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The It Bag Part II: What Makes an It Bag

By Kristopher Fraser


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The It bag is arguably one of the most coveted designer accessories a hundred times over. Before those lovers of luxury beginning developing their shoe addictions, and their skills for predicting when that dream dress will be at the best sale price, that lust for designer bags is embedded somewhere inside of them. But what actually defines a real It bag?

Popular discount luxury goods website Tradesy defined an It bag in a 2015 article as follows: *It bag (n.): a handbag that eclipses all others in popularity and style and can be seen on the arms of everyone from street style stars, designer darlings, to fashion editors. *

In part one of FashionUnited's It bag series, some It bags throughout history such as the Chanel 2.55, Louis Vuitton Murakami, and Fendi Spy bag were mentioned. Aside from their designer labels and chic styles, there are certain things that help set these bags apart from more simple bags that can be found at department stores, or even some of their designer counterparts produced by the same luxury fashion houses mentioned.

First off, It bags fall into one of two categories, they are either part of a trend or they are timeless. Examples of trend It bags would be the Fendi baguette, which was made popular thanks to Sex and the City's Carrie Bradshaw, and the Louis Vuitton Red Epi Leather Petite Malle, a bag that experienced a revival this year thanks to creative director Nicholas Ghesquiere.

It bag's have to meet a certain criteria

The Fendi Baguette fit outside the realm of 90s It bags which were usually big on the logos like Gucci and Louis Vuitton, but it was its small and chic functionality that made it so popular. There has to be a level of functionality to an It bag, because in addition to being incredibly stylish, they also have to be able to hold the aspects of your life. If it can't fit basic necessities like a cell phone, wallet, and keys it's a no go.

Above all else, an It bag must elevate you. Something as simple as the little black dress and a simple pair of heels looks twice as expensive when paired with a bag like the Chanel 2.55 or the Hermes Halzan bag.

The quality and type of material the bag is made of is important as well. Your average It bag can come in a variety of materials including calf leather, lambskin, ostrich, snakeskin, crocodile, and alligator just to name a few. One bag that has been quite popular this year has been The Row's 34,000 dollar glazed alligator backpack.

Hermes made controversial headlines this year surrounding their crocodile skin Birkin bag, but an It bag it still remains. Leather appears to be the most common It bag material, with every brand from Michael Kors to Hermes having a highly coveted leather bag at some point.

Certain It bags also never go out of style, like the Chanel 2.55 and the Hermes Birkin. These bags have surpassed the test of time, and are some of the most recognizable bags by the fashion crowd. Fashionistas both young and old dream of getting their hands on one of these if they haven't already.

Another criteria that an It bag must meet to be a true piece de la resistance, is that it has to have collectors item status. It should be the type of bag that becomes the envy of everyone's eye when you walk down the street, because they know it is the type of thing that isn't easily had or easy to come by. If it's not worthy of a pedestal in your closet, then it isn't on the It bag level.

Finally, an It bag has to be an investment piece. If it's going to elevate your look, be made from a high quality material, and have that collectors item status, expect it come at a hefty price point. Your average It bag comes with a minimum four figure price tag, ranging from anywhere starting at 1550 for the Fendi Micro Peekaboo bag to upwards of 432,000 dollars for the Hermes Himalayan crocodile bag with white gold and white diamond details.

Though the criteria might seem a bit grandiose, they are called It bags for a reason. For a true person of style, the It bag is always a must. It's one of the true marks of a fashionista, and by far one of the hardest things in the luxury goods market to resist.

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what makes an it bag