9 Of The Coolest Bag Brands Fashion People Buy On Repeat
There’s been a quiet shift in the world of accessories over the past few years. No longer a choice between high street and high end, there is a whole generation of brands offering mid-range price points and directional design.
Just think of Staud’s cult bucket bags and Cult Gaia’s homespun architectural aesthetics, both examples of accessories that look as great on Instagram as they do on your arm. With cool and contemporary flair, they have the lasting impact of a bag at a much higher price point.
There are several labels that just keep cropping up – both at fashion month and on the ‘gram – which the fashion-forward are championing right now. Ahead, we’ve rounded up the best of the brands we’re investing in, from a mother-and-daughter set-up in the Philippines to LA’s most cult name.
Click through to find our favourite plus-ones.
The story: Founded by Jingjing Fan in 2015, Elleme’s name comes from ‘elle aime’, meaning ‘she loves’ in French – which is pretty fitting as the fashion pack have fallen head over heels for this Parisian brand.
The look: Known for its sumptuous leather, the brand’s most recognisable style has a sweet circular handle and concave body. We love the more recent ’00s-inspired Baguette and half moon Tambour styles, too.
The fans: All your favourite Insta stalks, from Ellie of Slip into Style to Lizzy Hadfield.
The price tag: From £250, available at Harvey Nichols and Selfridges.
The story: Founded by Jasmin Larian while she was studying at the Fashion Institute of Technology, the brand ‘s 2013 Ark bag launched it into the Insta-stratosphere and it’s been cult hit after cult hit ever since.
The look: Think architectural design meets homespun fabrications. Bamboo, rattan and Perspex are seen throughout each collection, and every style is an arty statement.
The fans: Florence Welch, North West (yup, really) and Emily Ratajkowski have all worn the brand.
The price tag: From £95, available at Selfridges, MyTheresa, Matches Fashion and Net-A-Porter.
The story: Founded by two sisters whose father is one of Turkey’s oldest artisanal leather makers, Manu Atelier is an Istanbul-based brand that’s injected some much-needed colour into the fashion set’s handbag collection over the past few seasons.
The look: Directional shapes, beautifully crafted leather and rich shades define this brand. The latest drop of animal print styles are as lust-worthy as the block colours they’re known for.
The fans: Giving a royal seal of approval, Kate Middleton has worn the brand multiple times, but we love the way Jeanette Madsen and Bettina Looney style the pieces.
The price tag: From £355, available at 24 Sèvres and Net-A-Porter.
Charles & Keith
The story: Singaporean brand Charles & Keith has been going since ’96 but over the past few years it’s become a fashion favourite, thanks to its wearable pieces (think wedding guest bags, work-appropriate plus-ones, and weekend totes).
The look: The label is trend-driven, which means its offering of chain handles, exposed stitching, and miniature and bucket styles for any occasion are surefire hits.
The fans: Emili Sindlev is a fan but its 90k Insta following provides a plethora of ways to style the label’s cute statement bags.
The price tag: From £39, available on its e-commerce site.
The story: This unisex brand was established by Telfar Clemens in New York back in 2005 and its pithy brand slogan is “It’s not for you – it’s for everyone.” The label showed its SS19 collection on a helicopter pad and is inspired by Americana aesthetics, so you know it’s a hit with the fashion set.
The look: The favourite style is the super mini shopper, which features the brand’s overlapping T and C logo. It’s just big enough for your phone, keys and purse aka all you need for a night out.
The fans: All of Instagram’s cool kids, from Sanam Sindhi to stylist Solange Franklin Reed.
The price tag: From £105 at Machine-A and Browns.
The story: Founded by ex-Reformation designer Sarah Staudinger, this LA brand is the reason we’re all carrying PVC tote bags and rotund miniature buckets. Everything Staudinger touches turns to gold; whenever a new style drops, it sells out, and fast.
The look: As well as graphic shapes that look as good on the ‘gram as they do on your arm, it’s all about texture, from croc to plastic fantastic to macramé.
The fans: Everyone – no, seriously. Leandra Medine, Alexa Chung, Lucy Williams… All your favourite sartorialists have been spotted wearing Staud.
The price tag: From £160, available at Net-A-Porter, Browns and Matches Fashion.
The story: Founded in New York in 2006 by Jesse Dorsey and Wannasiri Kongman, cult Parisian boutique Colette was the first to snap up this underground label. Now with flagships in Copenhagen and Bangkok, the brand does shoes, sunnies, scarves and hats as well as its cult bags.
The look: You’ll recognise the pilgrim-esque chunky belted buckle on the bags, but the sleek rings on the colour pop belt bags are a winner, too.
The fans: Every street styler at fashion month, from Copenhagen to Paris.
The price tag: From £285 at Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, Browns and Net-A-Porter.
The story: This London label (whose name means ‘slow dance’ in French) is the playful antidote to the classic black bag. A paintbox-bright palette and architectural design has made its offering an industry hit over the past few seasons.
The look: Hexagonal bodies, hooped metal straps, split bucket bags… It’s all about play and proportion with Danse Lente. Expect the unexpected.
The fans: Stylist Sissy Sainte-Marie, Susie Lau and Natalie Suarez have all been touting their totes from Danse Lente.
The price tag: From £325 at Net-A-Porter and Browns.
The story: Founded in 1999 by Becky Aranaz and her daughters, this mega kitsch brand is based in Manila, the capital of the Philippines. Each piece is handcrafted from local materials, and the brand was recently snapped up by Browns’ accessories buyer.
The look: From crab-shaped baskets to palm-laden wicker bags and shell-strewn straw pieces, Aranaz has your summer holiday accessories game sorted.
The fans: Aranaz counts Penélope Cruz as a fan and, well, there’s no topping that.
The price tag: From £110, available at Browns, Selfridges and Harrods.
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