Celebrities    National Handbag Day

The 9 Most Iconic Celebrity Bag Moments of All Time

We’ve started our countdown to National Handbag Day on October 10, and that means we’ll have special features for you every day, right up to the big event! Today, we’re here to talk about the intersection of celebrity and accessories, and more specifically, how the two can become intertwined in public consciousness for years.

The kinds of stars who carry a particular bag do a lot to shape the market’s perception of it and the designer who created it, which is why so many brands give out free bags to stars now: they’re hoping to create positive associations. In the cases you see below, though, things came along a little bit more naturally. You can’t rush love, after all.

Think of a bag-celeb duo we missed? Let us know in the comments!

Grace Kelly
Hermès Kelly Bag
Shop Hermès Kelly Bags via Vestiaire Collective

There’s no other place to start this list: the iconic Hermès Kelly Bag gained its name when the Princess of Monaco became publicly associated with it. After carrying one of the bags in an Alfred Hitchcock film, Princess Grace started using them in her own life, and after a picture of her using the bag to shield signs her new pregnancy ran in Life magazine, their public connection was sealed forever.

Image via Vogue Italia
Image via Vogue Italia

Princess Diana
Christian Dior Lady Dior Bag
Shop Lady Dior Bags via Vestiaire Collective

The Lady Dior Bag is another example of a piece that gained its name post-debut from its most famous fan. According to Dior, the bag was originally called the Chouchou, but it was renamed two years later as a tribute to Princess Diana, who fell in love with the bag on a trip to Paris.

Image via Getty
Image via Getty

Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie Bradshaw
Fendi Baguette Bag
Shop Fendi via Net-a-Porter

Carrie Bradshaw may not be a real human, but her impact on the Fendi Baguette was very real. The already-popular bag was lifted into the stratosphere after multiple appearances and name-checks on Sex and the City, including during an episode where the pursuit of a fake Baguette served as an extended metaphor for an all-too-hasty marriage.

Image via HBO
Image via HBO

Jane Birkin
Hermès Birkin
Shop Birkins via Vestiaire Collective

Few tastemakers get handbags designed to address their casual complaints, and even fewer get those handbags designed by Hermès. Jane Birkin, the perpetual French It Girl, did just that by way of a chance meeting on a plane with an Hermès executive, and the result is still the most coveted bag in the world.

Image via Stylecaster
Image via Stylecaster

Kanye West
Louis Vuitton Backpack

It’s hard to remember when hip hop and high-end menswear weren’t inextricably linked, but it hasn’t really been that long. Kanye West, who used to call himself the Louis Vuitton Don, helped usher in an appreciation for European men’s fashion in American rap, and he did much of it while toting around a Louis Vuitton backpack of one type or another.

kanye-west-louis-vuitton-backpack

Martha Stewart
Hermès Birkin
Shop Birkins via Vestiaire Collective

I don’t think anyone ever doubted Martha Stewart was an HBIC, but marching into federal court to face jail time with an Hermès Birkin in tow should have cemented that knowledge in everyone’s minds. The press was critical of the choice at the time, and the Washington Post even went so far as to praise the other, less flashy bag she was also carrying in the photos. Apparently, they failed to realize it was also a very expensive Hermès bag: the Garden Party.

Image via MTV Canada
Image via MTV Canada

Jessica Simpson
Louis Vuitton Monogram Multicolore Speedy Bag

A look doesn’t necessarily need to age well to be iconic, and although we’re just far enough past early-aughts style for it to seem truly perplexing that we ever dressed that way, those years are worth recognizing as the handbag heyday they were. The era birthed plenty of paparazzi bait, but no one staked her claim over a single bag quite like Jessica Simpson did with the Multicolore Speedy. Like the fictional Carrie Bradshaw before her, Simpson’s use of the bag on her TV show, Newlyweds, exposed the style to a broad audience.

Image via Tumblr
Image via Tumblr

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
Gucci Jackie Hobo
$1,540 via Gucci

Like Grace Kelly and Princess Diana, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’s love for and continued public use of this Gucci style eventually prompted the brand to rename it in her honor; it’s been a favorite of women looking to channel a little presidential style ever since.

Image via The Telegraph
Image via The Telegraph

Audrey Hepburn
Louis Vuitton Speedy Bag

Legend has it that Audrey Hepburn was the woman who prompted the Speedy’s creation: she loved the brand’s Keepalls so much that she requested a smaller version for daily use. Eventually, that shrunken duffel was turned into a regular production piece for the brand, and the rest is history.

Image via Life Magazine
Image via Life Magazine
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M Green
M Green
7 years ago

Jane Birkin is not “the perpetual French It Girl”… she is British!!! Yes, she has lived in France for decades and had a long relationship with Serge Gainsbourg, the controversial French songwriter and singer… but she cannot be described as “the perpetual French It Girl”… That would be Bardot.

Rama
Rama
7 years ago

I thought the Lady Dior was given to Princess Diana by Mrs. Chirac.

Sue
Sue
5 months ago
Reply to  Rama

It absolutely was!

Katy ;P
Katy ;P
7 years ago

Wonderful post!

kemilia
kemilia
7 years ago

Some of these facts I already knew, and some I didn’t. Thank you for a great post!!

Sandy
Sandy
7 years ago

I enjoyed this post very much!

bir
bir
7 years ago

just a few tiny fact corrections sorry to do this but i think it useful to such a great post. Audrey requested not a smaller keep all but a smaller speedy and so the 30cm and 25cm speedys were launched, Also and more importantly jackies bag is an Hermes trim bag. Gucci restyled and made their own version under the direction of marcello Gucci to capitalize on the fact that jackie wore a bag like it….. i find it one of fashions historys top dirty moved because in the end…… it was Hermes. GREAT POSTS !!! thankyou

Stefanie
Stefanie
7 years ago

I love this post!!!!