These Affordable Handbag Brands Scream Quiet Luxury
You don’t need to be rich to look expensive. Cases in point: these six handbag brands that deliver quiet luxury for under $1,500.
Gwyneth Paltrow, Sofia Richie Grainge and Succession’s Shiv Roy — what do these women have in common? The obvious answer is that they’re all rich. But according to TikTok, they’re also the poster children of “quiet luxury,” a term with more than 100 million views. Think of it as stealth wealth, with logoless bags, luxurious cashmere knits and buttery-soft leathers — all with hefty designer price tags that (silently) scream “If you know, you know.”
Looking effortlessly expensive isn’t anything new; its origins can be traced back to the early 1800s, when Empress Joséphine rebelled against the over-the-top rococo aesthetic favoured by Marie Antoinette. But it was Phoebe Philo, Celine’s former creative director, who perfected the concept in the early 2010s. More than 10 years later, it was all over the Fall 2023 runways and further cemented in the zeitgeist by the fourth and final season of Succession, Paltrow’s ski-trial ensembles and Richie Grainge’s Chanel-filled wedding.
But the true question is “Can you look expensive without being rich?” Absolutely. And it starts with having the right handbag. Ahead, six bags from a few of our favourite under-the-radar brands.
Country of origin: England
Price range: $360–$1,300
Must-have: The Midi New York
Specialty: There’s a reason for DeMellier’s cult following, and her name is Kate Middleton. Expect posh purses that can easily be dressed up or down — much like the royal herself.
Charles & Keith
Country of origin: Singapore
Price range: $50–$250
Specialty: This TikTok favourite is famous for its Celine and Saint Laurent dupes, so if you want to look luxe on a budget, Charles & Keith is your answer.
Country of origin: Sweden
Price range: $500–$1,350
Specialty: ATP blends Sweden’s Scandi-girl aesthetic with the quality and craftsmanship of Italy. Plus, it uses non-toxic vegetable-tanned leathers, which are better for you and the environment.
Country of origin: Canada
Price range: $250–$850
Must-have: Tome 1
Specialty: A puzzle and purse all wrapped up in one. Montreal-based brand Partoem makes all of its luxurious handbags without glue or stitching. Origami never looked so good.
Country of origin: France
Price range: $280–$660
Must-have: Numéro Neuf
Specialty: Another TikTok treasure, Polène is known for its effortlessly elegant approach to everyday accessories. Think less Emily in Paris and more Parisian chic.
Country of origin: China
Price range: $230–$700
Specialty: Behind Songmont’s simple silhouettes is thoroughly-thought-out design. Proof? The Luna Bag can transform into four different styles depending on where you position its straps.
This article first appeared in FASHION’s October 2023 issue. Find out more here.
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