Women love accessories, especially handbags. This women’s accessory can completely change the styling, in addition to emphasizing, for example, the status of wealth. Every now and then there are new cuts and colors, although there are a mass of models that have reigned for years, moreover, they have gained a cult status. Popular it-bags, that is, coveted copies are proposals of famous fashion houses. They are delightful in appearance, attention to detail, plus an interesting background story. Women’s iconic handbags are not only beautiful and functional accessories, but also a symbol of status and good taste. Later in the article, we will discover how these unique items have penetrated through the layers of time, retaining their magic and influence, shedding new light on the history of fashion and culture.

Table of Contents:

It-bags – what is their phenomenon?

Handbags are an indispensable element in any woman’s outfit, so it’s no wonder that you can find a mass of different styles on the market. Brands create completely new designs every now and then. Unfortunately, not every product is likely to gain the status of it-bags, i.e. the most desirable bags. This name emerged in the 1990s, when luxury accessories became synonymous with wealth and also bestsellers. What is their phenomenon based on?

Models with a timeless cut, despite the passage of years, still perfectly find their way into women’s closets, moreover, they are very recognizable all the time. The trapezoidal-shaped handbag is a prime example. The difficulty of acquiring them further cranks up the status of exceptional, and the high prices mean that not everyone can afford them. These are mostly handmade accessories produced by specially skilled artisans. It-bags are objects of sighs, accessories that are dreamed of. In this case, handbags are more than just a styling accessory or a utilitarian item for carrying trinkets. Women all over the world are crazy about them!

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Chanel 2.55

The Chanel fashion house has created a mass of accessories. Camellia brooches and two-tone pumps are unquestionable hits, but it is the logo with the double C that is most associated with the brand. The trademark can be seen mainly on handbags. The Chanel 2.55 model is an iconic design invented by Coco Chanel herself in 1955, hence its name. In the beginning, it was supposed to be luggage for women who work and need functional things.

How was the it-bag born? The designer slightly modified the 1929 accessory, for the reason that she added a practical belt in the form of a chain interwoven with leather. The debut wool model was decorated with quilted rhomboids that were made by hand. The appearance has changed somewhat over the years, although the differences are minor. Chanel 2.55 is distinguished by its large logo, which is a double C located on the flap, a burgundy interior and a hidden pocket inside. Quilted rhomboids on leather invariably attract attention. The huge popularity did not come quickly, as it was not until the 1970s that the world went “Chanel” crazy. The bag became popular, thanks in part to the film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” It’s interesting to note that the price of Chanel 2.55 keeps gliding upwards all the time also when it comes to vintage models.

Cult handbags - It-bags
Photo: Depositphotos

Chanel Boy

The Chanel 2.55 is a model created by Coco Chanel, while the Boy bag is a proposal invented by her successor Karl Lagerfeld. In doing so, he paid tribute to the designer’s greatest love (his beloved’s name was Arthur “Boy” Capel) and her feisty, boyish disposition. The accessory was inspired by a hunting bag and the brand’s archives. This model debuted in 2001 and quickly became known as the it-bag. A strong reference to the well-known 2.55 classic can be seen here, but instead of gold-plated details, there are those in steel-gray, plus a more boxy shape and a larger flap. A leather strap adds even more boyish awesomeness to this feminine accessory. Chanel Boy is a proposition that has had several incarnations.

Chanel Boy
Photo: Depositphotos

Birkin Hermès

It-bags are hard to buy, as they are quite expensive, besides they disappear in a flash from boutiques, including vintage ones. Birkin by Hermès is not available to all customers, as there are waiting lists, a lot depends on reputation and purchase history. Such action makes it even more special. The story of this handbag is equally unusual. Jeans-Louis Dumas met well-known singer and actress Jane Birkin during a plane trip. The star spilled the contents of her purse on him, giving the conversation a boost. The CEO of Hermès decided to make a dream copy for her, and so the Birkin was born. The work took as long as four years. The first models appeared in 1985. Not until the 1990s. proved to be a breakthrough, as it-bags were heavily promoted by fashion magazines and celebrities at this point.

Astronomical price and excellent quality distinguish the Birkin Hermès. These are women’s handbags made of high-quality crocodile leather, on top of that they are handmade by leatherworkers with great experience. The Hermès Birkin is definitely one of the most expensive it-bags. This makes this accessory synonymous with high material status and a substitute for luxury. The classic cut with short handles and a specific buckle fastening is a simple combination that has been heavily copied for years. Not surprisingly, the Birkin is not losing its popularity.

Kelly Hermès
Photo: Depositphotos

Kelly Hermès

Hermès handbag models are numerous, but it is the Kelly type that is a serious competitor to the Birkin. Grace Kelly the actress and Duchess of Monaco was a trendsetter, so it’s no wonder she gave her name to one of the French fashion house’s most popular accessories. Importantly, the company has permission to use the name! The actress covered her pregnant belly with her favorite Sac à dépêches handbag created in 1933. The photos literally took over the world, making the Hermès product a hit. It was Robert Dumas who created this classic, which is distinguished by its trapezoidal cut, studded base and strappy closure. Nowadays there are several variants of the Kelly bag, they differ in size, material and color.

