The best presents come in prettily wrapped, beribboned boxes, but what if this time around, it's the box that's actually the gift? There are a few thrills that truly rival the glee of receiving that shiny new toy, Christmas or not. And if it's going to be something expensive, it might as well be both trendy and capable of looking great even decades later! Here's where the box bag comes in. It's a shape that's—no exaggeration, double check those e-retailers you enjoy stalking when boredom strikes at midnight—everywhere right now, and nearly every luxury accessory maker is churning an individual version out, typically emblazoned with their flashing brand crest.
Someone asking for your wish list already? Or do you simply want to start dropping early bird hints? Allow us to suggest six recommended designer rectangles to wear slung on your shoulder.
1. Carolina Herrera Initials Insignia
A single deft scroll through celebrity Instagram is all you need to confirm that the ubiquitous Carolina Herrera Initials Insignia definitely sits with the popular crowd. Literally everyone including besties Heart Evangelista and Lovi Poe adore it, and we certainly don't fault them: Versatile, beyond posh, and eager to be yours in a thrilling myriad of colors, it's quite possibly the brand's most indentifiable leather purse, introduced in 2017 to mark the namesake Venezuelan label's 35th anniversary. This young icon's just the right mix of statement and subtle. We also like that you're spoilt rotten for choice when it comes to straps: The sporty web striped fabric is great for pared down days, while the sleek matching leather option polishes up. We remember how hard we fell for the emerald one Janine Gutierrez toted on a jaunt to the UK—consider buying it in a rainbow hue.
Initials Insignia bag, CAROLINA HERRERA, Greenbelt 5
2. Dior 30 Montaigne
Don't you dare tell us you weren't delighted by the veritable outfit post avalanche that announced the Dior 30 Montaigne's explosive entry into the style scene. Unforgettably heralded by literally hundreds of the 'gram's best dressed posting simultaneously-uploaded OOTD snaps dangling it on the crooks of their bling-decked arms, it was completely overwhelming...and, naturally, we thrived in the overload. Just fashion girl things. In case you didn't already know, the 3M was famously named as a loving tribute to the brand’s iconic and emblematic flagship address in Paris! We suggest you pick it up in a sleek, sensible mood, 'cause though monogram mania may fade in the coming years as it did in the naughty noughties, we definitely see its quieter, plain leather iterations aging gracefully. She's a total modern classic.
30 Montaigne bag, DIOR, dior.com
3. Valentino V-Sling
Achingly chic and comparably muted when placed beside its flashier, pyramid flecked Rockstud sister, Valentino's new V-Sling no doubt has a personality all its own. There's an air of strength and confidence about her, brought about by that no nonsense, magnetic single letter logo clasp and an ageless, unyielding squareness that sits small yet sturdy, almost as if it's physically poised to outlive every other trendy purse out in the wild by miles and miles. It's far more than a survivor. This one's an icon already. We're particularly enamored by the vibrant and vivacious matte yellow pictured below; it's been rather gray outdoors and a merry dash of sunshine would be the antidote to your rainy day dressing woes.
V-Sling bag, VALENTINO, Adora, Greenbelt 5
4. Gucci 1955 Horsebit
A fresh face for Cruise 2020, the 1955 Horsebit is recreated from an archival design. We're not kidding when we say this is the grand dame: With the same lines and forms first introduced over six decades ago, it unifies original details with an au courant spirit, highlighting the Italian label's telltale Horsebit (yep, that's what you call that distinguishing metal detail on your fave Princetown loafers). Part of Gucci’s genetic code, the double ring and bar has been established as one of the most distinctive elements among the house's symbols borrowed from the equestrian world. Presented via a satisfyingly small flap shoulder bag, the hardware is paired with beige and ebony GG Supreme monogram fabric and completed with a special mechanism that adjusts the length of the shoulder strap so it can be carried on one shoulder or cross body. Nothing beats vintage Gucci flavor, we honestly think.
1955 Horsebit bag, GUCCI, Greenbelt 4
5. Celine Triomphe
That's spelled sans the 'e' accent, mind you. Celine has, of late, become quite the hot topic, what with the bemoaned departure of the much revered minimalist queen Phoebe Philo and Hedi Slimane's subsequent entry to replace her as Creative Director. His collections for the maison have so far racked up considerable outrage at the apparent wipe-clean of his predecessor's signature understated elegance in favor of Hedi's own token rock n' roll flavor; the crowd's cries are not without reason. Still, love him or hate him, you've got to admit that this structured little beauty, the Triomphe, is a credit to his name. Bearing a gleaming clasp molded in the shape of an archival seal introduced in 1973, it's modelled as a reverent tribute to Paris' iconic Arc de Triomphe. It's available in calfskin, crocodile, and lizard, by the way, so it might be hard to find a type you won't fall for in spite of yourself. We're warning you.
Triomphe bag, CELINE, Homme et Femme, 8 Rockwell
6. Burberry TB
Announcement! Liz Uy approves of the Burberry TB, and that's probably the solid real reason you ought to snag it right this second. Take this as your cue! We could meander on and on about the British label's heritage roots and celebrated, quintessential Englishness, but the point is that it's taken a refreshing turn since current Chief Creative Officer Riccardo Tisci helmed leadership in 2018. That said, it's important to note that tradition has not been ignored, and the TB is, in itself, absolute proof: It takes its moniker and clasp adornment, created by Riccardo and London based graphic designer Peter Saville, from the initials of founder Thomas Burberry. Go ahead and feel free to team it with your favorite, immortally relevant plaid-lined tan trench coat for an authentic Brit feel.
TB bag, BURBERRY, Rustan's Shangri-la