Thanks to COVID-19, most of 2020 was an absolute bust of a year. It’s a year that most of us wish came with a receipt and will forever be remembered as one of the worst years in history barring a nuclear war doesn’t take place in the lifetime of those of us who lived through this global pandemic. The fashion industry was also dealt a major blow due to store lockdowns and tourism sinking so fast, you’d think it was the second coming of the Titanic. However, the bread-and-butter of many fashion brands continues to be their handbags.
In 2020, people still invested in designer handbags, recognizing they do have long-term value. Every year, fashion houses have their accessories departments working diligently to see who will debut the It Bags of the year. While it was a tough year for sales, many fashion brands managed to come out on top in the handbag market. Without further ado, FashionUnited is proud to present the It Bags of 2020.
Burberry Pocket Bag
A campaign starring Bella Hadid, a bag designed by celebrity favorite creative director Riccardo Tisci, and inspiration taken from Burberry’s luggage archives. The Burberry Pocket Bag was poised to be a hit from the day it was conceived. The bag proved so popular, it even spawned limited-edition versions, including a China exclusive Pocket Bag done in collaboration with blogger Mr. Bags, and a miniature version of the bag that was only on sale for 24 hours. Yes, you can be an overnight icon.
Gucci’s creative director Alessandro Michele is no stranger to creating It Bags. His latest in the house’s growing collection of It Bags is the Gucci Jackie 1961. The bag gets its name from First Lady Jackie Kennedy, who was famously photographed wearing it in the 1970s. The bag’s appeal hasn’t let up, and the modern spin it’s been gifted has charmed audiences and fashionable celebrities, like Harry Styles and Kaia Gerber.
Balmain Foldable Clutch
Olivier Rousteing, creative director of Balmain, dug into Balmain’s archives to revive this monogram jacquard print from the ‘70s and used it to create a new foldable clutch that debut on the Paris Fashion Week runways. This clutch was particular special because the bag was made immediately shoppable during the livestream of the show. It was another way to do see-now-buy-now, and given the views for Balmain’s runway show, this bag was a hot commodity.
Loewe Hammock Bag
It was going to be really hard for Loewe to create an It Bag silhouette that rivaled their Puzzle Bag, but then they conceived the Loewe Hammock Bag. After everyone and their mother has acquired a bucket bag, where does that leave room for a new shoulder bag? The multifunctional Hammock bag has arrived, and also features side panels that release to change the shape of the bag. Talk about versatility.
Anya Hindmarch I Am A Plastic Bag
There were a lot of political statements made this year from civil rights to environmentalism. Anya Hindmarch took a stand on sustainability with the release of her I Am A Plastic Bag totes made from recycled bottles. While plastic bags are usually terrible for the environment, this was showed the beauty and power in recycling. Plastic doesn’t need to end up in the oceans, it can fashionably find its way to our wardrobes.
Hermès Mosaique Au 24
Hermès is synonymous with the It Bag game, having created both the highly coveted Birkin and Kelly bags. The Mosaique Au 24 had its moment this year, and is now so hard to find, you either better be a top Hermès customer or know a tried-and-true reseller. It’s like finding a needle in a haystack.
Louis Vuitton LV Pont 9 Bag
It was a more understated year for It Bags as people really valued function over fashion with the limited amount of going out we could do. Louis Vuitton took this opportunity to create a very timeless and elegant bag, the LV Pont 9 Bag. The sophisticated, rounded design was brought to life in supple leathers for luxury and durability sure to last you a lifetime. This could be an heirloom bag.
Telfar Shopping Bag
While this wasn’t a new launch for 2020, the Telfar Shopping Bag, otherwise known as “The Brooklyn Birkin”, has become so highly coveted that Telfar had to launch a bag secure program so the bags wouldn’t just sellout and customers could be guaranteed to get their bag within six months. It was this bag that led to Telfar claiming this year’s CFDA Award for Accessories Designer of the Year. As one of the few Black-owned luxury fashion brands, Telfar is truly a game changer and history maker.
Mansur Gavriel Multitude Tote Bag
You might wonder what need women have for an oversized purse when office life is all but nonexistent as some people are even on work from home through 2021, but that hasn’t stopped the Mansur Gavriel Multitude Tote from flying off of the shelves. After the success of their bucket bag, Mansur Gavriel was on a quest for their next It Bag, and here it is in the form of this hold-as-much-of-your-life-as-possible tote.
Linjer Tulip Bag
The Linjer Tulip Bag has been on the handbag market for a while, but within the past several years It has truly reached cult status. In 2019, 120,000 people signed up to buy the bag IF it were to come back in stock. The bag combines full grain Italian vacchetta leather with a linen lining. While other brands were taking a maximalist route with their bag designs, Linjer opted for unique architecture and approachable color options. It has paid off for them, as the fashion brand went from a small Norwegian start-up to offering one of the most coveted handbags in the business. For the lucky ones who want it, the bag is in stock on their website right now.
header image and image 7: eu.louisvuitton.com
photo 1: burberry.com
photo 2: gucci.com
photo 3: balmain.com
photo 4: loewe.com
photo 5: net-a-porter.com
photo 6: hermes.com
photo 8: telfar.com