The Rebirth of the Icons

There are many designer handbags which have stood the test of time and remain iconic, bags like the Chanel Classic and the Hermès Birkin. But this year has seen a rise in handbags being sourced from the archives, from the Gucci Horsebit design through to Prada’s re-issue nylon collection and unsurprisingly that’s driving up interest in the vintage originals.

We already know that over the last few years there has been a substantial rise in demand for preowned designer handbags. Brands such as Hermès, Chanel and Louis Vuitton make exceptional prices on the resale market with consumers paying a premium for a second-hand handbag. However, this year, with some retailers reissuing designs from the archives it has prompted a resurgence in some classic vintage styles. This has had a positive impact on what they achieve on the resell market. Here are our most popular designs for 2023, you may want to check the back of your wardrobe!


The Gucci Horsebit

This year Gucci has reissued Tom Ford’s 2003/2004 Horsebit clutch. The new designs feature the Italian fashion house’s signature hardware, and an updated chain. It comes in an array of colours and prints, including Gucci’s classic monogram design and iconic stripe. 20 years ago, this design was hugely popular for Gucci and this reissue has prompted an increase in the resell value for the original early noughties models. Here are some of the new designs issued by Gucci:

The Gucci Horsebit 1955 in Crocodile retails on Gucci’s website for £21,970.


The Kelly

We can’t discuss popular handbags without mentioning Hermès. The Kelly was first popularised by Grace Kelly, and appeals to both investors and buyers alike.

Here is a vintage Kelly selling for £9,562.50 at Bonhams in 2021:

Hermès accessories are a real investment and will always stand the test of time. Their limited availability only adds to their desirability, and it is always worth hunting for that special piece.

Below is a charm selling at auction for between £4,000 – £6,000:

he Birkin

The Birkin is always in huge demand, with limited availability and exceptional craftsmanship, they remain, as ever, elegant and recognisable. They make real collector’s items.

Named after Jane Birkin, this example is her original black Togo Birkin 35 selling at auction for £119,000 in 2021.


The Fendi Baguette handbag

There’s a huge appetite for Fendi at the moment, specifically for the Baguette, with sales of the style booming.

Thanks to the Y2K trend, the Fendi Baguette has proved popular this season. Channel your inner Carrie Bradshaw with a sequinned version.


Dior Saddle Bag

Dior’s Saddle Bag first made an appearance in Dior’s 1999 spring/summer ready-to-wear show. It is thought to have been inspired by a 1976 Helmut Newton photograph entitled ‘Saddle I, Paris’. However, this theory has never been verified by Dior.

Here is the Saddle Bag selling at auction for €2,040:

Lady Dior

The iconic Lady Dior packs a lot of history. It was first created in 1995 and named after Diana, Princess of Wales. It was originally gifted to her by Bernadette Chirac, the First Lady of France at the time. During the most recent season of ‘The Crown’ the Lady Dior started to gain a lot of attention on social media.

In 2022 Dior launched what they described as “the (re)brith of an icon”, the Lady 95.22.

An example of a Lady Dior selling at auction for £7,650:


First released in 1984, Prada’s Nylon Bags are just as desirable as they were 40 years ago. The revival has been so popular, that last year’s Prada’s Re-Nylon Re-Edition 2000 mini bag was named as Lyst’s ‘Handbag of the Year’. It’s reported that web searches increased by 131 per cent, with views for #pradanylonbag generating over 4.2 million views.

Proof that practicality and luxury can go hand-in-hand!

Posted in Clothing and Accessories, Helen Doyle News, News.