While we’re not suggesting you ditch the black bag forever, we are recommending the colourful bag as a chic and stylish alternative.
Why? According to our intel, the hero black bag has lost the coveted top spot and has been replaced by something altogether more vibrant.
Net-a-porter has reported that brights almost always sell quicker than black when it comes to contemporary bag styles.
Tina Lamb, head of buying for accessories and shoes at Harvey Nichols explains why punchy bags are on the up: “We have most certainly seen customers buying more colour and embellishment over the last couple of seasons. With the rise of the cross-body and mini-bag trend, we’re seeing strong sales in all colours to make an outfit pop.”
Good news for fashion extroverts, Lamb confirmed key colours to note are red and blue, but also nude and rose tones, which are the perfect starting points for long-time neutral bag fans.
On the catwalks, cheery bags reigned supreme: rainbow stripes topped oversized shopping totes at Balenciaga, ladylike styles came in pretty pastel tones at Valentino, and Céline championed supersized shoulder bags in primary hues.
On Instagram, it’s a similar story. The fashion crowd have been toting the vibrant bag for some time now, swapping sensible styles in favour of daring alternatives, which gives us all the confirmation we need that this trend is going to go big and there’s never been a better time to invest.
Naturally, as shoppers search for bold bag styles, we’re seeing a whole host of lesser-known brands pop up to cater to such demand.
The style set-approved labels Boyy, Mark Cross and Simon Miller have quickly reached cult status, with a number of equally chic labels tempting us to put down our black bags (for now) and pick up their standout alternatives.
So, which brands should we consider when investing in a new everyday handbag? Here’s our rundown of the coolest labels to bookmark right now.
No street styler worth their salt would be seen without one. The ultra-elegant Bobby has been the smash-hit style from the collection, but there’s a whole host of chic iterations to choose from – think bucket bags and shoulder styles, all coming in a range of shades from red and navy to pastels and greys – you’ll be hard pushed to choose just one.
Bobby 23 small Murano blue leather tote, £970, harveynichols.com
Small, compact and coming in a rainbow of shades, Mark Cross’s vintage-style bags tick all the right boxes when it comes to investing in a vibrant bag. The brand has amassed an impressive A-List following, and now counts Elizabeth Olsen, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry as fans.
Grace small lilac leather box bag, £1,615, harveynichols.com
Created by Rachel Mansur and Floriana Gavriel, the New York-based designers first dominated the shoe scene, and now the clever duo has designed the perfect minimalist handbag collection.
Circle leather cross-body bag, £625, matchesfashion.com
There’s nothing boring about these bags. Founded by Jasmin Larian, the brand’s now infamous Ark bag took Instagram by storm and the crescent-shaped style sold out at lightening speed. Luckily, they’re back in stock and better than ever.
Acrylic Ark Bag, £225.20, shopbop.com
This is the brand everyone’s talking about right now. The Amsterdam-based label has just landed on Net-a-porter, Matchesfashion.com and Browns, and offers seven achingly cool styles, the powder blue Hortensia being at the top of our wish list.
Hortensia leather shoulder bag, £700, net-a-porter.com
This is your feelgood buy. Not only does this brand offer standout accessories, but those savvy designers focus on handcrafted, socially conscious designs, too. The Rockwell mini is the perfect all rounder.
Rockwell Mini in merlot, £260, futureglory.com
We’re betting you’ll have already heard of Manu Atelier. If not, then this is the brand to get on your radar. The design duo, Beste and Merve Manastir, launched the label in 2014 and it’s not too hard to see why their playful styles have been quickly been picked up by the style set. Choose from the boxy cross-body or the top-handle totes, complete with shoulder strap, or why not try the velvet mini backpack?
Pristine micro leather shoulder bag, £310, net-a-porter.com
If you’re in the market for a do-it-all bag, and directional accessories are your thing, you might want to consider Danse Lente. Be warned, the London-based label has a strong presence on social media, meaning the collection sells out fast. But should you be quick off the mark, we’d suggest snapping-up the hot-ticket Lorna bucket bag (below), or the striking Phoebe shoulder bag.
Mini Lorna Bucket, £411, modaoperandi
Not a fan of sensible styles? Look to French brand Perrin Paris for punchy brights in even punchier shapes.
La Minaudiére red leather box bag, £1,285, harveynichols.com
Calling all minimalists – Arran Frances has your new colourful bag sorted. Structural, timeless shoppers perfect for workwear, or small suede pouches guaranteed to liven-up your off-duty wardrobe. There’s nothing here we don’t love.
Iona blue grey/ocean with pale grey lining, £810, arranfrances.com
If you’re on the lookout for something different, let us introduce you to Hayward Luxury. Founded by Marin Hopper, this high-end bag brand is the perfect choice for non-traditional styles that are guaranteed to get you noticed.
Suede & Leather Shopper Tote Bag, £631, bergdorfgoodman.com