The designer "it" bags that won't break the bank

I'm not proud to admit it, but I am definitely guilty of designer handbag cravings. Something stirs inside me when I see the "it" bag of the season on the shoulder of a celebrity who appears to have a never ending disposable income that allows them to amass a gargantuan handbag collection that inevitably turns me into a jealous green eyed monster. What's worse is despite your best efforts to save up, the 2 grand price tag is always out of reach. While a Gucci, Saint Laurent and Chloe may always be top choice, there are some new and exciting brands worth getting excited about too. Not only do these new brands bring with it lower price tags, they have built a somewhat cult "it" status amongst the fashion set, so much so, that these lesser known brands are now taking the place of the Gucci Dionysus, the Chloe Nile, the Loewe Puzzle Bag, and the Prada Cahier.

(All bags are linked so you can shop away!)


1. Danse Lente

Don't let the French name fool you, Danse Lente (which means "slow dance" in French) is a London based brand created by Youngwon Kim. The aesthetic of their bags mixes modern features and accessories with classic shapes. There wasn't a blogger seen without one at AW18 fashion week, and the brand even sold out on sites like Net-a-Porter and Selfridges. The brand is on the brink of being plastered all over Instagram, so now is the time to get in first. The high street haven't started duping the styles yet, perhaps due to the more complex styling of the bags, or perhaps they're about to hit down in stores this winter! The Danse Lente website have a full range of stock out at the moment, and the Mini Phoebe and Mini Johnny are looking rather irresistible with all the colour combinations. Prices start at €355.


1. Mini Johnny €355, 2. Phoebe Bis €425, 3. Bobbi €435, 4. Mini Phoebe €355


2. Staud

If you've not heard the name, you'll have most definitely seen their bags. Making its internet debut in the summer of 2017, the netted Moreau bag which resembles a chic hanging plant pot was seen on the arms of many big name influencers. This summer, the bag gained cult status, and cemented itself as the bag to be seen with. It's not just the Moreau that's a best seller, it's the minimally sturdy, expertly crafted leather bucket bag the Bisset that you'll also recognise. Coming in different colours and different types of leather (my favourites are the black patent leather, and the brown croc leather), Staud don't make it easy for you to choose one! This summer has seen the introduction of Shirley which takes on this season's PVC trend. This is the brand that the high street have taken a keen interest on, with dupes of the Moreau found in Mango and Zara (linked to the bags!), dupes of the Bisset found in a croc effect and in plain leather both from Mango, and dupes of the Shirley from Mango. Prices start at €170.


1. Edie Bag $375, 2. Grace Bag $275, 3. Bisset Bag $350, 4. Shirley Bag $210, 5. Moreau Bag $375


3. Trademark

Perhaps not as well known on our shores, but Trademark is an American brand quickly making its way into some of the most stylish wardrobes in the US and Europe. Their bags are well made with classic shapes and contemporary styles which are not to be used for one season, but built to last. For their latest collection, Trademark have taken classic shapes and paired them with this seasons tans and browns, with croc leather details and gold hardware. There have been some high street dupes of Trademark bags, most recognisably is a caged bucket bag that ASOS sold this summer. If you're looking for a bag to invest in, and will last you a few good years Trademark is a good place to start. Prices start at €250.


1. Small Classic Bucket Bag $348, 2. Cooper Cage Tote $498, 3. Harriet Bag $528


4. Wandler

A young brand that was only established in 2017, Wandler is a Dutch brand based in Amsterdam and created by Elza Wandler. As soon as Wandler's handbags dropped on Net-a-Porter, it made it into the virtual baskets of fashion editors and soon made its way onto the FROW at Fashion Weeks around the world. The brand specialises in geometric trapeze shapes in various bright and muted shades. You'll find pinks, blues, yellows and khakis, neutrals and greys in the Wandler colour spectrum. The bag that put them on the map is the Hortensia which comes in three sizes (big, medium and mini). You can wear it on the shoulder or cross body. This season, they've updated the Hortensia with croc effect leather and colour block leather. The Luna leather shoulder bag is another beauty which screams simple elegance just like the rest of the collection. The brand also has some chic and minimal belt bags in an array of bright colours. Prices start at €375.


1. Hortensia Leather Shoulder Bag €735, 2. Luna Colour Block Shoulder Bag €700, 3. Mia Leather Tote €775, 4. Hortensia Mini Colour Block Shoulder Bag €665