This past year has brought about no shortage of shifts, but there one thing that remains as valuable as ever: pre-loved luxury handbags. Beautifully crafted handbags are quality pieces of evergreen fashion that are not only durable and practical, but they hold their value too. A second-hand designer handbag just might be one of the best purchases you can make right now. With Vestiaire Collective's list of top luxury bags of 2021 you can choose a vintage or contemporary style and feel confident that you are getting a sustainable bag that is made to last. Combining longevity with sustainability in one elegant package assures that a great bag isn’t a trend. It’s an investment that you will love for a long time.
Some handbags are simply timeless. Many of the best designer handbags have been around for decades but are just as beloved today. That’s because some of the best things in life (think wine, cheese, George Clooney...) just get better with age. Fendi, Gucci and Dior are just a few of the top names with coveted vintage bags that are always chic and elegant. Need an escape from 2021 already? Why not channel the mid-century glamour of Jackie O? Or maybe you just want to hop back a couple decades to the ‘00s... Whatever your preferred decade may be, you can travel back in time, fashionably, by choosing vintage.
The Fendi Baguette was made famous under the arm of Sarah Jessica Parker in Sex and the City. After its appearance on the series, the Baguette bag exploded into what is sometimes called the world’s first ‘It’ bag. But the Baguette didn’t stay stuck in the early 2000s. Since then, it has undergone reportedly one thousand variations and become the veritable must-have bag for celebs around the world. Rihanna, Winnie Harlow and Zoe Kravitz are all loyal fans. The Baguette was recently revamped in grand fashion in a variety of sizes. It’s clear that the bag that defined a generation twenty years ago is ready to take on another one. At Vestiaire Collective, we simply can’t get enough.
This unisex signature bag is a fashion staple. It’s so integral to the house’s history that it has its own exhibit in the Gucci Museum in Florence, Italy. The Jackie is an evergreen piece that has been popular since Jackie Kennedy was first spotted wearing one. More recently, it’s been seen carried by the likes of Harry Styles and Cate Blanchett. Crafted in many different shades and prints, the Gucci Jackie will be your loyal companion this year... and for many to come. It has a slouchy silhouette lending it a more bohemian vibe and a signature piston lock closure at the front. Updated versions include a micro size because who doesn’t love a mini bag right now? The re-release of the Jackie during Gucci’s Fall/Winter 2020 show is sure to increase the demand and saleability of vintage models.
‘00s fashion is having a resurgence. So much of style in those days was dictated by Patricia Field who was the Emmy-award winning stylist for Sex and the City, a show where the fashion was just as important as the characters. Another luxury handbag brand that made its entree into popular culture through Sex and the City is none other than the Dior Y2K Saddle Bag. Designed by John Galliano, it was one of the early 2000s most popular bags that the inimitable Carrie Bradshaw carried into on-screen fame. It was an instant favourite with its unique saddle-inspired shape and continues to be a highly desired investment piece for the future. With the logo print having its moment, Dior’s monogram Y2K Saddle Bag is even cooler when it’s vintage. Why buy new when you can sport the original?
Sometimes a bag requires a specific occasion. And sometimes you want a style that you can rely on, knowing it can accompany you anywhere. An evergreen handbag will be your trusty sidekick for any season. These bags know no trends because they are built to last for generations, so buying them second-hand is the way to go. Evergreen styles have been loved, and will continue to be loved, for many years to come. After all, trends come and go but good taste and high quality will never go out of fashion. In 2021 we have our eyes on three bags in particular that will be a good choice for any occasion and have an attractive resale value, too.
A favourite for fashionistas shopping for Louis Vuitton luxury bags has to be the Pochette. It was originally designed as an addition to your larger handbag, but it’s become a handheld favourite in recent years. These petite bags are versatile and functional enough to carry anywhere and keep all your daily necessities with you. Don’t let the dainty appearance fool you, though. This is a hard-working bag that can be worn for daytime as well as for special nights out. It is easy to find one that matches your style with different materials, prints and shoulder straps. Our favourite for 2021 are the vintage Pochettes in the classic LV Monogram. With the nano bag craze at full speed, the Pochette is sure to remain in high demand.
