Twenty twenty-one came and went in the blink of an eye, and while I'm certainly still emotionally processing that it's coming to a close, one thing I can resolutely say is that it was a year jam-packed with some pretty epic fashion moments. So to help recap the year in shopping, I'm taking a moment to look back on the trendy designer bags that made an indelible mark on the style scene over the last 12 months.
The first half of the year may already seem like lightyears in the past, but believe it or not, 2021 was the year we saw releases like the Prada Cleo Bag and Saint Laurent Le 5 à 7 Bag. Now that it's come to a close, we're doing what we do best and reporting on the carryalls, clutches, and shoulder bags that stood out from all the others. Ahead, take a look at the year's 10 most lust-worthy designer bags, all hand-selected by yours truly. And since they're somehow all still in stock, shop them, too.
Prada debuted the Cleo bag in its S/S 22 collection to much fanfare. It had already earned It status before it even hit the shelves, and a calendar year later, the slim-yet-structured bag still continues to be one of the most sought-after items to sling over one's shoulder.
Another year, another Bottega Veneta It bag surging to the top of our wish lists. While 2019 was defined by the Cloud Pouch and 2020 the Padded Cassette, 2021 was all about the Mini Jodie Bag. Whether we saw it in punchy kelly green or subdued ivory, no one could escape this bag's influence this year.
One of the new bag debuts this year that I still can't get out of my head is Saint Laurent's Le 5 à 7 Hobo Bag—a sleek, modern take on a versatile shoulder bag. I predict this style will continue to be one of the key accessories to own into next year as well.
Leave it to cool Scandi-girl label Wandler to reinvent the classic shoulder bag. Its Penelope Bag, a structured shape featuring an under-the-arm curve, became everyone's newest favorite for its on-trend yet minimal feel.
It seems like there's a trend of designers re-releasing new versions of old cult bags for them to be cult bags yet again. The new Gucci Jackie is more modern and sleeker with a leather sheen and fun colors, but if you prefer the vintage version, you can easily find one secondhand.
This year, Coach made a huge comeback thanks in large part to the puffy iteration of its classic Tabby Bag. Rendered in an array of candy colors, exaggerated sizes, and nonstop celeb endorsements, it's no wonder it quickly lit a fire on the internet and earned a spot on every fashion person's wish list.
Sleek and well-sized with minimal branding or logos, Burberry's Olympia Bag requires an expert eye to recognize it, and I think that discreet vibe is exactly what made it such a covetable pick this year.