All the vintage handbags that are back in 2023
Illustration: By The Cut; Photos: Getty Images
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There’s not necessarily anything new about a brand exploiting its archives. Designers do it all the time: Maria Grazia Chiuri revived Dior’s cult-favorite Saddle bag in 2018, nearly two decades after it debuted in the spring of 2000. Miuccia Prada routinely references herself, as evidenced by the relaunch of the “1995” handbag ” for the house in 2022. Meanwhile, one of Karl Lagerfeld’s legacies at Chanel is the revival of the 2.55 bag in 2005, to celebrate its 50th anniversary. However, the past year has been marked by a strong sense that many popular handbag styles reflect what was popular 20 years ago.
“Amidst the resurgence of Y2K, sparked in part by pandemic-induced nostalgia, I think people still (and always will) crave the comfort of days gone by,” says Danielle Gumina, Fashionphile’s content director. She goes on to explain how this penchant for the past has influenced the micro-trends floating around on TikTok, aesthetics like “old money” and “rom-com core” that draw on and perpetuate the appeal of previous decades. Modern reinterpretations of classic styles are creating an influx of reissued designs, explains Gumina: “The goal is to please fans of the classic style.” And Attract newcomers.”
Below, our favorite designer bags that will be making a comeback this year.
Inspired by the Kelly Bag, the classic top-handle design from the ’80s and ’90s, the new Chanel Nano Shopping Bag features many of the original’s familiar features. But new colors and updated details ensure that it is relevant in 2023. For example, the previous thin handle has been replaced by a heavier design, while the Nano’s extremely luxurious quilting goes hand in hand with fashion’s current penchant for exaggerated proportions. “(The Nano) is decorated with modern touches but still screams classic Chanel,” says Gumina. “And we have more sizes to choose from, too.”
Coach prides itself on crafting timeless bags, which is why the leather brand frequently indulges in past collections. The Swing Bag is the latest example of this, featuring a sleek design inspired by a design reimagined in 1998. It’s currently trending on TikTok with the #CoachSwingZip racking up over 3.2 million views on the app at the time of writing. “I see a lot of ’90s-style shoulder bags that are more elongated and rectangular,” says Gumina. “At the heart of it, I think it’s about giving people a mix of old and new, where the past meets the present seamlessly and in the best way.”
The OG Horsebit hybrid shoulder and clutch bag debuted alongside the Fall/Winter 2003 collection, and its functionality was on full display as models carried the style in hand and through its belt. It has resurfaced after 20 years in a slew of revamped shapes and colours. “Some of the new Gucci Horsebit handbags from the Fall/Winter 2023 collection are much longer and larger with a larger Horsebit design compared to handbags from the Tom Ford era,” says Danny Dance, luxury bag seller and founder of Gucci Horsebit. Hosta. Dance adds that silhouette charts rank high on most collectors’ lists, and their resurgence has “sent the value of original vintage models through the roof.”
Last spring, Marc Jacobs brought back its Stam bag in a 2000-inspired campaign featuring fashion icons of the time, including Ashanti, Paris Hilton, and Canadian model Jessica Stam of the same name. The bag debuted at the Fall/Winter 2005 fashion show, and was spotted on the likes of Beyoncé and Rihanna soon after. The reissue comes in two sizes and four colors, priced between $995 and $1,500. If you’re looking to pick up one of the OG bags, they usually cost around $200 — but they’re few and far between at used luxury retailers. When you find someone you like, it’s best to act fast.
When Kate Spade launched the Sam bag in 1993, she wanted to create something timeless with personality. The result was a structured, boxy model – not quite a large bag but with dual top handles for easy dressing. When it launched, it immediately featured Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen as well as actress-turned-Goop founder Gwyneth Paltrow. This year, the brand celebrated its 30th anniversary by reintroducing the inaugural design for spring. The next generation comes in 100% recycled leather and nylon, as well as a range of new styles, including a crescent shape. Among the variety of new colors and “design upgrades,” Gumina notes that it’s “a way to keep things fresh and relevant.”
Phillip Lim’s Pashley Bag has been a fixture in the brand’s collection since its debut in Fall/Winter 2011. It achieved cult status as soon as it hit shelves, and its bag-like design is designed for a seamless transition between day and night. From the original gossip girl In a series of photo shoots of Reese Witherspoon and Emma Roberts, the bag appeared everywhere, overnight. Today, Pashley’s classic boots with their double vertical zippers have evolved in exciting ways. From the Pashli Shoulder Bag, Pashli Modern Hobo, Pashli Micro Chain, and Pashli Kit Crossbody, the brand has maintained its signature double-lock hardware through each iteration while updating the shape. (The original pashley in medium, small, and nano sizes is still available in many colors and fabrications.)
When the crescent-shaped Tessuto Moon bag first hit the market in 2002, its sober features – buckle details and signature triangular panel – set it apart from the flashier options that dominated the market at the time. Its no-frills design differs slightly from this year’s design, but while older models were primarily made of Prada’s signature nylon fabric and canvas, the 2023 Re-Edition Moon bag features a quilted design that matches the industry’s current “bulge.” . It’s available in a rainbow of Y2K colors, including jade green, yellow, and pink.
After “taking a break” from its iconic PS1 bag, Proenza Schouler has brought back the design for fall/winter 2023. If you need a refresher, this workwear-inspired bag first appeared in 2009 and is instantly recognizable by its buckles and flap Twist-lock front. Famous fans of the bag include Khloe Kardashian, Jessica Alba and Nicky Hilton. With the same features as the original, the 2023 iterations include what designer Jack McCullough calls a mix between PS1 and PS11 styles. Results? A soft, slightly slouchy silhouette that can be held in the palm of your hand, as seen on the runway.