Every year, a few bags qualify for "It"-bag status as the most coveted, sought-after and newly established status symbols among luxury handbag lovers. The competition begins the moment they are sent down the runway at the New York, London, Milan and Paris Fashion Weeks. Which will be the must-have bag of the year? Some are so coveted their makers keep waiting lists. Without further adieu, here are AVENUE's selections for the It bags of 2016.
Sophie Hulme Albion Leather Tote
It's one of the most sought-after entry level luxury bags this year. From SoHo to Midtown East, they can be found on the arms of New York ladies looking for a simple black tote with plenty of space for everything from cell phones to books for the train. The bag can be carried by the top handles, but comes with the option of a shoulder strap. The classic style is accented in gold and is available at retail partners including Net-a-Porter and Ssense.com.
So popular this year, some colors and styles have already sold out. It is offered in leather and a leather/suede combination and comes in a range of colors from black or brown to blue or orange. Erica Russo, fashion director of accessories and beauty at Bloomingdale's says, "I love the way the bag combines function and style. The interior is roomy enough to hold all your essentials and the statement gold hardware adds sophistication. Although black is always in fashion, go for an on-trend color like cloud blue or medium grey to update your style game."
Loewe Elephant Bag
The perfect high-fashion accessory for the animal lover. The beautifully-crafted, unique piece features black lacquered edging, polished silvertone hardware and a detachable, adjustable flat leather strap. The bag is available at Barneys New York's Madison Avenue location.
Just when we think Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele can't outdo himself, he pulls another trick from his sleeve. Your Gucci collection has probably grown during his tenure, but make space for this little gem. The bag is available on Gucci.com and at Gucci boutiques.
Fendi Dot Com
Fendi follows up the success of their last It Bag, the Peekaboo, with the Dot Com, crafted of smooth black leather with canonical stud eyes, protective metal feet and a removable black leather pouch inside. This piece is definitely an attention-getter. It's currently available on Spring.com and at Fendi boutiques.
Versace Palazzo Empire
The bag that would be queen. When it launched this year, it quickly rose to fame with the help of a promotional video starring the stunning beauties Bella Hadid, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Stella Maxwell. With its buffed leather detail, the signature Versace medusa flip-clasp fastening and pale gold tone hardware, the bag becomes classic with an edge. The bag is available on Versace.com and retail partners like Ssense.com.
Valentino Rockstud Medium Leather Tote
Under the creative direction of Pierpaolo Picciolo and Maria Grazia Chiuri (who departed Valentino for Dior this year), Valentino finally got its first "It" bag. The rock studs have become a signature for the fashion house, and have been featured on everything from small leather goods to heels. The style is so popular that four colors are alrready sold out at Saks Fifth Avenue.
Louis Vuitton Petite Malle
The must have mini-bag for Fashion Week. From New York to Paris, it's has been seen on the arms of top editors and bloggers as well as SoHo's fashionistas. Creative director Nicholas Ghesquiere has kept Louis Vuitton's accessories on a stellar track, and these bags are just another star in his fashion heaven. The bag is available on us.louisvuitton.com and Louis Vuitton boutiques.
Marni's been having its moment, evidenced by their hobo bag which has been selling like apples during the Depression. The bag is offered in leather, suede and calf hair, so it will meet any handbag lover's material needs. It's also offered in a variety of sizes f, so whether you just need a simple handbag for your cell phone and keys or one to hold your whole life, you're covered. The bag is available at retail partners like Fwrd.com and Saks Fifth Avenue.
It wouldn't be an It bag list without Chanel. This little beauty called went down the runway at the brand's 2016 fall/winter runway show in Paris, and like almost everything designer Karl Lagerfeld does, it got rave reviews. The bag is part of their minaudiere line of small handbags and clutches, and is a must-have for the Chanel lover, collector and all around high-fashion lover. The bag is available at Chanel boutiques.