An upcoming exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum is all about handbags and will feature accessories from icons like Jane Birkin, Kate Moss, and Alexa Chung. From the Fendi Baguette to the Hermès Birkin bag, there have been a string of iconic “It” bags over the years. Opening on November 21, the exhibition will explore the history of handbags and how their style and functionality has evolved and changed.
So what about the “It” bags of today? These are the accessories changing the game in fashion right now.
Jacquemus 'Le Chiquito'
It’s teeny-tiny, totally impractical, and just doesn’t seem to be falling out of favor any time soon. French brand Jacquemus started an unstoppable trend in 2019 when it shrunk the ‘Le Chiquito’ bag and made a miniature version. It caused a fashion industry frenzy, with seemingly everyone transforming their bags into stamp-sized replicas.
The small ‘Le Chiquito’ style is still going strong, even inspiring social media memes – the true sign of a modern “It” bag.
Telfar Shopping Bag
One brand has become the undisputed champion of 2020 accessories: Telfar. Established by designer Telfar Clemens, the label isn’t new, but has recently seen mainstream success thanks to its iconic Telfar shopper – a leather tote featuring the interlocking ‘TC’ logo. It comes in three sizes, multiple colors, and is more affordable than many designer handbags.
The brand notes on Instagram it is a “black-owned, non-gendered fashion project established in 2004. The Shopping Bag first dropped in 2014 — meaning: our bag ain’t new – it’s the world that changed. Let’s keep it changing.”
Historically, accessories have largely relied upon being expensive and difficult to buy to cement their “It” status, but not Telfar. Normally the brand sells its tote bag in ‘drops’ that instantly sell out, but in August it had a 24-hour sale where anyone could preorder a shopper and be guaranteed to receive it before January 2021 – so no one would miss out.
The Bottega Veneta Pouch
If it’s good enough for Rihanna, it’s good enough for us. The Barbadian singer cemented Bottega Veneta’s Pouch as a certified “It” bag with a slow-mo video of her in a bikini clutching a cream version of it.
Bottega Veneta’s creative director Daniel Lee went on to clean up at the Fashion Awards, winning four gongs including Accessories Designer of the Year. Understandably, since then, the soft, buttery leather pouch bag became one of the most common sights on the front row of any Fashion Week.
It might be popular, but it’s not particularly affordable – one of the simplest iterations of the style will set you back AED9,500.
If this style looks familiar, that’s probably because it’s a reboot of a popular Noughties “It” bag. John Galliano first designed the Dior Saddle bag in 1999, and it was everywhere in the 2000s – thanks to style icons like Paris Hilton and Carrie Bradshaw in Sex And The City.
It fell out of fashion – until Dior brought it back in 2018. It was soon all over our Instagram feeds with the help of modern trendsetters like Bella Hadid and Jennifer Lawrence. It just goes to show — nostalgia really sells in fashion.