From makeup to emergency kits, handbags are a woman’s vessel to surviving the everyday complications of life and a luxury purse gives it a glamorous edge. 

Considered wearable art pieces, the top luxury handbag brands get their high price for various reasons, such as brand name and exclusivity. Ultimately, you’re buying an investment piece that will become a statement piece in your wardrobe.

Unsure which designer handbag brands exude the essence of opulence? We’ll guide you through some of the top recognizable designer names that will stand the test of time.

Top luxury handbag brands
Top luxury handbag brands

Most Expensive Bag Brands of the World

Whether you collect designer purses or just love to window shop for fashion accessories, this list of the best designer handbags will be sure to make you swoon with envy:

Prada

Looking at The Devil Wears Prada, it’s easy to see why this brand is associated with the epitome of high-end fashion. 

Founded in 1913 by Mario Prada, this fashion brand was first established as a leather goods shop and remains his legacy as the brand’s most popular export is top-tier leather handbags.

Today, his brand is carried out by his granddaughter, Miuccia Prada, the co-CEO and head designer of the label. Prada is known as one of the most expensive clothing brands, and you’ll see this reflected in their handbag prices too. 

One of their most expensive bags, The Brandy Top Handle V2 ostrich leather handbag, retails for $10,200. So if you have your eye on this beauty, start saving up.

An elegant Prada leather handbag
An elegant Prada leather handbag

Marc Jacobs

This American-born designer is a modern-day powerhouse in the world of fashion. Marc Jacobs, previously the creative director of Louis Vuitton for 17 years, launched his own label in 1986.

One of the most expensive purse pieces of this designer is the Carolyn Crocodile Handbag made out of exotic leather. The starting price for these shoulder bags starts around $30 000.

A Marc Jacobs handbag
A Marc Jacobs handbag

Christian Dior

Known for clean lines and a sense of sophistication in every piece, this top-tier label is sure to make a feature in any designer bag collector’s closet. 

Worn by celebrities such as the late Princess Diana, a certain kind of romance lingers within its construction. The Lady Dior classic handbag was named after Lady Di’s as a tribute and the price can go up to $6500. 

A Christian Dior handbag
Luxury handbag brands: Christian Dior

Bottega Veneta

Established in 1966 by Michele Taddei and Renzo Zengiaro in Italy, the name actually translates to ‘Italian shop’. 

The weaving technique, called ‘intrecciato’, of their intricately crafted accessories, is what makes Bottega Veneta handbags so superior and identifiable. They are also known for their mini bags such as the Pouch.

This Italian brand is now managed by the Kering group, which also manages luxury brands such as Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, and Alexander McQueen.

A Bottega Veneta leather handbag
A Bottega Veneta leather handbag

Coco Chanel

If one word could describe this famous French fashion house it would be – classic. Globally revered as one of the leading fashion houses, Chanel encapsulates glamor in every stitch. 

Established in 1910 in Paris, the birthplace of haute couture, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel has revolutionized the way the modern world perceives elegance.  One of the favorite bags of celebrities is the Chanel 2.55.

Created in 1955, this was the first ladies handbag with a shoulder strap. The iconic inverse double C monogram logo on these iconic bags radiates a sense of refinement.

From crossbody bags to clutches, rest assured that Chanel handbags never go out of style.

Chanel is one of the top luxury handbag brands
Chanel is one of the top luxury handbag brands

Saint Laurent

A master craftsman of producing captivating creations, Yves Saint Laurent established his label in 1961. Playing a pivotal role in redefining femininity in the fashion world, the French designer is known for creating gender-fluid pieces known as “cross-design”.

The edgy, yet refined handbags of YSL are sought after today as one of the leading high-end handbag brands of the world.

Yves Saint Laurent leather handbag
Yves Saint Laurent leather handbag

Alexander McQueen

Considered the rebel of the fashion world, the cutting-edge style of Alexander McQueen’s designs is undeniably bewitching.  

Founded by the British designer Lee Alexander McQueen in 1992, the brand is known for its creative pieces in vibrant colors. One of the most popular handbags is the skull clutch, adding a bit of a danger to your usual designer bag picks, and can go up to $4190.

Alexander McQueen hand bags in a Paris store
Alexander McQueen hand bags in a Paris store

Karl Lagerfeld

Liberating fashion from its strict confides, the late Karl Lagerfeld was known as an icon and a trailblazer in the history of fashion. He was associated with a number of designer brands, designing for famous labels such as Chanel and Fendi. He established his own brand, however, in 1984. 

Providing more affordable luxury bag options, the iconic KARL SEVEN shoulder bag retails for $465.

Closeup of a black leather Karl Lagerfeld handbag
Closeup of a black leather Karl Lagerfeld handbag

Gucci

Hailing from Florence, where the scent of sublime leather goods wafts in every market, Gucci was founded in 1921 by Guccio Gucci. Starting as a luxury luggage manufacturing company, the brand is known as one of the oldest working Italian fashion houses.

While the brand dabbles in a wide variety of stylish products, nothing screams fancy quite like the butter-soft feel of a signature Gucci leather handbag. It’s important to learn how to authenticate Gucci bags, as there are many counterfeits on the market.

Some of the most famous Gucci bags include the Gucci Bamboo, the Gucci Soho Discus, the Dionysus bag and the Gucci Jackie. The latter bag was beloved of Jackie Kennedy.

A luxurious Gucci leather handbag with gold chain
A luxurious Gucci leather handbag with gold chain

Hermès

Another sensational symbol of luxury, Hermès was established in 1837 in Paris by Thierry Hermès. 

The famous Hermès Birkin bag is one of their well-known masterpieces, inspired by the actress Jane Birkin and her desire for a bigger size carryall. The waitlist for this legendary purse can go up to six years. 

The Himalaya Birkin sold for a whopping $400,000 in 2017, making it the most expensive purse ever sold at an auction.

Top tip: If you ever find yourself in Paris, be sure to take a French fashion history walking tour. This experience includes an in-depth guide of some of the most established luxury brands in the world.

A black leather Hermès Birkin handbag
A black leather Hermès Birkin handbag

Michael Kors

Launching his first women’s collection in 1981, the American designer quickly gained celebrity traction in the brand’s popularity, such as Jennifer Lopes and Heidi Klum. 

One of the most expensive Michael Kors bags is the Miranda Crocodile Medium Tote made from 100% Nile crocodile leather and retails for around $7000.

A Michael Kors handbag and other accessories
A Michael Kors handbag and other accessories

Louis Vuitton

The founder of this legendary brand began his long-reigning legacy as a trunk maker even before he founded the iconic fashion house. 

Although the famous French brand creates various luxury goods, their exceptional leather handbags are what they’re known for. One of the most well-known handbags is the Speedy designed in 1932 as the brand’s first purse created for everyday use.

Created for the film star Audrey Hepburn, the Speedy bag can be flattened to fit into a suitcase, making it an ideal travel accessory.

Note: Unsure if you’re signature Louis Vuitton handbag is authentic? Take a look at these top authentication tips to spot a LV fake.

An iconic Louis Vuitton handbag
An iconic Louis Vuitton handbag

Most Well-known Opulent Handbag Couturiers 

From unique designs to top-tier construction, luxury purses are much more than a mere new bag. Luxury handbag brands combine fashion and art to elevate any outfit and give a classy look.

While your jeans might get tighter and shoes might get worn out, a luxury handbag from one of these household names will always fit just right. Go on, wear your art on your sleeve.

Read next: Hats vs Fascinators | Luxury Swimwear Brands

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Top luxury handbag brands
Top luxury handbag brands

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