Fashion people are a dramatic bunch and the industry is full of personalities. Designers leave and arrive at brands, the flock of editors and industry insiders flits from one trend to the next, companies' literal and figurative stocks rise and fall. Because handbags have such a central role in the health of so many fashion businesses, their popularity and life cycles are closely watched by investors and executives, and it's important for brands that rely on bags to keep accessories shoppers happy above all others.
That means that each new season has its attendant handbag story lines, and figuring out exactly what they are is a bit different than deciding which new bags are the best. Below, we've assembled a list of new bags that could have important roles shaping the handbag market in the next few months and why.
Alexander Wang Attica Bag
$850 via Neiman Marcus
Alexander Wang departed Balenciaga to refocus his efforts on his eponymous brand, and this is the first big bag to come out of that shift. The price point is a little bit above some of Wang's other popular bags, so even though this bag is very pretty, I'm interested to see what kind of consumer response it gets.
Balenciaga Bazaar Shopper S Tote
$1,495 via Balenciaga
Demna Gvasalia has had enormous success at Vetements selling cult fashion to industry obsessives, and although his clothes will undoubtedly do well with the relatively small section of the luxury market that buys top-tier ready-to-wear, his real test will be in handbags. Can he bridge the gap between his esoteric clothes and the sea of handbag shoppers that might not be down for the accessory equivalent of a $900 cotton hoodie? There's only one way to find out.
Chloé Lexa Bag
$2,050 via Neiman Marcus
Chloé has a somewhat unique tradition within the accessories industry: since the post-Paddington days, the brand has repeatedly turned out solid day bags that charm shoppers of many types for years and never get too ubiquitous too quickly. That kind of slow-burn longevity is rare, and I think the Lexa might be the next design to follow in the Paraty and Marcie's footsteps.
Givenchy Horizon Bag
$2,690 via Neiman Marcus
The Nightingale, Pandora and Antigona are a difficult trio to follow, and it seems like Givenchy is hoping the Horizon will be the bag to do it. I'm not sure this is the right bag for the job; I want to love it, but it's just a little...off.
Gucci Marmont Shoulder Bag
$1,890 via Gucci
Based on consumer reaction that I've seen so far, Gucci may have hit on something big with these bags. I'm looking forward to seeing how popular they get and what Gucci does with them next.
Jason Wu Suvi Backpack
$1,595 via Shopbop
Jason Wu took a hiatus from handbags to retool his line, and the Suvi collection, which also includes a long-strapped shoulder bag, is such a pleasant surprise. Wu is definitely on the right track this time around.
Louis Vuitton City Cruiser Bag
$3,650 via Louis Vuitton
Nicolas Ghesquiere has done a lot to reinvent LV's aesthetic position within fashion, but I'm still waiting for him to produce a breakout, must-have bag for the brand. Whether this one will be it remains to be seen.
Mansur Gavriel Mini Sun Tote
$595 via Net-a-Porter
The brand famous for its bucket bags has steadily expanded in their wake, and the Sun Tote is its latest addition. The brand is doing a good job making the transition from being a Big New Thing to being a reliable, fashionable accessories brand.
Mulberry Chester Satchel
$1,880 via Net-a-Porter
Mulberry has maybe the most tumultuous recent history of any handbag brand still standing, but snagging Céline's accessory designer to head up creative direction was a huge coup. We'll be watching closely to see if his designs can win back some of the previously devoted fans that were driven away by temporarily high prices.