In 2019, then three-year-old luxury brand Khaite debuted its inaugural handbag collection at New York Fashion Week. It was debuted under the name Khaite Luggage, staying true to designer Catherine Holstein’s clean feminine aesthetic; the range included delicate frame bags, super-soft totes, and sleek crossbody pouches. The brand’s debut received a lot of buzz early on, and rightfully so, as its vision strayed from what other brands of its caliber were focused on at the time.
Adapting to a less is more mentality, Khaite chose to stay true to its overall vision of clean, minimal designs that lack logos. Its bags felt fresh and feminine, the perfect pair to Khaite’s already beloved RTW. The bags became a hit seemingly overnight, and it’s not uncommon to catch a celeb fan carrying one.
In its short three-year lifespan, the brand has done what few newbies can achieve, all in the midst of a global pandemic, mind you. Its success is well-deserved but also impressive and definitely deserves mention.
A Celeb Favorite
Given the kind of access that the rich and famous have to fashion and wildly expensive handbags, it’s surprising to see them pick up a new bag brand right away. We expect to see celebs carrying the likes of Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Goyard, and of course, many Birkins, but sometimes a brand hits the scene and takes the celeb set by storm, and Khaite has done just that. You may remember Katie Holmes’ viral—and much-copied—cashmere sweater and bralette combo that took over the internet in the summer of 2019. Khaite’s bags, which launched that fall, came at the perfect time; riding on the heels of major brand awareness and a slew of celeb loyalists, it was a perfect storm.
KHAITE began as a women’s ready-to-wear collection that reimagines classic American sportswear for the now. Each piece proposes a fresh mix of opposing elements, designed to be loved and worn for years to come. Founded in 2016 by creative director Catherine Holstein, the New York-based brand has evolved with each season, and with each new collection, its bags have also evolved.
Taking its name from the Greek word (χαίτη), which means “long, flowing hair,” Khaite (pronounced KATE), continues to hone in on its offerings, finding success amongst celebs, fashion editors, and handbag lovers alike. Its clean aesthetic is easy to pair into your wardrobe, and its bags are also said to boast impeccable quality.
Most smaller brands don’t have the marketing budgets to create significant relationships with celebrities over time or have stars carry their bags as part of lucrative campaigns and endorsements, so seeing celebrities, who get free stuff all the time, choose to wear a new bag brand speaks volumes. The type of saturation that Khaite has achieved in just 3 short years is particularly notable. Bravo!
Check out a few of our favorite bags below.