Iconic bags have been a symbol of luxury and fashion for decades, representing the craftsmanship and heritage of high-end brands. In the world of fashion, some bags have become cultural icons, transcending trends and time. Brands like Fendi, Dior, Hermes, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton have created iconic bags that have stood the test of time and have become a status symbol for the fashion-conscious. These bags are not only a fashion accessory but also a piece of history, representing the brand’s identity, style, and values. In this article, we will explore the most iconic bags from these five luxury brands and examine why they have become such an important part of fashion history.
The Lady Dior bag is one of the most iconic bags created by the French fashion house. It was originally created in 1995 and was named after Lady Diana, the Princess of Wales, who was known for her impeccable style and elegance. Lady Dior quickly became a favorite of Lady Diana, who was often seen carrying the bag at public events. The bag’s design is characterized by its boxy shape, quilted stitching, the iconic Dior cannage pattern, the brand’s signature “D.I.O.R.” letter charms and a double handle design. The Lady Dior bag’s popularity continued to rise after Lady Diana’s tragic death in 1997. It became a symbol of timeless elegance and sophistication, and has since been carried by numerous celebrities and fashion icons.
Another iconic bag worth mentioning is the Fendi Baguette. It was created in 1997 by Silvia Venturini Fendi and was designed to be carried under the arm, like a French baguette. What makes the Fendi Baguette so iconic is its unique design and its role in pop culture. The bag is known for its petite size, rectangular shape, and short strap. It also features a fold-over flap and a signature Fendi logo buckle, which adds to its distinctive look. The Baguette bag’s popularity soared in the early 2000s, thanks to its frequent appearances on the hit TV show “Sex and the City.” The character Carrie Bradshaw, played by Sarah Jessica Parker, was often seen carrying a Baguette bag in different colors and patterns, which helped to make the bag a must-have item for fashion-conscious women around the world. The bag has been reinvented in various materials and styles over the years, but its distinctive shape and signature logo buckle remain unchanged, making it an enduring symbol of Fendi’s craftsmanship and style.
It was the 1950s when the Gucci house came out with a new bag, made to perfectly and gracefully fit under the shoulder. It’s unisex and with all the Gucci hallmars: green-red-green stripes and the double G monogram. Its name is Constance.
Despite its both practical and elegant style the bag was not a big success for the maison, not until 1964 when the most fashionable first lady of the time fell in love with it. Jackie O Kennedy, wife of the president John Kennedy, was so lovesick that she bought six Constantine bags at once.
After her purchase she was often photographed wearing the bag from the streets of New York to the cafes in Capri, very quickly the Constance became a huge trend and many personalities, man or women, followed the footsteps of the first lady. The same year Gucci renamed the bag Jackie, as a tribute to the women who made the bag timeless.
With the years the iconic bag received many restylings, starting from 1999 when the new art director, Tom Ford, replaced the signature piston lock with a new buckle, moving ten years forward Frida Giannini presented a new larger and softer version of the Jackie restoring the old lock and introducing a new roomyer size with the Jackye Soft. Lastly Alessandro Michele re-issued the bag in its original and faithful 1961 form but without renounce to charms, tiger heads, butterflies and mirror ornaments.
Today the Jackie can be purchased in a small, medium or large size, to accommodate all manner of daily essentials.
The story of this bag begins in 1983 on a late-night flight from Paris to London where in first class the singer and actress Jane Birkin and Louis Dumas, art director and CEO of Hermès, are seated next to each other. Legend has it that as Jane stored her straw bag in the overhead compartment, all it contained spilled in front of Dumas, who joked that she needed a handbag with pockets. While collecting the objects the actress started complaining and said that the day Hermes made an everyday bag that could hold all the items a busy mother carried, she would give up her signature oversized basket for it. Bearing in mind Jane’s suggestions, Louis started sketching the bag on an airplane sickness bag.
One year later the first Birkin bag came out. While its minimalist and clean style perfectly captured Jane’s style and personality, its roomy interior and lock made it safe and perfect for traveling.
Today it might seem unbelievable but at first the sales of the bag were underwhelming, until the 1990s when it became a symbol. The demand skyrocketed in 2001 after its immortal appearance in Sex and the City with the word “It’s not a bag, it’s a Birkin”
Years passed, new versions and colorways came out, but its status didn’t age. Today buying a Birkin in a store means an infinite waiting list and a lot of patience.
The bag was designed by Coco Chanel in February 1955, therefore the name represents the month and the year it was created. The innovative detail featured in the item are the straps, inspired by the 1920s military bag and by Chanel’s desire to make a bag that freed up women’s hands. Gabrielle explaining her choice said “I got fed up with holding my purses in my hands and losing them, so I added a strap and carried them over my shoulder”.
Though the 2.55 and the Flap bag are commonly mistaken due to their similar look, their details vary. The classic 2.55 was originally designed with the rectangular “Mademoiselle turn lock”, the double C lock was first introduced by Karl Lagherfield in the 80s and became a hallmark of the Flap bag.
Also the interior is very bound to Chanel’s life, the claret red leather recalls the uniforms her and her fellows wore in the Abbey orphanage and the chain, while the chain straps refers to the balts worn by the orderliers. The internal coating includes a lipstick pocket as well as a secret pocket, where she apparently kept her love letters.