For some, the concept of status bags may forever spark nostalgia for C-covered Coach designs, Louis Vuitton Speedys, and Dior Saddle Bags. At the time, the ubiquity of logo-laden bags — seen on celebrities and peers alike — made it seem like owning one came with a certain kind of cache. It suggested access, wealth, and recognition at the mere glance; these styles predate Instagram tagging, after all — not unlike the women who wore them, the likes of which ranging from Paris Hilton to Carrie Bradshaw. Does the power of an It-bag stand in 2019? It’s arguable.
Designs from iconic fashion houses can be both sentimental and investment pieces. Take for example, the Hermès Birkin bag, the Céline (Pheobe Philo era) Classic Box Flap bag, or the Chanel 2.55, which can resell at about 75 percent of its current market value, according to The RealReal. However, the concept of status bags today can be vary greatly depending on who you ask or, thanks to social media's wide reach, whose style inspires you.
In merely looking at some of the prominent handbag designs seen in street style images over the last several years, discretely branded and minimal options, such as the J.W. Anderson Pierce bag and Gabriela Hearst Demi bag, have risen to popularity and are spotted nearly as frequently as any conspicuously branded alternative. It begs the questions as to whether status symbols actually need to come with a flashy logo attached. The three experts and fashion insiders below can shed a bit more light on this.
Alvina Patel or Farfetch, Tiffany Hsu of MyTheresa, and influencer Madelynn Furlong might not all agree on the specific handbags styles that will define 2019, but they each bring a unique perspective to the table. Patel and Hsu are responsible for understanding which designers and designs from Fashion Weeks around the globe will resonate with their respective luxury commerce sites. Meanwhile, Furlong is also a staple of the international shows and, given her premiere access to new designs, is a go-to source for modern classic style inspiration and discovery (just ask her more than 150K followers). According to their predictions, the new must-know bags include a mix of classic silhouettes and exciting new designs. Scroll on for their predictions — each with the potential to cause as much excitement as Bradshaw’s bag once did.
Tiffany Hsu, fashion buying director at MyTheresa
"The micro bag trend is going to be huge for next season," says Hsu of 2019. While the MyTheresa buying director (and Fashion Week street-style staple) admits that the petite carryalls aren't exactly practical, that won't hold them back from reaching their status potential. "They’re going to be the street style stars with the motto 'little bag, big statement,' especially the Jacquemus Chquito style— it will be, in my opinion, one of the most trendy as it has also a good price point."
When it comes to more everyday styles, Hsu says she personally swears by the Luna bag by Wandler. "Easy to use and it fits a lot, in a very cool but classy way," she says, adding, "Mytheresa has an exclusive style in Python coming up and it’s to die for."
Alvina Patel, VP of brand marketing at Farfetch North America
"This year is all about revisiting the past, re-discovering classic shapes and repurposing key styles in a modern and playful way," says Patel. Such examples include the crocodile embossed box bag from Rejina Pyo and the multicolored crossbody bag from Danse Lente, she explains.
Additionally, Patel says some of the most covetable new styles also step a bit more outside the box, too. "It is also about making a statement, being bold, and working with unconventional materials," Patel predicts for 2019, referring to straw pieces from Marques’ Almeida and beaded styles from Cult Gaia. "The belt bags by Rula Galayini and Nanushka are great for anyone looking for a handsfree, more refined, and less ‘street’ version of the bum bag," she adds.
Madelynn Furlong, influencer and art director
For Furlong, the latest status symbol bags come by way of two storied brands: the Loewe Puzzle bag and Prada's new Sidone style. "The Puzzle bag up until recently was a missing staple in my wardrobe," she explains. "I wanted a cognac colored bag that had space to carry whatever I needed, and the Puzzle totally fits the bill. And while they are a bit spendy, you can find amazing deals on gently used styles." For the record, she found hers on The RealReal
As for Prada's new style, Furlong swears by its success because "the shape and detailing is amazing," she says. "It feels so new and fresh." Considering how easy it's already has become to spot the style while scrolling through Instagram, chances are high Furlong's favorite might be everywhere soon.