As 2015 draws to a close, like most people, we start to feel a little contemplative about the year that was. It's been a big year in accessories, with new creative directors hitting their strides at some of the world's biggest accessory brands and newcomers cementing their spots in the market.
As our version of a year in review, we've combed through all the handbag news and debuts of 2015 to select the pieces that made the biggest impact on the market as we know it. Keep in mind that these are not necessarily the best bags of the year, but the most influential. Without them, the handbag world would be a much different place as we look to begin 2016.
Chanel Boy Bag
$4,300 via Chanel
Chanel didn't do anything crazy with the Boy Bag in 2015, but it didn't have to; the bag sells like crazy, and as a result, it inspired more imitators this year than it ever has before. Don't worry, Chanel; I've heard that's the sincerest form of flattery.
Givenchy Nightingale Bag
$2,450 via Neiman Marcus
Revitalizing an old design from which most of your customers have moved on is a tricky prospect, but Givenchy pulled it off flawlessly with its brand new Givenchy Nightingale. For every brand looking at the once-beloved, now-slightly-dusty designs in its lineup (and there are a lot of them right now), the Nightingale's resurgence is a success story to emulate.
Mansur Gavriel Lady Bag
Shop Mansur Gavriel via Barneys
Just like bands that release a hit debut album and under-impress on their second effort, brands often find themselves in a sophomore slump after releasing a bag that inspires wait lists and eBay markups. With the Lady Bag, Mansur Gavriel debuted another sellout success that had friends and strangers alike asking me where they could get it and how much it would cost months before it ever debuted.
Chloé Hudson Bag
$2,150 via Neiman Marcus
It's hard to pick any particular one of Chloé's flap-closure shoulder bags to take the crown here, so we're going to use the Hudson and its many variations as a stand-in for them all because it debuted this year and quickly became difficult to keep in stock, both with tassels and without. Chloé has found a niche with bags like this one and the Drew and Faye before it: modern, pretty shoulder bags that skew boho-casual without looking the least bit sloppy.
Gucci Dionysus Bag
$3,290 via Gucci
I was a bit skeptical of the Dionysus when it debuted; after all, it was strange for a new creative director to greet the public with just one new bag, and monograms usually don't fit my personal taste. After a couple seasons, though, I'm on board, and so is the buying public. Alessandro Michele has spun the Dionysus into a dizzying array of variations on its theme, and I've yet to see one go on sale.
Louis Vuitton City Steamer Bag
$3,550 via Louis Vuitton
The City Steamer was Louis Vuitton's biggest debut of the year, and the biggest debut from the world's biggest designer bag brand will always find its way onto this list. Our readers were split on whether or not the bag is too reminiscent of the Birkin, but the clean, classic design will probably be a hit with shoppers regardless. For now, though, we'll wait and see.
Prada Inside Bag
$3,180 via Bergdorf Goodman
The Inside Bag was another big launch by a huge brand this year, and an important stepping stone in Prada's plan to revitalize and expand its handbag offerings. As with the City Steamer, we think the Inside Bag is an indicator that the brand is on the right track, but it's too new to know quite yet.
Coach Saddle Bag
$395 via Coach
The Saddle Bag snuck in under the wire; technically the bag is part of Coach's Spring 2016 collection, but the brand made it available to buy immediately, so we're counting it with the Class of 2015. Coach is another brand that's hoping to reconnect with consumers, and the Saddle Bag, with its total lack of external branding and trendy-but-classic shape, is another indicator that creative director Stuart Vevers understands what sophisticated consumers are looking for.
Fendi Micro Peekaboo Bag
$1,550 via Net-a-Porter
Some shoppers found the ultra-tiny Micro Peekaboo irresistibly cute; others found its minuscule proportions and regular-size price tag confounding. Either way, the little bags sold out as quickly as stores could restock them and launched dozens of imitators among both Fendi's peers and lower-priced labels.