The right designer handbag can last for years. Usually decades, in fact, judging by the large number of them found in antique shops and online bidding sites. Which, by the way, is why they’re such a great investment. Even when you’re tired of them, you can sell them for prices that are often higher than what you paid.
Wait, you’re thinking, sell the gorgeous handbag I love more than my own heart and soul??
Fair point. Few people want to sell designer bags once they buy and love it. At least not right away. If you want to make sure you get that perfect match made in heaven, though, you’ve got to buy from the right brand. Not all handbags are made alike, unfortunately. Even the ones that cost lots of money aren’t necessarily well-made.
That’s why you need this lowdown on the best designer handbag brands that are worth the investment. Whip out that notebook and get ready to choose the bag of your dreams!
Like Coco herself, Chanel has an everlasting reputation. It’s two interlocking Cs are the perfect symbol of luxury. Founded in 1910 in Paris, the brand brings more than a century of European class to all its products. Handbags are no exception, from dainty leather handles to long, golden chains and everything in between. If you love that quilted leather look, Chanel is for you.
Hermes bags have, and will continue to, stand the test of time. Thierry Hermès founded the company almost 200 years ago, crafting quality leather harnesses. While the company now serves a much less horse-focused market, that quality has not gone away. Any Hermès handbag will not only maintain its value, it will increase over the coming decades.
Quilted fabrics and irregular shapes characterize Dior’s unique style. It’s that giant D logo that gives their handbags, in every shade of leather and multiple fabric pattern choices, their staying power.
If there’s one brand known by its pattern, it’s Louis Vuitton. That tan on brown, with the florets and LV motif, is recognized the world over. Many opt for the classic handbag with cloth reinforcement and a zipper at top. Others choose small tote shapes or mini overnight bags, with their adorable bowling contours. In any case, you’ll get well-made construction and beautiful leather handles.
It is perhaps impossible to buy a bag with more classic lines that Gucci. Their structured leather handbags offer multiple hardware and style options. Think clasps to small handles to long straps. Muted details and that beloved interlocking gold and silver logo complete the effect.
Founded in 1913, Prada bring over a century of class to their handbags … which is probably why they can charge in the multi-thousands for their inimitable tiny purses. Their bags range from the classic handbag shape with solid-colored leather and tube handles to more modern tie-dye prints in lime and mauve. Go old-school with the classic triangle logo, or choose one of the new ones with a chic rectangular mark. Either way, you know it will stand the test of time.
If you’re looking for a modern handbag extraordinaire, you can’t do better than Off-White. Their signature bag is a diagonal black and white stripe pattern. Add in a yellow strap reminiscent of caution tape. The whole thing gives the impression of a construction zone (or, if you’re into the darker side of life, a crime scene). These bags are the perfect statement piece at parties or for a night out. With care the denim will hold up well over time. Bonus: They make lots of styles for men as well as women.
If you want to look like you’re on a more or less permanent European vacation, Balenciaga has you covered. They have bright matte leather bags, large print logos and unique stitching (think bright yellow thread on black leather). They’re a truly unique investment.
Known for its distinct F pattern and quality leather goods, Fendi is the perfect brand choice for an investment handbag. It has many choices, from thick tweed fabric to engraved leather. Whether you’re a fall color-lover and go for brown, or love those winter blacks, Fendi has you covered. Oh, and you love the big shiny buckles? Look no further.
Versace includes some lovely classical elements in its bags. It’s logo stems from iconic Greek imagery. The head of Medusa was inspired by some ruins where the Versace kids spent time as children. Other elements of their handbags include fleur de lis, feathers and urns. Oozing Old World class, these bags won’t let you down now or in future.
Truly unique among handbags, Valentino uses composites of layered leather, straps and tassels, strange shapes and unique color combinations to create their signature lines. Add a V logo and your investment is set for life.
If you had to pick one handbag that would be immediately recognizable from yards away, it’s Burberry. Their classic plaid pattern in tan, black and cranberry is one of the best-branded fabrics in the world. Also, their prices are on the more reasonable side for investment handbags.
Designer Yves Saint Laurent pulled out all the stops for his YSL handbags. These offerings are simplicity at its finest, with matte leather, clean lines and charming hanging tags. Don’t forget metal buckles and designs with the classic YSL. These, along with other metal details, broadcast the bag’s maker to the world – and make it worth a pretty penny later.
These bags are the perfect option for summer, with one-of-a-kind detailing. Think wicker construction, bucket shapes, tropical florals and more. Of course, they also offer classic leather options as well.
Known for quality leather and metal details, Alexander McQueen has been a favorite of the glamorous elite for the last 25 years. This British company brings the upscale charm of the isles to shoppers everywhere, with metallic leathers, stud detailing and chain straps. Some of their more unique satchels use denim fabrics or lace appliques to create a truly luxurious result.
These bags use unique triangle shapes and pretty pastel leather make Givenchy ideal for spring and summer. Their classic looks are quite nice enough for the red carpet as well. They’re on the higher end of pricing. Make sure to choose one with lines and colors that will still be “in” in 5, 10 or 20 years.
17. Phillip Lim
An American fashion designer of Chinese descent, Phillip Lim brings the flavor of the Far East to his bags. With interesting lines and bright colors, his bags complement an upscale casual wardrobe well.
Any of the above designer handbag brands will get you an investment piece you will love for life. But the most important part is that your bag matches you. Spend some serious time doing you shopping beforehand. A little online research never hurt, either. Find out more about the resale value of each and consider which colors are bound to stand the test of time.
Make sure to take extra-good care of your handbag in the first 30-60 days too. That way, if you decide you’d like to return it, the store will take it back. Other than that, all you have to do is enjoy. You’re making a purchase that will last for life, so feel good about it and have fun rocking that new bag!