7 Handbags Carried by the World’s Most Powerful Women

With hefty price tags and even heftier waiting lists, the world of luxury handbags hinges on the vagaries of what a select number of women choose to carry in the crook of their arm. The likes of Kate Moss, Diane Kruger and Alexa Chung are seldom seen out and about without a piece of scene-stealing arm candy. A luxurious tote or clutch has the gravitas to seal a woman’s status on the best dressed list in one swing.

It’s no wonder, then, that when fashion expectations are running high, the more extraordinary, unobtainable (£26,000 price tag, anyone?) and achingly chic the bag in question is, the better! To celebrate the power of a good bag, we count down the top seven most revered handbags of 2015, from the Chanel 2.55 to the Chloé Drew—plus, some affordable high-street versions.

Keep scrolling to count down to fashion's most hot-property bags—and if you’re feeling inspired, go shop!

1: The Flap Bag by Chanel

Photo:

Le21ème

Meet the quilted shoulder bag, Chanel's most iconic handbag of all time. Revamped each season with a new twist, it's the fashion world's all-time favourite luxury bag.

Photo:

Kirstin Sinclair/Getty Images

Taking on many forms, the quilted Chanel shoulder bag is the all-time classic that cleverly captures the moment. Wear yours with denim, leather, silk or jersey—it's the signature item that has the power to rev up any outfit. 

2: The Drew Bag by Chloé

Photo:

Kirstin Sinclair/Getty Images

Model Ming Xi personifies sports luxe here. Alas, the neutral Drew bag is a best seller because it's so versatile and can be worn with any tone or colour.

Photo:

Kirstin Sinclair/Getty Images

Make like Olivia Palermo and shorten the chain on your Chloé Drew shoulder strap by knotting it—and presto! It's a top-handle bag. Clever.

3: The Shoulder Bag by Saint Laurent

Photo:

The Styleograph

Silk and suede are always a good idea—thanks for the reminder, Look de Pernille. No wonder the Saint Laurent shoulder bag has captured the eye of many a style icon: Practical? Check. Versatile? Certainly. And look at that tassel go!

Photo:

Kirstin Sinclair/Getty Images

Wear your Saint Laurent shoulder bag across your body and deftly placed by the front of your hip.

4: The Marcie/Hudson by Chloé

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Timur Emek/Getty Images

Anna Dello Russo makes a chic case for up-styling the Hudson bag (it comes with a knotted handle); add some faux fur and take a turn for those street style cameras!

Photo:

Hallie Daily

Another case in point for colour contrast, white lace will lend a feminine edge to the tan Chloé Marcie bag and help it stand out.

6: The Loewe Puzzle Bag

Photo:

Le21ème

The roomy leather Puzzle bag by Loewe has proved to be a favourite amongst fashion editors, bloggers and street style stars at S/S 16 fashion week thanks to its understated-cool look and practical shape.

5: The Baguette Bag by Fendi

Photo:

Le21ème

Let your Fendi Baguette take the lead on your outfit's direction and colour palette. This bag is beloved of the world's best dressed women because the classic design can take on many different colourways and style directions. The secret is in finding the one that's 100% you.

Photo:

The Street Muse

Oh, be still, our beating hearts! We love a limited-edition Baguette because it makes a good outfit invincible. Make your bag stand out by contrasting it with your dress/trouser/coat.

7: The Birkin Bag by Hermès

Photo:

Song of Style

Wear your classic Birkin with off-duty denim for a zero-effort contrast, as successfully demonstrated by blogger Song of Style.

Photo:

The Styleograph

Add a pinch of personality to your Birkin and give it a seasonal refresh with of-the-moment luxe key rings.

If you could only carry ONE bag for the rest of your stylish life, which one would it be? Let us know in the comments below!

Opening Image: Style du Monde