Designer Bags from A to Z

Classic Bags of All Time

Different stylists usually have different lists of classic bags, however I noticed that they always have these 3 bags on their lists, which are:

1. Hermes Birkin


With a 170-year record of providing the world with the most luxurious leather goods, Hermes handbags have earned their reputation as the most sought-after handbags in history. Each handmade bag is lovingly crafted, one by one, from the most premium leather available. With the longest waiting list in the history of accessories, the Hermes Birkin bag is the grandfather of the status bag. Designed in the 1920s by the historical accessories design house, the Birkin is an enduring example of classic beauty, lasting style and timeless design.

Where did the Birkin Bag get its name? Hermes handbags have the habit of earning the names of the famous women who wear or inspire their designs. The Hermes Birkin bag was designed with the actress Jane Birkin in mind.

As the story is told, Jane Birkin, most famed for appearing nude alongside Brigitte Bardot in the late 1960s, was on an airplane with the Hermes president. Upon observing her canvas Hermes handbag, similar to the as-yet-undesigned Birkin bag, on the young actress’ arm, he was inspired to design Birkin another one. Six months later, Jane Birkin was presented with the prototype for the now infamous Hermes Birkin. Jane Birkin herself has acknowledged that the handbag bearing her name is more famous than the actress herself. The Birkin was the second Hermes handbag to carry an actress’ name and both of the actress-named handbags have become the archetypes of the awesome accessory craze that has swept the fashion world.

In fact, the craze is so persistent among the style set that the Hermes Birkin is in a class all by itself. In 2004, a Hermes Birkin bag with diamond-encrusted clasp and lock sold at auction for $64, 800 – the price of a high-end vehicle! With a waiting list years long and regular going price of $6,000, Birkins are tough to come by, even for the rich and famous. Vintage Birkin bags are a hot ticket among wealthy collectors and families of stylish women pass their Hermes Birkins down from generation to generation as if they where family heirlooms.

As Hermes got its start 170 years ago as a saddle maker, the equestrian influence and ultra-fine handmade styling is very evident in each Hermes handbag. Hermes’s leathers and skins, from lizard to crocodile, goat, ostrich and calf, are chosen and tanned using the best processes to lend the skins a buttery soft look and feel. Hand stitching is minute and sewn to perfection and the hardware that details Hermes Birkin handbags are jewellery-quality perfection. Birkin bags come with dust covers for the bags themselves, as well as dust covers for the lock and keys that accompany each authentic bag. All hardware is stamped with a Hermes “H” and each handbag has a telltale sign of authenticity. The Birkin designs have evolved in tiny increments over time, however the essence of the Hermes Birkin never changes.


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2. Chanel 2.55


Chanel’s wellknown “2.55” takes its name from the month and year when Coco Chanel has launched the luxurious item: February 1955.

Coco Chanel’s childhood and revolutionizing ideas in an authentic bag

The burgundy lining that Coco herself placed in all black bags is a playful nod towards her old uniform at Aubazine School in the South of France.

The quilt is inspired by several sources: the stained-glass windows of the abbey at Aubazine, where Coco Chanel grew up, by jockeys’ riding coats as well as by Coco’s own light-brown suede cushions in her rue Cambon apartment in Paris.

The revolutionizing shoulder strap – previously found on soldiers’ bags and the heavy satchels female bicycle porters carried during the war – are made for woman in modern times.

Coco Chanel revolutionized fashion for women by using stretching materials in 1914/15 when she had the idea to use beige cotton knitwear of men’s underwear for the clothing of sportive ladies. This idea influenced fashion-designers of the following decades lastingly.

The shoulder strap

Coco realized the shoulder strap in a world of airplanes, cars, and busy lives when traditional hand-held bags were simply no longer practical.

As a result, the shoulder strap – previously found only on soldiers’ bags and the heavy satchels female bicycle porters carried during the war – made its debut in the world of fashion. Coco’s straps proved an absolute sensation. Two versions of the bag were produced: a lambskin model to be carried in the daytime, and an evening-wear design made of either silk or jersey, a material traditionally found in menswear, which Coco had introduced to ladies’ fashion in the 1910s.

The quilt

Alongside N°5, the camellia, pearl necklaces and the little black dress, this criss-cross design has become one of the timeless symbols of the house of Chanel.

Good design lasts forever

You can combine this bag with jeans as well as with a suit or evening gown. The Chanel 2.55 doesn’t depend on seasonal trends. If you take care of the bag even your grandchildren can use it!

Over 30 new models are produced each year, forming part of the House’s seven annual collections. 6 to 15 people are working for up to 18 hours (depending on the material) on one Chanel “2.55”. While in the past, up to 80% of all bags produced were black, they represent only 50% of the diverse range proposed today.

“We use a different shade of beige practically every time,” explains the responsible manager, “so things never get boring. Before any bag goes into production, the site’s development facility first finalizes the details of the designs sent by Karl Lagerfeld’s studio”.

Working from sketches, a range of hand-made mock-ups are produced before selecting a final prototype and deciding on its exact proportions and stitching details. This whole development stage is shrouded in mystery and usually takes around a week to complete. Then out of the 200 to 300 prototypes produced for each collection, the studio selects around 30.

The site’s archives hold nearly 3,000 different bags; together they map out CHANEL’s history. Lined up like trophies, these different models serve to inspire the design teams of today, as well as helping them to resolve any problems they might be having with the ideal shape of a handle or detail on a strap. Once the bag has been approved for production, a team of leather craftsmen, engineers and cutters will work on more than 10 different models every week to meet the demand from boutiques. However, before the bag can be assembled, the leather must first be prepared. It is cut from the skin either by hand, using a punch, or by computer, and is then machine-stitched, trimmed and finished. This is an extremely precise process, with all dimensions measured to within a fraction of a millimeter.

80% of the total production time is spent on the assembly table, where CHANEL’s master craftsmen use their expertise to produce an item of unmistakable luxury. After the material has been prepared, the bag is given its structure by inserting heat-sealed leather-finished supports. Each bag is then turned inside out and back again, in keeping with Mademoiselle Chanel’s firm belief in the importance of hidden luxury: the inside should be as good as the outside. As a result, the same amount of care still goes into the lining of each bag as goes into its exterior.“

The bags are then quilted using machines specially developed by Chanel’s engineers, and this stage, though technical, is often one of the most creative in the design process, as can be seen on the series of models inspired by the stained-glass windows of the abbey at Aubazine, where Coco Chanel grew up.

3. Louis Vuitton Speedy

The Louis Vuitton Monogram Speedy has weathered the test of time. This bag was designed in 1933 and is still a popular bag until now. Decorated with quatrefoils, flowers and classical legendary Monogram pattern, Louis Vuitton Monogram bag is to women one of those mythical names, a name with magical connotation, representing dream designer handbags. Its graphic symbols, including quatrefoils and flowers (as well as the LV monogram), were designed by George Vuitton, the son of Louis Vuitton based on the trend of using Japanese and Oriental designs in the late Victorian era.

Louis Vuitton Monogram Speedy is LV’s best-selling star goods. To own this classic is a classic choice. It actually was built to meet the customer special requirements, which was Audrey Hepburn who acted in the film Roman holiday in which she took away a Louis Vuitton Suitcase, but she wished to carry a relatively small soft bag, thus the designers designed Louis Vuitton Monogram Speedy for her based on the traditional Monogram pattern. The most powerful of Speedy is that the bag can be folded flat for an easy taking on the road.



One Response to “Classic Bags of All Time”

  • I would also say that the Longchamp le pliage is a great classic bag and it’s relatively inexpensive so is available to a wide range of different people.

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