Kelly Hermès
Photo: Depositphotos

Lady Dior

Princess Diana wowed with her style. The Chouchou handbag from fashion house Dior was among her favorites. She received it as a gift from French first lady Bernadette Chirac, but quickly added more copies to her collection. The sight of the Duchess with a handbag from the French fashion house was the best advertisement for the brand, so the name was changed to Lady Dior. The simple addition has gained it-bags status. The octagonal quilting shape called cannage was inspired by Napoleon III’s chairs. It was this furniture that appeared at the French fashion house’s debut show in 1947.

What else sets Lady Dior apart? Short, stiff handles and a unique key ring with letters. An interesting fact is that it takes 8 hours to produce one piece, handled by as many as two craftsmen. Each of them is responsible for a completely different stage of the work. It starts with the selection of the material and the making of the die-cut, then moves on to the perfect combination of all the details. The Dior brand has had as many as several it-bags, but it is Princess Diana’s beloved accessory that continues to attract the most attention and remains the most popular.

Lady Dior
Photo: Depositphotos

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Dior Saddle

The Lady Dior is an iconic handbag, as is the Saddle model. This fashion house has a mass of bestsellers in its portfolio. In 1999, the designer was John Galliano, and it was he who designed the saddle-shaped version that was the main inspiration for the creator. An interesting flap, a belt and a unique form of half-circle that tapers from the middle – these are the elements that characterized the famous it-bag. The unique design and distinct logos guaranteed success, no wonder the 90s. belonged to Dior Saddle. In 2007, production was suddenly halted, but only for a short period. In 2004, Beyoncé appeared several times with the vintage model, yet it was the turn of 2018 and 2019 that marked Saddle’s big comeback. It was during this period that the fashion house was headed by Maria Grazia Churi, who tapped into the brand’s archives and slightly refreshed the look of the old blockbuster, making it once again the most coveted accessory. Dior Saddle has lived to see a number of revivals. The reproduction is not a 100% reproduction of the original, as it is slightly larger in size, as it has been adapted to the needs of modern women.

Dior Saddle
Photo: Depositphotos

Fendi Baguette

The fashion house Fendi is primarily famous for its furs and footwear, as well as its handbags. At the forefront of it-bags can not miss the already iconic Baguette model. Significantly, it is considered that it was this product that started the fashion for the coveted premium handbags. The rectangular form on a short strap worn on the shoulder is an original design by Silvia Venturini Fendi. At first, unfortunately, but not everyone was in favor of mass production, because the accessory seemed impractical. The persistence of the creator made the Baguette Bag appear in the offer of the Italian fashion house after all. The distinctive logos and unusual design won the hearts of women, especially celebrities. “Sex in the Big City” has contributed greatly to the recognition of this supplement. The main character Carrie (played by Sarah Jessica Parker) wore a sequined variant in purple, which returned years later in the continuation of the series “And just like that…”. The Fendi Baguette was created in many versions, and now has as many as 3 variants – mini, multi and standard.

Fendi Baguette
Photo: Depositphotos

Louis Vuitton Speedy

Fashion house Louis Vuitton is famous for its travel bags. The Speedy model, before it became an urban bestseller, served as luggage. It was to be a smaller version of the Keepall (luggage carried mainly by the elite) more manageable and stylish. Actress Audrey Hepburn just approached the company about modifying the well-known classic. The French fashion house was eager to realize the star’s dream. In a short time, the Louis Vuitton Speedy went into mass production as an everyday accessory. It debuted in 1932, and today, in addition to the 25-centimeter copy, we can find slightly larger ones – 35 and 40 centimeters. 2011 saw the launch of a new version, the Speedy Bandouliere, a type with a shoulder strap and a two-way zipper. They are easily recognized by their unique monogram – a hallmark of the brand.

Louis Vuitton Speedy
Photo: Unsplash

Gucci Jackie

Italian fashion house Gucci has an extensive range of bags, and has been doing so basically since the very beginnings of the brand. Gucci Jackie appeared in the 1950s, in 1961 to be exact. It was then known as “Fifties Constance.” Thanks to Jackie Kennedy, the nomenclature was changed, but not until the 1970s. Why? The wife of an influential politician caused the unisex model to gain it-bags status. In 2009, the current creative director once again rebranded the iconic model as Bouvier, but quickly returned to the well-known term Jackie. What makes this bag stand out? It is a kind of crescent-shaped hobo with a clasp characteristic of the Gucci fashion house.

Cult handbags - It-bags
Photo: Depositphotos

Definitely Gucci Jackie is one of the most famous it-bags. This piece was a strong inspiration for Alessandro Michele former designer of the brand. He created the Jackie 1961 model. This accessory appeared on the runway during the presentation of the collection for the autumn-winter 2020/2021 season. The fusion of the past and modernity has delighted fashion fans.

New it bags – will these women’s handbags go down in fashion history?

There are quite a few well-known it-bags, and they have been leading the way in terms of sales records for years. However, this does not mean that new additions do not have a chance to exist. The Jacquemus brand is a prime example that debuting accessories sometimes make it to the must-have list right away. The La Bambino and Le Chiquito models have been a hit for several seasons now. Marc Jacobs also gave fashion fans timeless models, we are talking about the Tote Bag and the Snapshot. The return of Balenciaga’s City Bag and Loewe Puzzle proves that over time we can wear old classics more willingly than we used to. These are not so luxurious handbags, as they mostly come from mass production, but they still give us a substitute for something special and desirable.

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