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Your 2023 Guide to Mid-Range It-Bags

Affordable AND cult-worthy, yes please!

Gone are the days when the ‘It’ bag status was reserved solely for designs from heritage labels boasting hefty price tags. This season, the fashion set is showing some love for cult-favorite bags from mid-range brands.

Since the idea of an ‘It’ bag was conceptualized in the 1990s, the styles bearing the title have predominantly been designed by famed, ultra-luxury labels. Take the Hermès Birkin, Dior Saddle, Fendi Baguette, and Louis Vuitton’s Multicolore Monogram line. Upon their release, all occupied a high price point with many fan-favorite styles from the likes of Hermès and Chanel representing the top tier of luxury fashion. Over the years, the concept of an ‘It’ bag has become closely linked with costly price tags. Still, exclusivity, cult appeal, and widespread popularity remain core components of what makes a design ‘It’ bag worthy.

Demand for age-old classics and highly-anticipated new releases worth thousands of dollars from high-end luxury designers remains high. But an increasing number of innovative designs crafted using quality materials from more affordable labels are climbing fashion’s handbag hot list and earning the coveted ‘It’ bag title. From the fashion insider favorite Coperni Swipe to Glenn Martens’ new street style-approved Diesel designs, here are the mid-range ‘It’ bags to know.

Coach Pillow Tabby

Coach Pillow Tabby

When a brand appoints J-Lo to star in its campaign, launching a new bag, you know it means business. Released in 2021, the Coach Pillow Tabby has become the ultimate squeezable companion for fashionistas everywhere. The label’s Creative Director, Stuart Vevers, took inspiration from a 1970s archival design to create the squishy shoulder bag. Sporting Coach’s initial insignia on the front flap’s pull tab, it’s an ode to the brand’s love of logomania, while the smooth Nappa leather adds to the style’s appeal.

In true ‘It’ bag fashion, the Pillow Tabby has helped popularize a new handbag trend with cozy pillow and puffer designs now a firm favorite amongst the fashion set. And at well under $1,000, it’s considerably more affordable than many of the cult designs we know and love.

Coperni Swipe

Coperni Swipe Bag

Coperni Swipe Bag
via Nordstrom

Any true ‘It’ bag has the power to enthrall the fashion media and send critics and fans alike into a collective fashion frenzy. And few bags have captured the fashion world’s attention in recent years, quite like the Coperni Swipe. Debuting for Fall/Winter 2019, the design’s unique structured oval silhouette instantly wowed style seekers by presenting a new take on the Y2K-favorite croissant bag shape. After a solid glass iteration of the Coperni Swipe made its way down the brand’s Fall/Winter 2022 runway, the style’s popularity grew, and it’s been dubbed one of the hottest ‘It’ bags of the 2020s so far.

Self-Portrait Bow Bag

Self Portrait Bow Bag 1
image via @mrselfportrait

London-based brand Self-Portrait’s Bow design is a perfect example of the allure mid-range ‘It’ bags poses. Released for Spring/Summer 2022, the structured top-handle design gets its name from the ornate metal bow detail. Celebrity fans include Selena Gomez and Gigi Hadid. The standout design has spawned an entire line of Bow bags, including mini and micro variations and crescent-shaped and shoulder bag styles.

Diesel 1DR

Diesel 1DR Bag

There was a lot to love about Glenn Martens’s Diesel Spring/Summer 2022 collection, but the 1DR bag still managed to steal the show. Quickly dubbed an ‘It’ bag, the logo plaque-embossed design earned cult status and is credited with helping make Diesel cool again. Smooth lines and a simple flap opening mean the style’s no-fuss silhouette can be carried anywhere, but you’re most likely to spot it on the arms of insiders at Fashion Week. The design’s micro iterations are some of the most sought-after tiny bags around and serve as a reminder that Diesel’s rebrand is one of the best fashion has seen in decades.

Telfar Shopping Bag

Telfar Shopping Tote

Telfar Shopping Tote
via Fashionphile

Perhaps the most well-known design on this list, the Telfar Shopping Bag is perhaps the original mid-range ‘It’ bag. Playfully labeled the ‘Bushwick Birkin’, this famous logoed tote has been a handbag icon since its release in 2014. The boxy vegan leather carryall helped put Telfar Clemens’ eponymous label on the map. Despite its modest price tag, it became famous for garnering a cult-like following comparable to the Hermès Birkin.

JW Anderson Bumper-Moon Bag

JW Anderson Bumper Moon Bag

If there’s one designer we trust to create a bag that’s equal parts affordable and cult-worthy, it’s British visionary JW Anderson. Characterized by its smooth crescent silhouette and trimmed with contrasting colored statement thick piping, the Bumper-Moon stands out amongst mid-range bags. It’s functional, affordable, and all the fun you expect from the brand.

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RuRu
RuRu
1 year ago

Telfair bags are awful….they peel and it does not look pretty. Cheap sh*t.

SleepySue
SleepySue
9 months ago
Reply to  RuRu

I have heard this comment before and am genuinely interested in other people’s experiences. I have one and my daughter has one and they are workhorses, so wondering if the ones that look bad are dupes. Does anyone have an experience with a verified purchase being low quality? I know they aren’t everyone’s cup of tea.

RuRu
RuRu
1 year ago

Saw Telfar on a train. All chipped and looking raggedy AF.

Catlin
Catlin
1 year ago

The Coperni Swipe bag photographs like a dream and I suspect that’s the beginning and end of why it’s popular. I can’t help but think it would be a pain to carry, get things in and out of, fit things in, etc.