy patent leather from the last S/S 24 collection. Firstly, this bag is timeless. In fact, it's worth investing in its vintage versions as well. Secondly, the cherry color is timeless, and next year, we will see this color booming.

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(Image credit: @thatgirlyusra)

WHO: Yusra Siddiqui, Associate Editor, Who What Wear 

How would you describe your personal style? How, if at all, has it evolved over the last year?

I know people have some thoughts on whether the "three-word method" is helpful or not, but it has been for me, so to describe my personal style, I'd use chill, eclectic, and polished. Not everything I wear may fit into that description, but I feel the most "me" when my outfit does. With chill, I like to have a comfortable element, whether that be an oversize silhouette or sneakers. Eclectic means a fun accessory, pop of color, etc. With polished, I like to ground the look with a classic wardrobe item like loafers or a longline coat.

What is the best designer item you've invested in this year? Why do you love this item?

After visiting Prada's outlet in New Jersey, I bought a printed coat. Prada runway looks are all over my Pinterest board, so it was a dream to own something that resonated with me from a previous collection. It may have been a few seasons old, but to me, that makes the purchase more meaningful and worthwhile. If something can still catch your eye seasons after it's on-trend, that's how you know you truly love the item. While it may be a statement piece, it still has a classic silhouette and touches of brown within the pattern that make it versatile in my own personal wardrobe. On the same trip to the outlet, I also bought my first pair of Prada ballet flats—I've been wearing them nonstop ever since. 

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(Image credit: @thatgirlyusra)

We've seen the quiet-luxury movement boom over the last year—how do you define luxury in your own life? What makes something a worthwhile investment for your own wardrobe?

There are certainly parts of quiet luxury that I love and admire. When it comes to investing in a luxury item in my own wardrobe, however, I try to find something that's both unique and versatile. For example, while furry Burberry heels may be unique, they won't be versatile in my own wardrobe. The Row's suede bucket bag is versatile, but I personally don't find it unique enough to justify the purchase. There are plenty of luxury items that meet in the middle, and those are where I will look to invest my money!

Finally, are there any specific pieces you're adding to your shopping list for next year? If so, why? 

One luxury item I have my eyes on for next year is Tory Burch's Pierced Mules. I purchased a pair of TB studded flats earlier this year, and they've been my most worn shoes. Again, they meet my style requirements for a luxury item! They offer a unique detail (the piercing) but are sleek enough to pair with many outfits. A juxtaposition of shape and function—just what I'm looking for. I also have been considering investing in a Khaite's Raffia Tote Bag. Woven bags are always trending during the summer, but the leather addition to this bag makes it something I can wear all year!

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(Image credit: @rabialafashionista)

WHO: Rabia Cissokho, Content Creator

How would you describe your personal style? Has it changed over the past year? 

My style is minimal, elegant, and chic with a hint of Parisian-inspired touches. In terms of the last year, I've been focused on investing in items that can last for the long haul rather than flighty trends. 

What is the best designer item you've invested in this year? Why do you love this item? 

There are a few! The first designer item worth mentioning is my Prada Matinée Small Saffiano Leather Bag. I wanted to invest in a bag that I could wear in two different ways, and this one can be styled both casually and formally. Secondly, I bought the Yves Saint Laurent Cassandra Thin Belt this year. Spoiler: It's the best belt I've ever owned. I love how it adds a touch of elegance, luxury, and femininity to all of my clothing.

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(Image credit: @rabialafashionista)

We've seen the quiet-luxury movement boom over the last year—how do you define luxury in your own life? What makes something a worthwhile investment for your own wardrobe? 

Quiet luxury, in my mind, is all about self-confidence. It's not feeling the need to try and be someone I'm not. I define luxury in my own life as curation—albeit if it's my wardrobe, my feed, or my home. I always try to approach things mindfully when investing in new pieces, as I'd instead buy an item that suits my style rather than what's "trendy." It's incredibly empowering to shop in this way. 

Finally, are there any specific pieces you're adding to your shopping list for next year? If so, why?

I've got my eyes on several items, including Yves Saint Laurent's slingback heels in either colorway. I feel like they're a perfect addition to my shoe collection, as they're something that can be worn year-round. I'm also obsessed with the small Gucci Jackie 1961 Leather Shoulder Bag. It's definitely on my shopping list for next year.

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(Image credit: @kristenmarienichols)

WHO: Kristen Nichols, Associate Director of Special Projects, Who What Wear

How would you describe your personal style? How, if at all, has it evolved over the last year?

I always return to the classics, but I like to add modern touches. My style is ever-evolving, especially as I discover new brands that shape the fashion space. 

What is the best designer item you've invested in this year? Why do you love this item?

When it comes to the designer pieces I invested in in 2023, I've prioritized items I knew I would wear again and again. I immediately wanted to snap up the Khaite x Oliver Peoples collaboration 1969C sunglasses in tortoiseshell—a shape that was missing from my closet and is now essential. I also tend to buy multiples of my favorite pieces in different colorways, so I spent months tracking down the black-on-black version of my beloved Chanel slingback heels. Beyond established designers, I gravitate toward rising brands as well, and a few of my favorite purchases have included a waistcoat from Attersee and a knit dress from High Sport.

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(Image credit: @kristenmarienichols)

We've seen the quiet-luxury movement boom over the last year—how do you define luxury in your own life? What makes something a worthwhile investment for your own wardrobe?

