Designer Bags With Interesting Stories Behind Them
Mar 18, 2022
You love your cult-favourite designer bags like Louis Vuitton’s Speedy bag or Fendi’s Baguette bag, but what else do you know about these ‘it’ bags? Join us as we go through some of the best bags in the world and learn more about them.
Bottega Veneta’s Jodie Bag
The most recent ‘it’ bag, Jodie, originally did not have a title, but soon adopted the name in response to a photo of Jodie Foster using her large black Bottega bag as a shield from the paparazzi.
Although it was released in Bottega Veneta stores in early 2020, it is still on-trend today. In fact, the Jodie is the most popular bag found on Instagram in 2020 and 2021. The bag shares some similarities with the older Hobo bag but with a twist (quite literally). It comes in many sizes— maxi, standard, mini.
Created in 1997, by Silvia Venturini Fendi, the bag is compact and designed to sit comfortably under the arm in the same way the French carry their baguette bread, which is where it got its name. Not only that, the Fendi prototype had a beige FF motif in a woolly textile and a removable strap constructed from camellia-coloured leather. It is said that there was initially some hesitation about the Baguette bag design, especially during the era of minimalism.
Of course, it was the most fashionable fictional character, Carrie Bradshaw, that first popularised it. In October 2000, the Sex and the City episode depicts Carrie chasing after a thief, demanding the return of her sequined purple Baguette. Thereafter, it was a must-have for every fashionista.
Today, there are thousands of different Baguette colours and designs. It also comes in three main sizes: mini, standard, and multi.
The Speedy was Louis Vuitton’s second handbag ever created. Except, it wasn’t intended to be a handbag, but a luggage case instead. As travel became more popular in the early 20th century, stackable and stiff luggage was replaced with bags that were softer and easier to carry. The bag was originally dubbed the ‘Express’ bag and was 30 cm wide. The evolution from a travel bag to a purse started with the renowned British actress, Audrey Hepburn. It is said that Hepburn loved the handbag so much that she commissioned the brand to create a smaller, day-to-day handbag. Thus, the Speedy 25 was invented! Pro-tip: The number denotes the width of the bag in centimetres. The movie star was seen strutting the bag everywhere, which kickstarted its popularity. Of course, today the bag is still popular and now comes in a range of sizes, colours, and other modifications.
Every knowledgeable fashionista knows that Balenciaga’s City bag is a classic, collectable piece. In 2001, Nicholas Ghesquière designed the iconic bag, formerly known as the ‘Motorcycle City Bag’. The problem is that management did not take a liking to the bag, at all. They claimed it was “too light, too soft and lacked structure". However, Ghesquière persuaded the brand to create 25 prototypes to use on the runway as an extra and perhaps hand to celebrities and ‘it’ girls as a complimentary item. Of course, the brand never predicted that the bag would become a coveted item, especially with model Kate Moss. Because it was Moss’s heyday, it quickly became popular and even reached ‘it’ status.
Christian Dior’s Saddle Bag
Not all ‘it’ bags are popular overnight, the Dior Saddle bag was originally seen as Avante Garde and slowly gained popularity over the years.
The Saddle bag originally debuted in 1999 as a part of Christian Dior’s Spring 2000 ready-to-wear collection. John Galliano completed the collection with cut-up denim looks with thigh-high side slits and hardly any hemlines that fell straight. Despite its Avante Garde shape, it gained popularity quickly after Sex and The City’s Carrie Bradshaw was filmed strutting the bag. Soon after, the bag was stopped on Hollywood’s most fashionable celebrities including Paris Hilton and Beyoncé.
However, it didn’t stop there. The unusually shaped bag soon reached ‘it’ bag status once it kept recurring in fashion circles. In fact, in 2018, when the world started bringing back classic Y2K trends, Dior’s creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri returned the handbag style to the runway for her Autumn Americana patchwork collection. Since then we’ve all been very much back in the saddle!
Chanel’s 2.55 Bag
The Chanel 2.55 was designed by Coco Chanel herself. It all started in February 1955, by then Chanel had been creating handbags for over 25 years, however, this bag revolutionised handbags forever. The brand always stood for comfortable and classy fashion, so Coco decided to create a bag that would allow women to keep their hands free while carrying a bag on their shoulder. The bag was then named after the date. 2 for February and 55, for the year 1955.
Some say that military satchels from the 1920s were the inspiration behind the design.
Christian Dior’s Lady Dior Bag
In 1995, French First Lady, Bernadette Chirac commissioned Christian Dior to create a handbag fit for a princess! The bag was intended to be gifted to Princess Diana on her visit to Paris.
The prototype was rectangular and black with quilted leather, a design inspired by the upholstery on the Napoleon III chairs Monsieur Dior used at his first shows.
The Dior bag was presented to Princess Diana at a Cézanne exhibition at the Grand Palais, and she wore it on numerous visits to England and, Argentina.
The bag raised so much attention that Dior started selling it in stores. Today, they’re still found in stores all over the world, it’s offered in sizes: small, medium and large.
Gucci’s Jackie Bag
Designed in the 1950s, the Jackie bag was originally called the Fifties Constance. But when former first lady Jackie Kennedy was famously photographed shielding herself from the paparazzi with one of these bags in the 1970s. In fact, she loved it so much that she bought 6 and was spotted wearing them often. The brand decided to honour her by renaming the bag ‘Jackie’ because the bag became so synonymous with her chic sense of style.