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4 Alternative Bags to Start Your Handbag Collection With in 2024

Looking to buy your very first designer bag? Start with one of these alternative picks...

In the world of designer bag collecting, we all start from the bottom, and a first bag is a big deal. For many of us, there’s no greater feeling than snagging your first designer bag.

Whether it be a gift from a parent or a loved one celebrating a big milestone or something you pined over for months, making sacrifices to make happen, there is nothing like your first bag.

That first can happen at various stages of life, and that’s something we’ve noted time and time again in our Closest Confessionals series. Some grow up around designer goods, inheriting a collection before they can even walk, while others wait until later in life, after they’re settled and in a higher income bracket, to start their journey.

There’s no right or wrong bag to purchase for your first. The perfect starter bag will vastly differ from person to person, which makes this shared passion so fun. We all have different likes and dislikes, but we all love the same thing at the core.

In fact, the only rule of thumb should be that you absolutely and unequivocally love it. Don’t worry about it being trendy or classic; just picture yourself wearing it and channel the bag that feels most like you. Go with your gut.

If you’re looking to begin your designer handbag collecting journey in 2024, you’re in luck because there are more options than ever. Want something out of the norm? You can’t go wrong with any of the below bags.

Alaïa Le Teckel Bag

Bursting onto the scene in 2024, the Alaïa Le Teckel is quickly becoming a hit. Its shape is rather simple (but totally chic). While it’s becoming well known amongst the fashion crowd, for the vast majority, Alaïa continues to fall under the radar (and it’s underrated, IMHO).

Though not a key luxury player in the handbag world, the House itself is rich in history, founded by Tunisian designer Azzedine Alaïa in 1964.

The Le Teckel, named after the French word for Dachshund, was designed by current creative director Pieter Mulier. It’s characterized by an elongated body and tubular shoulder straps—standing out for its cool silhouette, it’s easy to wear, unfussy and can be dressed up or down.

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Alaia Le Teckel
ALAIA Le Teckel Medium
$2,490 via Alaia

The Row Half Moon Bag

I know, I know, you saw The Row and immediately tuned out, but no, I am not going to recommend the incredibly coveted but exorbitantly-priced Margaux Bag. Like the Margaux, The Row’s Half Moon Bag has been around the block, but it is a sneakily good choice for a first bag outside of the key major luxury players.

Featuring an easy silhouette with clean, curved lines, the shape is distinct (very, if you know, you know), and it can go with virtually everything. Crafted from soft leather and lined in suede, this is a luxe pick at an extremely accessible price point. It feels trendy but classic, and this bag has already proven to have staying power.

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The Row Half Moon White
THE ROW Half Moon Bag
$1,350 via 24S

Jil Sander Goji Bag

For years, German minimalist designer Jil Sander has been a fashion favorite of the street style set. Unlike other under-the-radar brands (think Loewe and The Row), the brand holds true to its elusiveness and the label’s bags haven’t become more mainstream (yet).

Still, Jil Sander is known for chic, eye-catching designs that are both well-made and stylish. The Goji Bag is one of the brand’s more popular styles, offered in a few variations, but the east/west iteration, with its classic bamboo handle is very of the moment.

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Jil Sander Goji Bag
$2,180 via Farfetch

Neous Dorado 2.0

With a tagline of “for the informed but non-conformist,” Neous is not to be overlooked.

Offering an array of minimalist designs with unique, stylistic details, Neous bags are handmade in Italy by independent artisans. The recently reimagined Dorado 2.0 is an elegant little shoulder bag that blends in while at the same time standing out.

Its bags are attention-grabbing, though not overly branded. Melding clean lines with both form and function, it’s also the most affordable bag of the bunch. Plus, Neous is still largely under the radar, so if you’re looking for a bag truly outside of the box, this is it.

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Neous Bag
NEOUS Dorado 2.0 Shoulder Bag
$895 via Luisaviaroma

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1 month ago

I own and adore my Half Moon bag from The Row, but I probably would not purchase it as a first handbag. If you get it in the smooth leather, it has a very limited capacity (you can’t carry too much or else the sides indent/bulge in an unsightly way), it is delicate and susceptible to scratches, and it lacks versatility – shoulder carry only. Personally I would get a more hardy and versatile bag first; the Half Moon does have a place in a bag collection, but probably less as an everyday bag, which is usually what you want your first designer handbag to be.

1 month ago

I am not sure I would recommend any of these as good first bag alternatives. The Alaia really is just a trend with limited utility and capacity. I think longevity is important with a first handbag, so I would go for more classic shapes.