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Looking to invest in an instantly recognisable luxury handbag that combines elements of history, pop culture, and classic good looks? Do we have options for you — here are eight of the most iconic bags of all time, all selected for their heirloom-worthy, timeless style. (Warning: You might want all them all…)

1. Gucci’s Jackie 1961 

The emblematic Gucci handbag known for its half-moon shape and sleek piston hardware launched in 1958 named as the Constance, but was renamed after First Lady Jackie Kennedy Onassis stopped by a Gucci store and walked out with six of the bags. Shortly after, it caused a frenzy of women wanting one too. The bag was relaunched with reverence in the maison’s Autumn Winter 2020 collections — including menswear.
2. Prada’s Galleria Saffiano
Prada’s Galleria Saffiano bag, which launched in 2007, is iconic for two reasons: first, the timeless ‘Galleria’ shape, which is made up of a separate 83 pieces all brought together by hand. Second, the ‘Saffiano’ material, a patented calf leather that’s resistant to scratches and water and is defined by its cross-hatch texture.
3. Chanel’s 2.55
A singular rectangular shape created by Coco Chanel in February 1955, Chanel’s 2.55 revolutionised women’s fashion by the simple act of adding a strap to a purse — an idea that was still novel at the time. The 2.55 is the original icon, but the Chanel Flap bag needs a special mention here too — introduced by Karl Lagerfeld in the 1980s, it’s similar to the 2.55 but features the now instantly recognised ‘double C’ lock.
4. Louis Vuitton’s Keepall
While not technically a handbag, we had to include the world’s most iconic travel bag, the Keepall. First launched by Louis Vuitton in the 1930s, the piece is available today in plenty of sizes and with the option of the Bandoulière add-on, an extra cross-body strap attached on the side. As for the most timeless material on offer? Opt for the monogram canvas.
5. Fendi’s Baguette
First launched in 1997, Fendi’s Baguette — designed to sit under your arm comfortably, in the classic French way of carrying the daily loaf of bread — reached cult status with the help of Sarah Jessica Parker’s character Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City. Today, the amount of magnetic iterations on offer is impressive.
6. DIOR’s Lady Dior
Designed by the legendary Gianfranco Ferré, the Lady Dior was gifted to Diana, the Princess of Wales, in 1995 by the former French First Lady, Bernadette Chirac. The late princess — one of history’s most influential style icons — sported variations of the handbag at many occasions in the years that followed, including the 1996 Met Gala.
7. Hermès’ Birkin
The Birkin story starts in the sky in 1984, when during a flight from Paris to London British-French actress and singer Jane Birkin gets a surprise upgrade and finds herself sitting next to Jean-Louis Dumas, the then Executive Chairman of Hermès. She complains that she can’t find a bag suitable for her needs as a new mum — and Dumas listens. The result remains one of the most world’s most sought-after handbags.
8. Goyard’s Saint Louis
While French luxury label Maison Goyard might have started as a trunk maker in 1792, it’s their tote bags you’ll spot being sported all over the streets today. The most popular, and arguably most iconic, tote from the label is the Saint Louis — it’s made from the label’s famous lightweight Goyardine material and is completely reversible.
A note for the would-be collector: due to the high popularity and limited production of some of these pieces, it’s best to check on the availability of your preferred style.