What Makes An “It” Bag and is “It” Worth It?

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The Fendi Baguette, Via Vogue

It bag (n.): a handbag that eclipses all others in popularity and style and can be seen on the arms of everyone from street style stars, designer darlings, to fashion editors

Whether it’s the Fendi Baguette, the Marc Jacobs Stam bag, or the Céline Luggage tote, every few seasons a new star is born in the world of designer handbags that seems to consume the fashion set and pop up just about everywhere you turn. The it-bag is every designer’s dream and every fashionista’s must-have. So what makes an it-bag “it” and why do we all go crazy for them? And even more importantly, are they worth the hype?

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The Céline Nano Luggage Tote, Via Athens-Streetstyle

A handbag’s job is to perfectly compliment any outfit (it’s other job is to carry all of our extra stuff — but thats boring), and an it-bag takes that a step further, perfectly complementing and representing fashion in a given moment. The Fendi baguette is the bag of the late nineties. Even though we can’t help but think of an early Carrie Bradshaw when we see it,  there is still something nostalgically classic about the itsy-bitsy bag. The longest reigning it-bag of late has to be the Céline Luggage and Phantom totes, which debuted in 2010 and haven’t shown any sign of relenting their insane popularity.

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The Chanel Graffiti Backpack, Via Elle

But what’s the latest and greatest? Chanel has surprisingly overshadowed their classic ladylike bags with runway collectibles like the Lego clutch, the perfume bottle minaudiere, and now, the graffiti backpack. Then there’s the insanely instagrammed Mansur Gavriel bucket bag that went from a filtered favorite to one of Bergdorf’s best, and is now sold out everywhere — seriously everywhere, we’ve checked… repeatedly. These current bags of the moment couldn’t be more different though. Chanel’s bags are all bold and eye-catching designs that firmly commit to maximalism (and unfortunately have a high chance of maxing out your credit card at a retail price), while Mansur Gavriel has gone with clean, simple lines and an overall minimalist look and a somewhat magically minimalist price.

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The Mansur Gavriel Bucket Bag, Via Lucky

But all these uber-trendy bags, be it a Chanel bag, Céline, Chloé, or others, seem to be on complete opposite ends of the spectrum. So what’s the common thread between all these it-bags? Well it seems that almost all of these legendary bags of yesterday and today are a sort of reinvention of a classic bag. However, the direction that reinvention goes in – minimalist or maximalist, refined or outrageous – is just about as up in the air as is the next contender for the it-bag throne (we are personally loving Nicholas Ghesquière’s mini trunk clutch from his debut collection at Louis Vuitton, in case you were wondering — yet another reinvention!)

So whether your ideal it-bag costs a couple hundred or a couple thousand dollars, are these bags worth the hype, the money, and sometimes the extreme effort it takes to track them down? Well, we personally can’t help but adore these must-have bags – it’s a guilty pleasure that we can’t wait to show off. And despite an it-bag’s often single season (and sometimes only split second) lifespan they become a sort of collector’s item. People will do whatever they can to get their hands on these highly-coveted commodities. A good deal on a pre-owned bag is as good as new for the fashion crazed – you can often sell yours for close to the retail value while they’re hot, and if it’s sold out everywhere, you can even sell it for more. And when these bags age a little they become vintage icons, and anything iconic will always fetch a good price. So if you ever change your mind there will always be a bag-lover happy to take it off your hands. But even if you hold onto your bags whose fifteen minutes have been long gone, they’ll always be filled with nostalgia even if they’re no longer filled with your everyday essentials. So go ahead, give in, and rock the it-bag you deserve — trust us it’s so worth it.

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