Mirror mirror on the wall who’s the rarest of them all? The Hermès Birkin has transcended mere fashion and become a cult object, fetching resale prices that are breathtaking. The Birkin has been the talk of the art world since a band of Brooklyn creatives called MSCHF created the Birkinstock, a sandal made from Birkin handbags. While we shed a tear at imagining a gorgeous handbag being repurposed, the allure of the Birkin is undeniable. You could hardly do better than choosing Hermès as an investment piece. The pieces are reputed to have a wait list of over five years, lending it an exclusivity that makes fashionistas around the world froth in anticipation. With Vestiaire Collective, you can skip the waitlist and buy your second-hand Hermès bag now! Just as coveted is the trapezoid shaped Hermès Kelly, named after elegance embodied, Princess Grace of Monaco. Both bags are sure to hold their resale value as demand for Hermès handbags continues to soar.
The timeless YSL Loulou is named after Saint Laurent’s lifelong muse and jewellery designer Loulou de la Falaise. Known as an eccentric and a free spirit, her inimitable character made a huge impression on the Parisian fashion scene that lasts to this day. The bag that bears her name is available in four sizes including the micro bag which comes in at 20 centimetres wide and 14 centimetres high- enough space for your iPhone, keys and maybe the all-important hand sanitizer! This functional flap bag has a metal YSL logo on the front and contains internal pockets so you can stay organized. It is a simple yet classy piece that, like Loulou herself, will transcend mere trends and be a go-to bag for years to come. Add a little Loulou to your life.
Sustainability is at the core of what we do at Vestiaire Collective. Fashion Activists like you know that shopping with us helps to sustain the planet and preserves your wallet. What is more beautiful than that? By purchasing gorgeous pre-loved items, you help minimise the impact the fashion industry has on the environment. One of the best things about quality handbags is the careful construction that goes into them which means they last longer too. Check out three of our favourite designers who are blazing the trail for sustainability and eco-consciousness. You don’t have to sacrifice beauty to be a better citizen for the Earth when you shop on the Vestiaire Collective app.
Gabriela Hearst is a designer from Uruguay whose New York-based brand blends ethics and aesthetics. She’s drawn a wide range of fans from Meghan Markle to Brie Larson. Gabriela grew up respecting the value of well-made products and to this day still sources wool from her father’s sixth-generation farm. She aligns her company with her sustainable values by committing to going plastic free and producing handbags in limited quantities, selling only through direct-to-consumer channels. Her first handbag was the Nina, created in 2016 and inspired by the legendary singer Nina Simone who was an activist in her own right. In December 2020 she was named creative director of Chloé, breaking barriers by being the first non-European to hold the position. Chloé stated Hearst’s commitment to sustainability was a big factor in the decision.
Distinct, fun and instantly loved. That’s a Ganni handbag. Ganni admits that the fashion industry isn’t known for being sustainable, but the brand is committed to improvement. It’s no surprise since Ganni is based in Denmark, which has consistently been named the world’s greenest country. Ganni regularly publishes “Responsibility Reports” that explain the research they’ve done into how to create greener products, their strides and setbacks, and their goals for the future. The transparency of the company is a breath of fresh air— much like their adorable drawstring wrist bags made of recycled polyester. The bags come in bursts of different happy colours and you’ll surely want all of them. As the world continues to adopt better environmental practices, now is a good time to invest in sustainable pieces like Ganni wristlet bags. Buying them second-hand at Vestiaire means you’re giving the bags a second life which is even more sustainable!
Telfar has championed genderless fashion since day one. When the Liberian-American designer Telfar Clemens won the Vogue Fashion Fund in 2017, he launched his trademark Shopping Bag. It’s a functional carryall made of vegan leather for anytime use. In the summer of 2020, a restock of the trademark tote bag crashed the company’s website, cementing its cult status. Even Oprah put the medium shopping bag on her Favourite Things list in 2020. Telfar believes his bags are for everyone and he designs with inclusivity and sustainability in mind. A new Telfar Shopping Bag can be hard to get your hands on these days, but you can find one easily at Vestiaire and they hold a +70% 30 day sales through rate for successful resale! 2021 is going to be a good year for Telfar to continue trailblazing the fashion world. We’ll try to keep up.
Whether you’re going for a piece that is evergreen, vintage or sustainable, these are our top brands and styles to look out for this year on the Vestiaire Collective app. Let us help you look good, feel good and do good all at the same time. With any of these pre-loved handbags in your wardrobe, 2021 is going to be one of the most beautiful years yet.