Buying your first luxury designer bag? Looking for something timeless, classic, and chic?
Well, most people understand that buying a designer luxury bag is not for the faint of heart. Oftentimes these bags run upwards of thousands of dollars. In extreme cases, some bags are worth over six figures. For example, a Himalayan Crocodile Birkin from Hermès could cost well over a quarter-million dollars.
Let's just say that most of us aren't looking for a Birkin, nevertheless a Himalayan Birkin, for our first luxury designer bag. So, what should you look for when you're buying your first luxury designer bag? Well, you'll want a good "investment piece."
What Is an Investment Piece?
You're probably wondering what I mean by "investment piece." An "investment piece" is something that you can continue to use five or ten or even twenty years down the line. Hence, the word "investment." You'll want something that will survive the trends and won't become outdated when the new fashion season rolls around. You might even want to pass down your bag as a family heirloom. And since luxury designer bags are so expensive, you'll want your first luxury designer bag to be something versatile that you can use for all occasions, whether you're going to a casual lunch date or a classy dinner.
But how do you know if a bag is a good "investment piece." You can look at how long the bag has been around. For example, the Chanel Classic Flap bag has been around for ages. It was popular twenty years ago, and it is likely to be popular twenty years later. The Hermès Kelly bag (made famous by the late actress Grace Kelly) has been around since the 1930s and is still highly sought after in this day and age.
Just a little disclaimer here. If you have your eyes set on a specific luxury designer bag, by no means am I telling you not to buy that bag. When you have the money to buy a luxury designer bag, you should buy whatever makes you happy. I wrote this article to hopefully help out those who are taking their first steps into the luxury designer fashion world.
10 Beginner Designer Bags
- The Classic Flap Bag by Chanel
- The Alma by Louis Vuitton
- The Lady Dior by Dior
- The Antigona by Givenchy
- The Jackie by Gucci
- The Loulou by Yves Saint Laurent (YSL)
- The Gabrielle by Moynat
- The Cleo by Prada
- The Réjane by Moynat
- The Triomphe by Celine
1. The Classic Flap Bag by Chanel
There's a saying that every girl should have a Chanel bag. As mentioned earlier, the Chanel Classic Flap bag has been around for ages. This bag is great for a casual outing, but it is also suitable for an elegant affair such as a wedding. This bag comes in many different colors, but the bag is beautiful in black. While the prices for new Chanel bags keep skyrocketing through the roof every year (thanks to their numerous price increases), you can always find a preloved bag online.
2. The Alma by Louis Vuitton
You've probably seen Louis Vuitton bags with the classic monogram print every time you walk down the street. While the Louis Vuitton Alma bag looks great in the monogram print, you might want to consider the Alma in Damier Ebene if you want something more subtle and elegant. This bag comes in four different sizes (BB, PM, MM, and GM). Perhaps for your first bag, you might want to consider the smaller BB or PM size because small bags tend to be more versatile. Larger bags tend to be difficult to wear for formal occasions. And don't be fooled by the BB's small size. The bag can actually hold quite a bit.
3. The Lady Dior by Dior
The Lady Dior was made famous when Princess Diana carried the bag. France's First Lady, Bernadette Chirac, gifted the bag to Princess Diana when she visited the Cézanne exhibition at the Grand Palais in Paris. This bag comes in many different colors, styles, and prints. Some of the styles and prints might be a little too trendy for your first designer bag. When buying this bag, you might want to consider sticking to solid neutral colors. It'll be easier to accessorize with your outfits. This bag is rather pricey, and you'll probably be better off getting one preloved.
4. The Antigona by Givenchy
This bag is the ultimate boss bag in black leather. This bag is named after a heroine in Greek mythology, and its design reflects Givenchy’s duality in its strong, architectural shape and contrasting soft leather finish. It is a great bag for working ladies or ladies who are always on the go. The bag is made of very durable leather, and it is scratch-resistant. However, this bag might not be the best bag for a formal evening.
5. The Jackie by Gucci
This bag was first designed in 1958 and initially named the G 1907. It wasn't until1961 when this bag was renamed after being frequently spotted on Jacqueline Onassis, wife of the late John F. Kennedy. This bag has appeared intermittently throughout Gucci's collections, and it was recently revived in 2019 when it was seen in Alessandro Michele’s Chateau Marmont collection. The new Jackie bag comes in the classic GG supreme print and solid colors such as black, red, white, pink, and blue. The strap comes with an additional leather piece, so it is easy to transition from a shoulder bag to a crossbody bag.
6. The Loulou by Yves Saint Laurent (YSL)
The puffer-style look of the bag might not be for everyone, but this bag can easily transition from day to night. This bag can also easily elevate a casual outfit. Although the Loulou is not as classic or timeless as the other bags in this list, its chicness makes it a bag that could be seen years from now. This bag comes in small, medium, and large. The small is more versatile than the other sizes, but the large is great for a workbag.
7. The Gabrielle by Moynat
Moynat is rather unknown compared to the other fashion houses on this list. However, Moynat has been around longer than Louis Vuitton and is known for its impeccable leather craftsmanship. Some have said that Moynat is on the same level as Hermès. Not surprising since Moynat's former creative director Ramesh Nair is from Hermès. Moynat's Gabrielle (named after the French actress Gabrielle Réjane) is a sophisticated and elegant bag. This is a great bag to take to a cafe or a fancy dinner. The bag comes in three sizes, BB, PM, and MM. It also comes in many different colors, and the hardware comes in either palladium or gold. For your first bag, I would recommend a black bag (either in the BB or PM size) with gold hardware. You can't go wrong with that combination.
8. The Cleo by Prada
The Cleo is a newer bag, but it takes inspiration from a popular Prada shape from the 1990s. This bag is sleek, chic, and elegant. Its smooth leather finish looks so luxurious. In addition to black, the Cleo comes in several different colors, including white, silver, aqua, cornflower blue, desert beige, and alabaster pink. A Cleo in black, white, and desert beige will be easy to accessorize with any outfit. However, the Cleo in cornflower blue or alabaster pink is great if you want color.
9. The Réjane by Moynat
Another recommended Moynat bag to consider for your first luxury designer bag is the Réjane. This bag was first created in 1903 for the French actress it was named after, Gabrielle Réjane. Each bag is made by one artisan and takes twenty hours to complete the bag. The bag regularly comes in black or taupe with either palladium or gold hardware. Additionally, the bag comes in many different seasonal colors, but the quantity of those bags is limited. You can find the bag in nano, BB, PM, or MM sizes. It also comes with a shoulder strap so you can keep your hands free. I would recommend either the BB or PM sizes since the nano might be too small.
10. The Triomphe by Celine
The Celine Triomphe is a relaxed and carefree bag for those who want an elegant bag that goes great with a pair of jeans or a sundress. The hardware logo is subtle in a way that doesn't scream, "designer." The shiny calfskin of the bag will develop a nice patina, and the leather will age beautifully as the years go by. The tan bag is great if you want to go for a more casual and relaxed look. The bag also comes in black if you want something a bit edgier.
Luxury Lasts a Lifetime
These are just a few bags to consider when buying your first luxury designer bag. Ultimately, you can disregard everything written here. The important thing is that you buy something that you will love forever. Luxury designer bags are too expensive to love only for a few months before tossing them in your closet. Your first luxury designer bag will be with you hopefully for the long haul.