PurseBlog Asks What's Next

When Megs and I sat down a couple of weeks ago to discuss what we’d be covering for the end of the year, we knew we wanted to do a post about the most important bags of 2013. (And we did do that!) What became obvious as soon as we began assembling the list of bags, though, was that we’re in a bit of an It Bag power vacuum at the moment.

Fendi 2Jours Tote

The Celine Luggage Tote, although still a very popular bag, isn’t the hysteria-generator that it was a couple of seasons ago. The Givenchy Antigona Bag, although it was poised to take over the world, suffered a from a lack of interesting new versions to push it over the edge. The Fendi 2Jours is as close to an It Bag as the industry has right now, and although it’s beautiful and popular, it hasn’t (and won’t) turn reasonable, educated women into crazed shoppers willing to purchase a non-refundable bag six months in advance. (I was one of those women for the Luggage Tote. I know that level of desperation.)

Saint Laurent Classic Duffel Bag

When the bag first debuted, The Cut predicted that Saint Laurent’s Classic Duffel would be the Next Big Thing, and we disagreed. Turns out, we were right. Saint Laurent’s taking an interesting approach to its accessory business right now, but so far, the bags just aren’t quite there. The brand has a good opportunity to generate an It Bag, though; despite lackluster show reviews, Saint Laurent is a favorite of people who actually buy and wear designer clothes, and all those street style photos of everyone’s favorite editors and dubiously employed Fashion People have the power to sell more than a few bags to industry-watchers. Those industry-watcher then spread the gospel to their less tuned-in friends, and that’s how a craze is born. It all hinges on whether or not Hedi Slimane can get it right, though.

Mansur Gavriel Bucket Bag

At the contemporary level, the Mansur Gavriel Bucket Bag is the closest thing that segment of the market has had to an It Bag in years. The brand new company, with its simple designs and small-batch production, sells out its orders basically as soon as they hit the shelves. Wait lists start months in advance, especially for the much sought-after black Bucket Bag with a painted red interior, and even some well-placed industry insiders have had a rough time of getting their hands on one. It’s difficult for a contemporary bag to become an industry-wide It Bag, though, because part of what makes something an It Bag is a prohibitive price tag and the exclusivity it brings. Mansur Gavriel has scarcity on its side and will likely be able to sell as many bags as it can produce for the foreseeable future, but far-reaching industry dominance isn’t in the immediate cards.

Price works both ways on the issue of It Bags, though. Louis Vuitton would, by all indications, love to be included in this conversation for its push toward more refined leather goods, but the brand’s all-leather bags are too expensive to pick up the wide swath of luxury consumers needed for a full-on craze. Around $2,000 is the It Bag sweet spot for It Bags, and for that, all you’ll get at Vuitton is the monogram canvas that the brand is currently trying to push to the back of the shelves.

It seems likely that the next super-popular It Bag has not been introduced to the public yet, so now we want to know what you think. Where will the Next Big Thing is going to come from?

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  • mga13

    Let’s see what Nicolas Ghesquière brings to the table at Louis Vuitton. Past Vuitton It bags have been runway-to-reality creations and Nicolas has all the potential. Also, now that Marc Jacobs is redefining his bags he’ll surprise us. Well, maybe. Possibly the biggest It bag creators will be new or revived brands with less of a past to live-with and more of a future to build-in.

  • Silversun

    I think it’s important to note that a lot of houses have a head of accessories/handbags who stands below the creative director, and whose contributions to handbag design are often unsung. The new appointments that I’m most keenly watching for 2014, personally, are Darren Spaziani, who has just joined LV after a stint at Proenza Schouler (and before that Balenciaga, among other roles), and Elena Ghisellini, who has just joined Pucci after heading up the leather goods division at Givenchy. My money for the next It Bag is on one of them.

  • M

    I am really rooting for a new designer to come out of nowhere and redefine “It Bags”. The Celine luggage tote takes the cake this year as we’ve seen more bags inspired by it than any other “it bag” that came along this year. The gusset flare changed the bag game when it came out. With all the shift in leadership in big fashion brands, we’ll just hope for the best in the next big thing.

  • Kate

    My money is on Marc Jacobs! Now that he is concentrating on his own lines rather than LV, he will be able to create something unique once again. With his celebrity & fashion following, he can certainly incite the desirability & hysteria an It Bag requires if he finds the right design aesthetic.

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