The ‘It’ (or designer) bag has evolved from practical solution to practical accessory…

The exact origin of the first handbag is a debated topic. Some say it originated in Africa while others say it was Italy, but it is a known fact that it was a practical solution for keeping loose bits in one place.

This very practical solution over the years evolved into a practical accessory, making it a game changer. No longer were bags just a few pieces of leather stitched together to carry stuff around – it became much more than that.

More recent decades have seen many different styles, colours and trends emerge

Icons such as Jackie Kennedy and Princess Grace influenced the fashion of their times hugely, with a great many following in their stylish footsteps.

WIN a R 5,000 Foschini Voucher

Subscribe to our Free Daily All4Women Newsletter to enter

These days fashion is rather easy-going and pretty much anything goes – you see bags big and small, bright and neutral, structured and hobo-like. But regardless of what the bag looks like, apart from its functionality, the modern woman also wears her bag to express herself.

The 21st century saw the rise of the ‘It’ bag. Tom Ford famously said: “You gotta have it or you’ll die”. In one episode of Sex in the City, Samantha explained: “It’s not so much about the style, it’s what carrying it means”.

Designer bags have become a multi-billion-dollar industry. Not only has it become a woman’s personal office, emergency kit and carrier of important things, this fashion accessory is also worn to make a personal statement, or, in some cases, as a status symbol. A six-month waiting period for the Hermes Kelly bag are testimony to that.

In one episode of ‘Sex in the City’, Samantha explained: “It’s not so much about the style, it’s what carrying it means

Via La Moda, a manufacturer of exclusive leather handbags and accessories, says that whether or not a woman seek a designer bag with a label or opts for something subtler, what can’t be argued with is that a woman’s handbag speaks volumes about her without saying a word.