The style crowd’s appetite for nostalgic, blast-from-the-past fashion is unwavering. Just think about some recent celebrity numbers for a minute. Kim Kardashian dipped into Mugler’s archives and chose a gown from ‘97 for a Christmas bash; Olivia Rodrigo celebrated her latest album, GUTS, in a ‘95 Todd Oldham outfit; Amal Clooney donned a ‘00 Christian Dior dress at the DVF Awards. On a similar note, style arbiters have a steadfast appreciation for decades-old designer totes, making them a crucial part of the fashion discourse. As such, the second-hand market is booming, and fortunately, the vintage bag trends of 2023 will likely carry over into 2024. So it might be wise to allow these best-selling styles to inform your next big investment.
According to Danielle Gumina, content editor at Fashionphile, once upon a time, there was a stigma around thrifting; however, people’s mindsets have shifted. “Fast forward to now, and second-hand goods, along with the entire resale market, have proved the naysayers wrong,” she tells TZR. “Each passing year witnesses the industry’s expansion, and more shoppers are embracing the concept of buying secondhand — I think for the perks it brings to their wardrobes, wallets, and the planet.”
Elizabeth Layne, chief marketing officer of Rebag, echoes Gumina, adding that consumers are clamoring for pre-loved looks due to both accessibility and opportunities to find value. The resale site recently released its 2023 Clair Report, which highlights the top secondhand trends from the past year. Some of the company’s notable findings? Hermès continues to be a go-to for vintage totes. “Hermès holds unparalleled clout in the luxury market due [to] its enduring exclusivity; regular price increases, waitlists, and limited access on the primary market all contribute to the brand’s allure,” the expert explains. Unsurprisingly, “quiet luxury” was also a major theme in the bag department, leading to an increase in demand for labels like The Row, Loewe, and Bottega Veneta.
Another advantage of purchasing a used bag, particularly for budget-conscious Gen Z shoppers, is the chance to score a luxury look at a more wallet-friendly price point (well, at least a bit less than what you’d shell out on a just-released style). “The younger generations can afford a vintage designer piece as there are good pieces to be found for a few hundred dollars,” says Sophie Hersan, co-founder and fashion director at Vestiaire Collective. “They prefer to invest in more affordable pieces, when they are original, with the traces of time and fashion references that they recognize and reminisce over.”
Ready to hear more about the most popular vintage bags of 2023? Keep scrolling ahead for expert insights.
Fendi Baguette Bag
Gumina and Hersan both bring up Fendi’s cult-favorite Baguette Bag, which came out in ‘97, as a top-trending look this year. The former chalks up its popularity to the Sex and the City effect. As you may know, Carrie Bradshaw, played by Sarah Jessica Parker, put the style on the map when she repeatedly wore it in the series (“It's not a bag, it’s a baguette!”), and the piece has been relevant ever since.
Hermès Kelly Pochette
Because the mini bag trend is still taking over the fashion scene, Hermès’ Kelly Pochette is back on everyone’s radar, says Layne. Hersan agrees, adding that teeny-tiny handle silhouettes are having a moment, which is one reason the look, which debuted in ‘78, has been sought after. And according to Layne, the style saw a 93% increase in value in 2023. “An ideal evening bag, the Pochette is 2 cm larger than the Mini Kelly 20, thus able to fit most standard-sized cell phones,” she states.
Gucci Jackie Bag
“The Gucci Jackie, introduced in the early ‘60s, continues to be worn (and reimagined by the brand), showcasing its timeless design and explaining why Gucci has kept this style in circulation,” says Gumina. So much so, the style’s value has surged almost 30% compared to last year, she notes. “This increase is likely because these styles have stayed in demand over the years, thanks to their enduring appeal and history, making them valuable for resale,” the content editor says. Unfamiliar with its origin story? Initially called the Fifties Constance, the hobo silhouette was later renamed after Jackie Kennedy, who religiously donned the piece.
Christian Dior Lady Dior Bag
Blake Geffen, CEO and co-founder of Vivrelle, says one of the company’s most borrowed carryalls in 2023 was Christian Dior’s iconic Lady Dior Bag. “From straight off the runway to archival styles, our members have access to countless Lady Dior bags in different colorways/patterns, fabrics, and sizes,” she explains. Like Gucci’s Jackie Bag, the Lady Dior style has a storied history. Released in ‘95, it pays homage to Princess Diana, who instantly fell in love with the bag when she was gifted it from Bernadette Chirac, a former first lady of France.
Louis Vuitton Noé Bag
Louis Vuitton’s Noé style was one of the most searched bags in 2023, as noted in Rebag’s Clair Report. Hersan predicts the vintage bag will continue to rule the fashion scene next year, as bucket silhouettes are making a comeback. Created in ‘32 (yes, you read that right), the look can be found for under $500 on resale sites, according to the expert. That being said, this style is great first designer purchase for younger shoppers.
Chanel Single Flap Bag
Blame the Barbie movie’s ongoing influence on our wardrobes, but Chanel’s classic flap bag in pink was a real winner last year, according to Rebag’s Clair Report. Around the time Margot Robbie was on her press tour for the film, the French fashion house’s legendary purse began garnering attention from the style set. This vibrant piece will be the perfect addition to a maximalist’s bag collection.