The term “It Bag” is thrown around lightly, since every fashion season brings with it fresh new “must-have” pieces. On the other hand, the term “icon” is weightier, and is determined not by frenzy but by its enduring appeal. Some seasonal must-have bags do eventually become icons—but not all.
One of these star pieces is none other than the Lady Dior, a quilted top handle bag accented with dangling charms. It’s been seen on everyone from Princess Diana (after whom the bag was named) to celebrities like Blake Lively, Miranda Kerr, and yes, even Suzy Bae. Given its popularity, the Lady Dior naturally became the Dior brand’s most iconic purse.
Here, we uncover just what makes this a timeless piece to own:
Small Lady Dior, $4600 (approximately P223,744), DIOR, dior.com
What is the Lady Dior Bag?
The Lady Dior bag was created in 1994 and was unofficially called “Chouchou” or “favorite” in French. It was later on in 1995 that the bag first made its public appearance on the arm of Princess Diana, who had received the piece as a gift from Bernadette Chirac, then-first lady of France. She brought it with her to the inauguration of a Cezanne exhibit and was said to have ordered every color of the bag thereafter. She was almost always seen with the bag, prompting the fashion house to name it after her.
The Lady Dior embodies the fashion house’s DNA: It’s exquisitely elegant and feminine, while paying homage to the house’s French heritage and brand history. The bag features classic, playful lines with its square shape and round top handle, elevated by shiny D.I.O.R. charms. The quilted top-stitched cannage motif was inspired by the Napoleon III chairs used to receive guests in Christian Dior’s first show back in 1947.
Who designed the Lady Dior Bag?
Lady Dior was designed under the direction of Gianfranco Ferré. The Italian fashion designer, also known as the “architect of fashion,” was appointed Dior’s stylistic director in 1989. The Spring/Summer 1997 collection was his last for the brand. Gianfranco Ferré's personal aesthetic is more architectural than Dior’s glamorous femininity, but you can definitely see a bit of that in the Lady Dior. No wonder he called it “Chouchou.”
Mini Lady Dior Bag, $4300 (approximately P209,152), DIOR, dior.com
What are the different kinds of Lady Dior Bags?
What sets the Lady Dior apart from other iconic handbags in history would be its old world glamour. Toting a Lady Dior kind of sends you back in time where everyone dressed to the nines (in Dior’s New Look, nonetheless). In other words, holding a Lady Dior is like tapping into your romantic side, and not all brands can pull that off with class.
Just because the Lady Dior is a classic, doesn’t mean it can’t be modern. Aside from the cannage lambskin design (that imparts a subtle sheen), the Lady Dior comes in other contemporary materials like matte leather and patent leather. There are other more luxurious designs like embroidered printed calfskin and beaded metallic calfskin. In fact, so poignant is the brand’s emphasis on constantly revitalizing the Lady Dior, that you can even personalize one with your initials.
Mini Lady Dior Bag in Printed Calfskin, $5300 (approximately P257,792), DIOR, dior.com
Aside from a bevy of materials and adornments, the Lady Dior also comes in four sizes to suit your lifestyle: Mini, Small, Medium, and Large. The Mini and Small versions make great evening pieces, while the Medium and Large are perfect for carrying your everyday essentials.
Medium Lady Dior in Patent Calfskin, $5200 (approximately P257,792), DIOR, dior.com
If leather Lady Diors are a bit too luxurious for your taste, there are other iterations you can choose from that have the exact same sophisticated flair. Enter the Lady D-Lite. Created under the direction of Maria Grazia Chiuri, the house’s current creative director, the Lady D-Lite is a playful spin on the Lady Dior. It was first released on the Spring/Summer 2020 runway. The bag features the same square shape and round top handle, only crafted with canvas. It comes in a wide range of designs from classic cannage to embroidered denim and striped canvas. The house’s sans serif logo, synonymous with Chiuri’s Dior, is also placed front and center.
Medium Lady D-Lite in Embroidered Gabardine, $4900 (approximately P238,263), DIOR, dior.com
It’s also worth noting that all Lady Diors and Lady D-Lites come with a removable chain or shoulder strap (depending on the size you get), so you could wear it on the crook of your arm or on your shoulder.
How much is the Lady Dior Bag?
The price of a Lady Dior depends on the size and the complexity of the design. Mini Lady Diors start at $4300 but can rack up to $5300 (approximately P257,792) if it’s embroidered. Small Lady Diors start at $4600 (approximately P223,744), while Medium ones start at $5200 (approximately P257,792). Large Lady Diors usually fetch $5600 (approximately P272,384).
On the other hand, Lady D-Lites start at $4900 for Medium, while the Large pieces fetch around $5300 (approximately P257,792). Check out our list to get a glimpse of the price range:
Mini Lady Dior
- Classic $4300 (approximately P209,152)
- Patent $4300 (approximately P209,152)
- Velvet $4300 (approximately P209,152)
- Satin $4500 (approximately P218,880)
- My ABCDior Bag $4700 (approximately P228,608)
- Metallic $5100 (approximately P248,064)
- Embroidered $5300 (approximately P257,792)
- Matte $4600 (approximately P223,744)
Small Lady Dior
- Patent $4600 (approximately P223,744)
Medium Lady Dior
- Classic $5200 (approximately P257,792)
- Ultra Matte $5450 (approximately P265,088)
- Patent $5200 (approximately P257,792)
Large Lady Dior
Medium Lady D-Lite
- Embroidered Gabardine $4900 (approximately P238,263)
- Cannage Embroidery $4900 (approximately P238,263)
- D-Stripes $5100 (approximately P248064)
- D-Stripes Embroidery $5300 (approximately P257,792)
- Cannage Embroidered Velvet $5300 (approximately P257,792)
- Embroidered Denim $5400 (approximately P262,656)
Large Lady D-Lite
Large Lady D-Lite, $5300 (approximately P257,792), DIOR, dior.com
Why is it so expensive?
Dior’s luxury handbags are made by hand, following this process: First, the leather is chosen according to Dior’s selection rules. Second, the sewing is done to perfection, ensuring that there are no defects. Then, all 144 pieces are assembled to create the Lady Dior. All 144 pieces are carefully manufactured for the best quality. In a word, Lady Dior represents the house’s incomparable savoir-faire, and that doesn’t come cheap.
Check out a snippet of how it’s made here:
Is the Lady Dior worth it?
Of course, a Lady Dior isn’t for everyone. Some people may find that the Lady Dior is too feminine and glamorous for their taste. But if you find that it’s right up your alley, then by all means, consider investing in a piece.
From a more objective standpoint though, it’s safe to say that the Lady Dior is worth the price. First, it’s a well made handbag crafted to perfection. Second, it represents a piece of fashion history (with its French inspiration and Princess Diana upbringings). Lastly, its classic silhouette and roomy shape make it a wearable piece you could maximize infinitely. Plus, all Lady Diors and Lady D-Lites come with removable shoulder straps so you can transition from day to night.
Lady Dior My ABCDior Bag, $4700 (approximately P228,608), DIOR, dior.com