I've always closely considered the longevity of a piece in my wardrobe before adding it to my closet—in a "less but better" approach to shopping—so the quiet-luxury movement hasn't changed that much. It has, however, served as a great reminder to invest in quality pieces over fleeting trends. 

Finally, are there any specific pieces you're adding to your shopping list for next year? If so, why?

I'm thinking of investing in my first timepiece—I'm considering the Rolex Datejust and the Cartier Tank Américaine.

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(Image credit: @daleedasoomar)

WHO: Daleeda Soomar, Contributing Fashion Editor, Hauturely

How would you describe your personal style? How, if at all, has it evolved over the last year

My wardrobe has always been about staples, but I love infusing it with eclectic, whimsical items; it is a central tenet of my style. As for my style evolution over the past year, it has embraced a more timeless and versatile essence than ever before. I've steered clear of fashion risks, prioritizing comfort above all. Contrary to the notion that fashion and beauty entail pain, I find it quite the opposite—fashion can be a source of comfort and self-expression.

What is the best designer item you've invested in this year? Why do you love this item? 

During the summer of 2023, I invested in Loro Piana Summer Charms Walk Loafers in a captivating hue of Azure Sapphire with a unique contrasting white stitch—a rarity in their offerings. True to my habit, if I fall for an item, I get it in various colors each season, making this pair the latest addition to my curated collection this year. Undeniably, these loafers reign as the epitome of comfort, becoming my preferred footwear for daily wear. Despite common perceptions about suede's high maintenance, I firmly believe that if you take care of things, they last. I was also recently able to try on Brunello Cucinelli's recent collection and ended up splurging on their houndstooth blazer. It's the perfect piece for fall!

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(Image credit: @daleedasoomar)

We've seen the quiet-luxury movement boom over the last year—how do you define luxury in your own life? What makes something a worthwhile investment for your own wardrobe? 

The essence of opulence, in my book, revolves around championing simplicity, with a significant spotlight on high-quality and timeless charm and dodging the bling circus. I'm perpetually on the prowl for wardrobe treasures that'll remain stylish even a decade from now. It's not just a fashion flex; it's a way of life. 

Finally, are there any specific pieces you're adding to your shopping list for next year? If so, why?

The first thing that comes to mind is the Phoebe Philo XL Cabas, a highlight from her long-anticipated collection, which is a spacious tote crafted in chocolate-brown leather that seamlessly transitions from work to travel and beyond. It proves to be the perfect companion, even on days when indulging in calorie-rich emotions. It's hit the top of my list! I've also been thinking about the ultra-sultry Khaite Pia Off-the-Shoulder Rib Midi Dress. It has such a timeless silhouette that I can see it becoming a perennial part of my closet.

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(Image credit: @anna__laplaca)

WHO: Anna LaPlaca, Editor, Who What Wear

How would you describe your personal style? How, if at all, has it evolved over the last year?

I've always said that my style is streamlined and sleek, with menswear-inspired silhouettes anchoring many of my looks. I haven't strayed terribly far from that this year, but it's definitely evolved into a more retro-inspired space. I've had fun experimenting with "sweeter" silhouettes that I would have shied away from in the past, like full A-line skirts and low-heel pumps.

What is the best designer item you've invested in this year? Why do you love this item?

I'm the last person I know who would splurge on a statement piece, but this year, I surprised myself by buying Khaite's snakeskin top while it was on sale. It's one of those items that just styles itself and can easily be its own outfit! Another item I bought this year was a classic pair of black sunglasses from Prada. When the fashion house came out with this oval-shaped pair that harks back to the '90s, I knew immediately I had to have them. And lastly, on a whim, I bought Loewe's Goya Long shoulder bag. I wear a lot of black and white, so I love that this Loewe shoulder bag in a blueish-green hue offers a singular pop of color in many of my outfits. The slim 2D shape is so sleek, and I love that it doesn't compete with whatever else I'm wearing.

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(Image credit: @anna__laplaca)

We've seen the quiet-luxury movement boom over the last year—how do you define luxury in your own life? What makes something a worthwhile investment for your own wardrobe?

I'm extremely picky when it comes to making fashion investments, and I rarely splurge on an item without having analyzed exactly how it fits into my style and how much use I'll get out of it. Despite trying out a lot of trends as a fashion editor, I tend to be very practical when making bigger wardrobe investments and feel much more comfortable investing in super-classic pieces and silhouettes. For me, I need to really wear the clothes and accessories I invest in rather than collecting beautiful pieces only to have them collect dust in my closet. A worthwhile investment, to me, is something like a great everyday bag, a beautiful cashmere sweater, or a pair of walkable heels I know I'll reach for all the time. 

Finally, are there any specific pieces you're adding to your shopping list for next year? If so, why? 

I have a milestone birthday next year, and I've been wanting to buy myself an investment watch to celebrate it. I have my eye on a Cartier Panthère in two-tone metal because it's such a dainty, almost jewelry-like design but ultimately so timeless and special. I know it's a piece I'll wear constantly and hopefully pass on as an heirloom one day. Also, Tory Burch sent a number of pierced shoes down her S/S 24 runway, and based on the overwhelming popularity of the slingback and heeled iterations already in the market, the flats will, no doubt, become an It piece the moment they hit stores. I have my eye on a pair to tap into the Toryaissance that all WWW editors are so excited about.

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(Image credit: @petrahenriette)

WHO: Petra Henriette Rufi, Content Creator 

How would you describe your personal style?