Ah, handbags. There’s nothing that excites me more. Fashion people say you fall into one of two categories—bags or shoes—and I have never been more sure of something in my life when I say that I am firmly in the bag camp.
There have been plenty of statement brands, shapes, colours and styles that have reflected certain moments, seasons and moods over the years. The '50s were all about the Hermès Birkin, the 2010s saw the rise of the Celine (then Céline) Luggage tote, and the last few years have been cushioned by cloud-like pillowy styles (think Bottega Veneta's iconic pouch) and logo-emblazoned basket bags (thank you, Loewe). But there’s one perennial style that stands the test of time: the crossbody. Sure, it gets refreshed as the seasons tick by, but its versatility and practicality ensure it remains a wardrobe staple.
But what should one consider before investing in a new designer bag? "If you're being mindful about value over time, then do your research about which brands hold their value long-term," says COCOON co-founder, CEO and all-round handbag expert Ceanne Fernandes-Wong. "Consider what is likely to stay in fashion. Core ranges and recognisable silhouettes from brands including Gucci and Saint Laurent will never go out of style," she continues. All points that suggest a classic crossbody is always going to be a smart decision.
So, to help you decide which long-strapped style to invest in, I've sorted through some of the best designer brands to find the timeless styles that you’ll reach for time and again. Scroll down to discover my ultimate list of the best designer crossbody bags.
Style Notes: Who can deny the quality and sumptuousness of a Loewe bag? It's a firm favourite among fashion girls, and I love every one of the brand's styles, from the ultra-popular Puzzle to the Goya. Pick a bold colour to help brighten a spring outfit. Rainbow colours work well in summer with white and pastels, too.
The Gate is compact in size, but it still makes a statement. Olive green is a chic and elegant choice if black isn't your thing.
Style Notes: Gucci always gets the balance between classic and modern right. Some of the brand's most popular styles include the Horsebit 1955 (as modelled here by Francesca), the GG Marmont (choose from leather or velvet fabrications) and the iconic Soho Disco, which you can find on most resale sites.
3. BOTTEGA VENETA
Style Notes: Luxury Italian fashion house Bottega Veneta continues to lead the way when it comes to elegant yet cool handbags that feel on-trend with timeless appeal. Along with the Cassette, popular crossbody styles include the Loop, the Pouch and the Jodie, which has recently been updated to feature a handy crossbody chain. Monikh wears one of the newer styles - the Sardine Mini Intrecciato Leather Bag which features a Cross-Body Strap.
4. THE ROW
Style Notes: Chances are you've spotted The Row's sleek banana crossbody bag on multiple influencers and industry insiders over the last few years, as it's a staple in any minimalist's wardrobe. I love how relaxed it looks when worn over coats and knits. Take cues from Chiara and wear it with other simple yet sleek essentials like stripes and denim.
5. SAINT LAURENT
Style Notes: Saint Laurent was founded in 1962 and 60 years later is still one of the top designer brands of choice for those looking to invest. I love Sam's Lou Lou bag, which will go with just about everything in your wardrobe. Other favourites of mine include the Solferino, the Lou camera bag and the Kaia.
Style Notes: Celine rarely puts a foot wrong. Known for its minimalist, French-girl style, the brand's bags are made from high-quality materials, which are cut in simple shapes that ensure they hold their value well over time.
Style Notes: Wandler—which was founded in 2017— is a great choice if you're looking for a designer brand that is slightly more affordable. Elegant and modern, the brand was first known for its Hortensia bag, which is crafted from supple leather in a sculpted silhouette.
SHOP SOME MORE CLASSIC DESIGNER CROSSBODY BAGS BELOW: