An "It-Bag" is a designer handbag that is deemed the "must-have" item of the moment as a result of a combination of celebrity usage, clever marketing techniques, superior quality and their ability to represent the mood of the season. They are generally produced in limited edition quantities.
These are the 10 "It" bags of seasons past and present, that we feel every handbag enthusiast should own, or at least know about.
1. Hermes BirkinThe Hermès Birkin bag is named after the iconic actress Jane Birkin, who once had a highly public relationship with influential french singer, Serge Gainsbourg, to whom she bore a child (Charlotte Gainsbourg). The 'Birkin' is the symbol of ultimate luxury, due in part to its exposure on popular television shows such as 'Sex and the City'. An authentic 'Birkin' costs upwards of $6,000 and can have a waiting time of up to 2 years.
2. Chanel 2.55This little classic will always be "in". It was born in 1955 (hence the name 2.55) after Coco Chanel decided she wanted a shoulder bag to free up her hands and is inspired py the quilting on Jockeys coats. Karl Lagerfeld released a second, updated version in 2006.
3. Chloe PaddingtonThe Chloe Paddington was created by designer Phoebe Philo in 2005 and is considered to be the quintessential 'Boho-Chic' bag because of it's slouchy, unstructured shape and exposure by stars such as Kate Moss and Sienna Miller, who are known for their bohemian sense of style. A leather Paddington typically costs around $1,500.
4. Balenciaga 'City' MotorcycleBalenciaga's line of motorcycle-inspired handbags are created out of distressed goat leather, which is what gives them their unique, relaxed shape. The 'City' bag in particular, caused quite a stir after becoming the official handbag of choice for notorious fashionistas like Mary-Kate Olsen. The Balenciaga 'City' bag is not available online and retails for about $1,200.
5. Alexander McQueen NovakThe Alexander McQueen Novak represents the structured shapes of Fall 2005 and was inspired by Kim Novak, a vintage-era starlet who appeared in Alfred Hitchcock films. It's original run consisted of a mere 200 bags, which caused mass hysteria among handbag lovers everywhere and elevated the bag into permanent "It" status.
6. Marc Jacobs StamThe Marc Jacobs 'Stam' is named after the designers close friend, Canadian Supermodel, Jessica Stam. The bag features quilting and gold hardware similar to that of classic quilted Chanel bags, but differentiates itself with it's relaxed look, gusseted frame and kiss-lock closure. Practically everyone in Hollywood has one and it retails online for around $1,300.
7. Fendi SpyThe Fendi S/S 06 'Spy' Bag is priced starting at $2,100 and is a favorite of style stars like Hilary Duff and Linda Evangelista. It's notorious status is caused partly by it's enormous waiting list, which can last up to 3 years.
8. YSL MuseThe Yves Saint Laurent muse is a status bag of the highest quality. Crafted out of the finest embossed leather, this oversize structured tote features expertly minimalist gold hardware and is often carried by celebrities such as Katie Holmes, Lindsay Lohan, Kate Moss and Jessica Alba. They are often sold out and are priced starting around $1,200.
9. Prada GauffreOne of the latest "It-bags" to hit the market is the Fall/Winter 06/07 Prada Gauffre. Victoria Beckham, Halle Berry, Beyonce and Madonna have all been photographed with theirs. It is made of Nappa leather and retails for $1,800-2,650.
10. Louis Vuitton Monogram Speedy 30The Louis Vuitton Monogram Canvas Speedy 30 is more of a mainstay classic than a trend, but that doesn't stop it from maintaining "must-have" status all year round! Jessica Simpson carries hers practically every day. It is the ideal city bag, featuring a roomy interior with natural cowhide exterior and golden hardware. Price: $620.