What exactly makes an 'it' bag? Is a cult carryall a bag that possesses classic features and fabrics, making it timeless, or does its must-have nature lie in its ability to capture the zeitgeist? Is it the brand that makes it so, or the person that carries it?
It bags certainly don't have to be functional – just look at 1995's Lady Dior, a gift from France's first lady to Princess Diana, which wouldn't hold much more than the bare essentials. (Then again, what does a princess really need to carry?) Fendi's '97 Baguette bag, a favourite of SATC's Carrie, was completely anti-functional; more a key component of a killer outfit than a practical item.
In recent times, several brands have produced coveted bags that have quickly made their way from catwalk to the arms of street stylers to high street imitations. Phoebe Philo's severely structured Céline Luggage Tote caught the attention of everyone from dedicated Philophiles to Kim Kardashian. Gucci's Marmont comes in all shapes and sizes – from top-handled to chain-laden shoulder-strapped – but it's the belt bag iteration that has defined this season.
Ahead, we quiz our favourite bag brands on what exactly defines the 'it' bag, what makes a timeless piece, and which style you should invest in this season. Who knows, it could be a future classic.