Creating an It Bag requires a little bit of alchemy. Designers can follow all of the correct design steps, put all their marketing dollars behind a design, cast the perfect It Girl for the campaign and still fall well short of handbag hysteria. With that in mind, who are all those variables coming together for right now?
Céline's Luggage Tote was the last industry-shifting It Bag; the kind of phenomenon that doesn't come around every season or even every year. Céline's Trapeze was a strong follow-up, but like all the pretty, popular Chloé bags that came after the Paddington, it never inspired quite the devotion of the original. It'll probably be a while before the industry manages to produce the perfect bag at the perfect time again, but in the meantime, here are three bags that are competing for the title.
By your definition, what's the biggest It Bag in the industry right now?
The Chanel Boy Bag
Although it's definitely possible to stride into a Chanel boutique and stride out moments later with a brand new Boy Bag in tow, it's not always that easy. Both seasonal versions and popular neutrals quickly become scarce after new shipments arrive, and because Chanel only sells its bags through its own boutiques, the options for finding the version you want are extremely limited.
The Mansur Gavriel Bucket Bag
$495 via MATCHESFASHION.COM
Despite its attainable price point, the scarcity of the bag and the compelling story of the indie upstart brand that created it have made these bags all but impossible to put your hands on for three seasons running. The waitlists, the pre-payments, the scheming to find the most popular color combinations--all classic signs of an It Bag, even if the contemporary price point makes this an unusually accessible example.
Shop Fendi via Saks
Fendi is a brand, not a bag, but the company has won hearts and minds over the past few seasons not by producing a single great accessories achievement, but instead by subtly shifting its entire handbag business and then spinning off new ideas based on what works. Like the 2Jours? You'll love the 3Jours. Like the 3Jours? Try the Petite 3Jours, which isn't so much a smaller version as it is a more compact-feeling bag that's still large enough to carry to work. Remember the Peekaboo? It hasn't been popular in a couple years, but somehow, Fendi has made it feel like the freshest thing ever.
On board with all of that? Finish it off with a Bag Bug, if you can get a spot on the waitlist for the one you want. And when you get it, you'll want to put it on everything, which, in effect, turns every bag you own into a Fendi ad. Fendi is pitching a perfect game right now, and there's little indication that'll change in the near future.