We're all acutely aware that a Chanel 2.55, an Hermès Birkin, or a Louis Vuitton Speedy bag is money well spent if you can swing it, thanks to the investment factor and wardrobe-enhancing capabilities. That being said, if you want something a little less ubiquitous, there are several bag styles that have been released considerably more recently that already have major staying power. To find out exactly what they are, we consulted with an expert from one of our favorite sites for designer bag shopping, Net-a-Porter. The site's fashion director, Lisa Aiken, filled us in on the best styles to shop if you're in the market for a new designer classic. Keep scrolling to see what she had to say and to shop the six bag styles that she recommends.
WHO WHAT WEAR: Which newer handbag styles (from the past several years) would you say have achieved "classic" status?
LISA AIKEN: The Mark Cross box bag, based on the original carried by Grace Kelly in Rear Window, is an instant classic that Alexa Chung has been known to wear frequently. The beautifully made box bag is a timeless treasure that will never lose its style.
WHO WHAT WEAR: Are there any brand-new styles that you predict will become classics in the future?
LA: There are two styles this season that I consider to have true longevity: the My Rockstud from Valentino, a structured top-handle bag that adds polish to any outfit, and the Faye bag from Chloé, which has a '70s appeal but works equally well with more minimalist looks.
WHO WHAT WEAR: What is it that makes a handbag a classic, in your opinion?
LA: A handbag’s versatility is key. A truly classic style will look just as amazing with boyfriend jeans as it does for the office, as long as it has personality and purpose. Ultimately, we carry our handbags everywhere. It is one of the most important wardrobe purchases we make. When looking for the best styles of the season for the Net-a-Porter woman, we’re looking for a bag that she can take with her wherever her day leads.
WHO WHAT WEAR: How does one go about choosing a designer handbag that won't quickly go out of style?
LA: It's interesting, because the impulse is to opt for the minimalist styles. However, the handbags that have lived in my wardrobe the longest and have come to be my most cherished are the styles with a bit more character. Anything with a vintage appeal, such as a heritage monogram print or logo hardware, often feels like a timeless fashion heirloom when the trend moves on. A Fendi Baguette and Saint Laurent Sac d’ Université are two great examples. I have carried a Gucci monogram bowling bag for years, and yes, it is on-trend now, but it has been around for decades, so it’s a proven classic and will be around for several more.