The Best Designer Handbags Really Worth The Investment (Including 2023’s New It Bags)

From the classics of Dior and Chanel to this season's most in-demand styles, these are the bags really worth your money.

Lady Dior Bag

by Natalie Hammond |
Updated on

Whether you're a designer bag obsessive or like to invest in one classic that will last you a lifetime, you'll be happy to know that there are now bags for every budget. The timeless styles from the likes of Dior, Chanel and Fendi will always be in style and are a savvy way to spend your money but there are also more affordable bags with a lot of clout right now.

Perhaps you're looking to collect a piece of fashion history or just want to know what 2023's answer to the It bag is – either way, you've come to the right place.

I mean, how much time have you got? But seriously, the most popular handbag designers tend to be those that are famous for having an archive of iconic styles – think Hermès' Birkin, Chanel's 2.55 or Dior's Saddle bag. For 2023, a new cohort of bags have been introduced that are already selling fast. These include Miu Miu's Nappa Leather Pocket bag, Prada's Moon bag, Jacquemus' Le Bambimou bag and Loewe's Paseo.

Alexa Chung with Miu Miu's Nappa Leather Pocket Bag

What Are The Best Designer Handbags On A Budget?

A designer bag on a budget isn't exactly an oxymoron, although you will always have to pay more than you would for a contemporary or high street brand. It's simply about keeping a closely-trained eye on the designers you like to see if they release something that's a touch more entry-level. Prada's Nylon Mini Bag, a cult re-issue from 2000, is slightly more affordable than some of its designer counterparts at £560, while Coach's Pillow Tabby, a cross-body flap bag that comes in an array of delicious colours, is £550. Neither is pocket change, but just remember that a designer handbag is always an investment so it's important to choose something that will really go the distance.

You could also look to brands like Ganni, who just recently launched its Bou bag – already a hit with Instagram's coolest girls.

Paloma Elsesser with Coach's Pillow Tabby bag

Can You Invest In Designer Handbags?

Yes, absolutely. It's no secret that the right designer handbags can be a better investment than some property (as well as cars and art, according to Art Market Research). But which ones will keep appreciating in value? Handbags with a certain sense of exclusivity will always retain their cache – again, we're talking about the Hermès Birkin – but it's also worth looking out for re-issues of old styles. Anyone who ownedGucci's 1961 Jackie, a curved leather shoulder bag with a buckle fastening, was in luck last year when the brand rereleased the bag and made it the star of its catwalk and several subsequent campaigns.

Mulberry's signature Bayswater bag celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. In celebration of the tote that became an icon (largely thanks to its legion of celebrity fans), it has issued several riffs on the timeless design for the new season. This satchel is one of the best and is under £1,000.

A delightfully squishier iteration of Jacquemus' best-selling Bambino bag, the Le Bambimou is available in five different colours and has already been carried by Pamela Anderson, no less.

It's impossible to even think about the world's most famous designer bags without imagining Chanel's Flap bags. If you're really looking to make a savvy investment (as well as posses your own piece of fashion history), it's worth looking to Farfetch, which has an extensive collection of vintage Chanel bags guaranteed to grow in value over time. This early '90s style is nothing short of iconic.

While Casey Cadwallader has been Mugler's creative director since 2017, it wasn't until January of this year that he unveiled his very first bag for the fashion house. Created with accessories designer Matilda Venczel, the Spiral Curve 01 is set to be the new 'It' bag for our time. Invest now while you still can.

Unveiled at Marni's spring/summer 2023 show during New York Fashion Week, the Prisma is already selling fast. Available in bold, bright shades as well as more neutral colours, there are three sizes to choose from: small, large and maxi. The latter is every bit as brilliant as you might imagine, but this smaller size makes for the perfect cross-body that's slightly easier to cart around.

Prada Moon Bag
Price: £1,950

www.prada.com

Given TikTok's obsession with everything Y2K, it's no surprise that Prada has reimagined its noughties Moon bag. This is definitely a bag that will grow in value and will look just as good in another 20 years as it does right now.

Christian Dior Lady Dior Bag
Price: £4,100

www.dior.com

The very epitome of an investment bag, Dior's Lady Dior was designed in 1994 by Gianfranco Ferre. The following year, however, it was spotted on the arm of Princess Diana, thus earning its 'Lady Dior' name. Available in many colours and fabrics, the fact it looks as fresh now as it did in the mid-nineties is testament to its enduring appeal.

It's certainly an investment but trust us when we say that this will fast become a new classic. With its supple leather, a logo that's just-obvious-enough and a great size, Saint Laurent's Le 37 Bucket is, dare we say it, the perfect bag.

Gucci Horsebit 1955 Bag
Price: £2,220

www.gucci.com

One of Gucci's most famous bags, the Horsebit is as popular as ever thanks to a new campaign starring Julia Garner, Halle Bailey and NewJeans' Hanni. Available in six variations, including one that's part of the Adidas collection, you can even choose to personalise it with your initials.

While Fendi's Peekaboo tote is enjoying a renaissance of sorts thanks to a new campaign starring Naomi Campbell, you really can't beat the Baguette if you're looking for a bag to stand the test of time. Immortalised on screen by SJP as Carrie Bradshaw, this slightly re-worked version is already a classic.

We had to mention Ganni's Bou bag, crafted from recycled leather and proving that a designer handbag doesn't have to cost a fortune. Debuted during the show's autumn/winter 2023 show, it's available in five different colours and makes for a more sustainable choice than most designer bags.

Under the creative direction of Daniel Lee, Bottega Veneta's accessories became some of the most in-demand in the world. Now, with Matthieu Blazy – Lee's right hand man since 2020 – at the helm, it looks as though Bottega bags will be just as popular as ever. The Sardine is a prime example – with its golden fish-shaped handle and signature intrecciato weave leather, it's soon to become a sell-out hit.

With Jonathan Anderson at the helm, Loewe has become the master of creating cult sell-out accessories that everyone wants to buy. This season, it's all about the Paseo bag, which is happily as practical as it is stylish.

This zesty iteration of Coach's Pillow Tabby is one for the moments when you don't want to lug around a huge tote. It features two detachable straps so will, ultimately, make your life easier.

Miu Miu Nappa Leather Pocket Bag
Price: £2,100

www.miumiu.com

Trust Miuccia Prada when it comes to covetable accessories. Her latest design for Miu Miu is the Pocket bag, already loved by Alexa Chung and currently sold out in black. This zesty shade is still available, though, as is the white version.

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