When shopping for the best handbag brands, you might wonder if you should spend the money for a designer handbag, a luxury handbag, or pick up a faux leather handbag from your nearest retailer. The answer is that your needs determine which you should choose. This article points you to the top designer bag brands and the everyday women’s handbags you can purchase from nearly any shop.
Your search for the right bag starts with you determining what size bag you need. Most handbag brands craft a variety of sizes including the shoulder bag, tote bag, crossbody bag, Birkin bag, saddlebag, bucket bag, bucket bag, hobo bag, clutch bag, belt bag, mini bag, or a purse. Your perfect handbag differs from your best friend’s definition of perfection. She might love barrel bags, meaning she needs a Chanel bag while you might adore tote bags which means you should shop Michael Kors. If you collect all things French and want a French handbag then Hermes is your must-have bag.
Let’s dive into the many choices available to you among the best handbag brands. They range from everyday affordability to stratospherically expensive, but they offer well-made construction that lasts for years. Some of these brands, like the American luggage and bag maker Coach, provide a lifetime warranty on their products.
The Best Handbag Brands
As you likely know, there are more designer handbag brands than we can count. Many of them come and many of them go. The ones that find a way to stand out through superior design or workmanship are the ones that stick around. Many of the brands that have stuck around are now household names. Whether you buy designer bags or not, you likely have heard the brand names. The following is a list of the best designer handbag brands.
Every woman should own a Chanel handbag at some point in their life. This French design house produces haute couture on the cusp of fashion. Its bags and wallets feature hand-made workmanship, the highest-quality materials, and a wide range of colors. The handbags use leather, goatskin leather, and wool as the most common materials. As mentioned, it’s best known for its barrel bag.
Also considered a must-have French designer handbag brand, Hermes, makes all of its clutches and bags from leather. This design house uses classic styling and a multitude of color options. Known for its signature Hermes scarves, no signature Hermes bag exists, but the Hermes Birkin comes close. You can find it in bright orange, fuchsia, and You choose which one appeals the most to you and that’s your bag.
Luxury goods designer Dior produces canvas bags and leather purses with modern designs. The French designer infuses its designer handbags with quirky touches and offers numerous colors and styles. Because of this, there exists no quintessential Dior bag.
Source: Louis Vuitton
The handbag brand Louis Vuitton also hails from France. Louis Vuitton crafts most of its purses and handbags from leather. The design house’s most recognizable bags use its logo on their face. Choose from a plethora of colors and styles.
Gucci bags offer one of the Italian investment bag options. That’s not a design. Many people purchase Gucci (and Chanel and Hermes) bags as an investment. This Italian designer brand crafts some of the finest leather luxury goods in the world. The house of Gucci also uses what it terms “precious materials” such as crocodile and alligator skins. They stamp each bag’s hardware with the double-G logo.
Also hailing from Italy, the designer brand Prada, crafts fine leather handbags and canvas and polyester-satin messenger bags. Known for a minimalist design perspective, they do occasionally release a bag with more structure and unique materials. You can find a massive selection of colors and styles in the Prada line.
American designers also craft fabulous purses and handbag. Perhaps the best-known brand, Coach, has crafted fine and luxury handbags for many decades. Choose from briefcases, totes, backpacks, clutches, wallets, and shoulder bags. Most of its creations use either leather or canvas decorated with signature brass hardware and its recognizable logo. It is known for its satchels, wallet bags, and crossbody bags.
A newer American purse and handbag designer, Off-White mixes vibrant colors with leather, logos, and sometimes graphics such as word art. This designer bag offers kitsch.
Source: Kate Spade
An American husband and wife duo created the fashion brand Kate Spade, but it only carries the female name. While the other entries on this list can cost many thousands of dollars, most Spade bags cost less than $300. They do not skimp on quality though. They design everyday bags at an affordable price in classic designs and colors.
Source: Michael Kors
You can also find affordable choices within the Michael Kors brand. His designs range from classic, everyday bags to quirky, flashy purses. Choose from an extensive color range.
The Spanish brand Balenciaga offers modern style handbags using simple designs and an array of colors. Most of their bags include the logo printed on them in a noticeable way.
The French designer brand Fendi specializes in unique handbags with modern styling. These quirky designs come in a wide selection of styles and materials available in a cornucopia of colors. Look for its signature Fendi baguette. (Yes, these French has a sense of humor.)
Zipping back to Italy, Versace crafts some of the finest leather handbags made. This modern atelier offers an expansive luxury brand but known for its bags, it continues to provide fashionistas with the leather clutches and purses they need for corporate offices and weekends clubbing.
Italian fashion house Valentino also crafts a collection of leather handbags. This brand sticks to classic designs with simple lines but diversifies its choices by offering bags in numerous prints and solid colors. Choose a Valentino when you want to stylishly match your shoes or dress perfectly.
The British do make handbags! Burberry may be better known for its men’s suits, but it turns out haute couture handbags, too. They typically use a custom fabric developed in-house that provides a stylish look that’s waterproof, too. Styles range from classic to modern and the brand focuses on neutral colors such as brown, tan, and black, but you can find its designs in bright red, too, and a plaid using all four colors.
Yves Saint Laurent (YSL)
Source: Yves Saint Laurent (YSL)
Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) caters to the haute couture crowd of France. Its luxury fashions and handbags use leather and feature embossing. YSL offers bags in neutral colors.
Source: Salvatore Ferragamo
Salvatore Ferragamo, an Italian leather fashion brand, produces a wide array of luxury goods. This designer uses classic styles with a variety of materials. Most designs feature vibrant colors.
Source: Alexander McQueen
The late Alexander McQueen founded the British fashion brand that carries his name after leaving the house of Givenchy as its lead designer. He focused on elegant designs infused with funky touches like skull prints and beaded flowers. Typically, working in leather with hardware of metal, McQueen designed numerous bag styles in an array of colors.
The venerable Givenchy of France produces one of the world’s best-known luxury brands. These bags, usually crafted from leather, use classic styling and tasteful hardware. Although McQueen designed for House of Givenchy for a few years, you won’t find any bags that carry his trademark designs. Steeped in its own history, Givenchy feared change and corralled McQueen’s attempts to infuse modernity. Expect dependable elegance from Givenchy.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some up-and-coming handbag brands?
Enough with the expensive handbags that most people save up to buy. You can tote a cute leather handbag or shoulder bag without spending the money for any of the European luxury handbag brands. Try the American fashion designer Phillip Lim for nice leather bags, or an Anna by Anuschka known for hand-painted satchels.
The affordable designer La Poet crafts bags of leather in a plethora of colors and styles. Look for Kattee, a handbag brand focusing on canvas and leather bags, all in very affordable price ranges. The American watchmaker Fossil also turns out fashionable bags as does Marc Jacobs.
What is faux leather?
Faux leather, also known as vegan leather, refers to polyester or fake leather used in making vegan leather handbags. You may also see these referred to as pleather. This material provides designers the look and close to the feel of leather, so they can craft a vegan handbag line. Other vegan bag materials include bamboo silk or bamboo satin.
These alternatives to the leather bag offer those with an issue wearing animal skins a vegan purse alternative that still uses a high-quality material. LaBante and Marsi Bond are two options for a designer brand using vegan materials instead of crafting leather goods.