Bags may have been valued mostly for their utility in way earlier times, but that has changed over the years. Internationally renowned brands now produce eye-catching new designs and attempt to set new trends every season.

But what makes a bag reach iconic status? Is it because of the brand, its timeless look, a fascinating backstory, the celebrities who wore it, or something entirely different?

Let us look at some of the most celebrated bags from the biggest fashion brands to see what makes a truly legendary, must-have bag that flawlessly complements stylish outfits.

Birkin Hermès

Any respectable trendsetter knows the legend of the Hermès Birkin bag. But it is a story worth telling, even decades after the events have taken place.

During the early 1980s, actress Jane Birkin went on an Air France flight awkwardly carrying a massive straw bag. Without knowing who she was seated next to, she voiced her yearning for a Hermes bag with pockets. Her seatmate was no less than Hermès CEO Jean-Louis Dumas.

Dumas asked Birkin for her input on what would make the ideal carry-all handbag. Tens of thousands of feet in the air, they created one of the most coveted bags in existence.

Chanel 2.55

Prior to 1955, women carried their bags or purses in their hand or by tucking them under their arm. That changed with Chanel’s 2.55.

Named after the year it was produced, this Gabriel “Coco” Chanel bag featured a chain strap that allowed the wearer to hang it from a shoulder. The form was deemed revolutionary for its time as it freed the wearer’s arms and hands. As a result, the user was able to hold other items or do other things.

The design has become so popular that it remains the brand’s bestseller, years after the bag was first introduced to the public.

Louis Vuitton Speedy

According to records, Louis Vuitton’s Keepall bag was all the rage during the 1920s. However, actress Audrey Hepburn found the bag too massive for her taste and requested that a smaller bag be produced. Louis Vuitton honored the celebrity’s request by producing a 35cm and a 40cm version of the Keepall bag.

Hepburn loved the smaller versions. Referred to as the Speedy bag later on, the actress would be found walking while carrying both bags with her. The subtle promotion by the celebrity caused a spike in demand for the bag. Seeing the consumer response prompted the brand to put the bag into mass production.

The Speedy remains a popular bag to this day, so much so that you can still find celebrities of all ages wearing this iconic accessory.

Balenciaga Motorcycle

The Balenciaga bag named the Motorcycle is unlike any of the other bags on this list. Instead of the sleek, luxurious form typical with bags from other luxury brands, the Motorcycle was initially seen as blocky.

The bag itself did not feature the Balenciaga logo at front and center, which was unique. There was also the combination of studs and zips on the bag that gave it a cool, tough, rebellious look.

Balenciaga personnel did not see the Motorcycle’s potential at first and produced a test batch of only 25 units. Model Kate Moss, however, became enamored by a sample she saw during the brand’s fashion show in 2001. Demand for the bag skyrocketed afterwards.

The Lady Dior

A bag specially made for royalty, The Lady Dior handbag was fashioned for no less than Princess Diana herself. Presented by First Lady Bernadette Chirac of France in 1995, the then unnamed handbag featured four-letter charms and 140 pieces of leather stitched together.

It was a year later when the bag officially obtained its name: The Lady Dior. The public fell in love with the bag and a similar version was later produced to satiate its growing market.

No personal collection of luxury handbags is complete without these timeless classics. By knowing about these icons, you now have a better idea of which bags are widely known to be valuable, and why.

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