The concept of the ‘it bag’ is one that dates back decades. The big names we often associate with cult accessories have always led the way – starting with Gucci, which many believe was responsible for the first ever it-bag (the iconic Bamboo bag) back in 1947, while the likes of Fendi, Chanel, Christian Dior and Hermès later followed suit.
By the noughties, it was the Mulberry Bayswater (and later the Alexa), the Balenciaga City and the Chloé Paddington that actually sparked the phrase ‘it bag’ – used to refer to the designer accessory that had been photographed on a number of big stars at the time.
Of course, the likes of the Lady Dior (largely associated with Princess Diana) the Hermès Kelly and the Birkin (made famous by Grace Kelly and Jane Birkin) and Fendi Baguette bag (thank you, Carrie Bradshaw) all ran before they could walk.
These days, the it-bag has become a little more accessible – the likes of Coach and Telfar have reached cult status with lower-budget designs – though generally, the big-hitters are still setting the agenda. With that in mind, these are the handbags we expect to see everywhere in 2023…
The Saint Laurent Icare Tote, £3,620
It was Zoë Kravitz who put this ultra-maxi tote bag on the map, complete with quilted nappa lambskin leather and a look-at-me gold logo, which “shines like the sun that burned Icarus’ wings”, as Saint Laurent creative director Anthony Vaccarello told British Vogue. It appears that big bags are very much back for 2023, giving firm 80s power woman vibes.
Prada Re-Edition 1995, £2,700
Smart, career-woman handbags are also set to be a big trend for 2023, and Prada’s latest re-edition is this boxy top-handle bag, seen on numerous street style stars at the Spring/Summer 2023 shows. Made from brushed leather, the fashion house states: “this handbag, a re-edition of an iconic Prada bag of 1995, is characterised by its elegant geometric silhouette with distinct, minimalist lines.”
Bottega Sardine Top Handle Bag, £2,930
A natural successor to the popular ‘Jodie’, Bottega’s latest addition features a sleek fish-shaped brass handle and a roomier woven pouch crafted from lamb skin. The bag made its debut on the Autumn/Winter 2022 runway, and has since been carried by the likes of Kendall Jenner and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.
Totême T-Lock Bag, £1070
Totême has a slightly quieter cult following, but the T-Lock – with its structured-yet-slouched curved shape – is set to be everywhere. It’s large enough to be practical and features a long shoulder strap (tapping into the working woman trend), but sleek enough to appeal to the fashion crowd. One to watch.
JW Anderson Bumper Bag, £595
This cheeky, pillowy bag, already endorsed by the likes of Dua Lipa, Emily Ratajkowski and serial handbag collector Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, appears to be going nowhere in 2023 – it has been introduced with new colour-ways, sizes and embellishments for next season. Who will wear it next?