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Vintage Designer Handbags

The perfect handbag.  An expression of very personal taste no other accessory has the ability to make such a style statement on its own.  The perfect handbag is something we buy for ourselves. It may follow your style but it is always bought for your sole enjoyment (and possibly to inspire a little envy in others!)  While we might wear clothes which might, on occasion, increase our allure, a bag is never going to be part of the attraction. We doubt an admirer would ever say: ‘she had a lovely smile, great hair and the most beautiful bag’!  But this does not diminish the importance we place on the handbags in our lives or the way we want to wear them day to day, (with or without admirers.)  Handbags in the 20th century also importantly represent a woman’s independent life outside the home. 

Over the 20th century women in the public eye have had their names inextricably linked to iconic bags.  As an expression of their style and characters, they have been part of famous photographs of these women which are still admired today for their timeless style.  Hermès is a brand which has most famously associated its creations with their wearers.  Famously, the 1930s ‘Sac à dépêches’, a popular forerunner of the vintage box bags of later decades, was worn by Grace Kelly in Hitchcock’s ‘To Catch and Thief’ in 1954 and later used by the Princess to hide her baby bump, eventually rechristened the ‘Kelly’ bag in 1977.  And what bag could be better known than the bag which still stands at the very top of the luxury handbag market: The Birkin.  So named after actress Jane Birkin who, in 1983, on a flight from Paris to London bemoaned the lack of good leather weekend bags to the then Hermès chief executive Jean-Louis Dumas.  Dumas went on to adapt a 1982 bag in black leather and the Birkin was born.

However, not every vintage bag has to be a vintage designer bag.  Unknown masters of the art from the past 100 years have created handbags synonymous of their era and which not only chart the progression of vintage handbags through the century but also still maintain timeless style, elegance or charm and can be all the better for the mild patina their age has afforded them.  You can find simple form and function of the 1940s when, in post war Britain, Vogue encouraged readers to spend wisely and ‘chose large important bags and good shoes and gloves.’ Through early flap bags called ‘swing bags’ of the  1950s, patent leather and plastic creations of the 1960s, suede, applique and saddle bags of 1970s and beyond.  Vintage handbags continue to inspire current designers and, when a design is perfect, those styles never go out.  Find your perfect vintage designer bag from the Open for Vintage collection.

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Chanel Very Rare Black Quilted Cotton & Leather Mini Shoulder Bag

Very rare authentic Chanel quilted mini shoulder bag in black quilted cotton x lambskin leather

Chanel 9" Diana Classic Black Quilted Leather Shoulder Flap Bag

Authentic Chanel Dianna bag in black quilted leather.

Vintage Chanel 13" Maxi Jumbo Black Quilted Leather Shoulder Flap Bag

Authentic Chanel Maxi Jumbo in black quilted leather.

Hermes Garden Party TPM Black Leather Canvas Tote Bag

Authentic Hermes canvas and leather Garden Party TPM Bag

Chanel Black Quilted Lambskin Leather Vintage Backpack

Vintage Chanel black quilted leather backpack.

Chanel Black Quilted Leather Shoulder Square Bag

Authentic Chanel black quilted leather bag

Chanel Red Quilted Satin Mini Bucket Shoulder Bag

Authentic Chanel red quilted satin x leather mini bucket bag.

Louis Vuitton 2003 Sac Retro PM Pink Cherry Blossom Limited Edition Monogram Canvas Top Handle Bag

Louis Vuitton Sac Retro PM in monogram cherry blossom motif is limited edition from 2003.

Chanel 8" Double Flap Black Quilted Leather Paris Limited Edition Shoulder Bag

Authentic Chanel Paris Limited bag in quilted leather bag.

Louis Vuitton 2006 Charms Lines Vinyl & Purple Leather Limited Edition Top Handle Bag

Authentic Louis Vuitton Charms Line bag in vinyl & leather.

Vintage Alexander McQueen Skull Charm Black Handbag

Vintage Alexander McQueen handbag in black leather with a gold tone metal skull charm.

Vintage 1950s Mexican Hand Tooled Leather Red Clutch Bag

Rectangular red leather clutch bag with a floral tooled pattern and zip compartments

Vintage 1930s Velvet and Lucite Purple Evening Bag

Vintage evening bag of deep purple velvet with a gold tone frame a clear Lucite top

Vintage 1920s Beaded Drawstring Red Evening Bag

1920's evening bag entirely beaded with red micro beads with a drawstring top and tassel pointed bottom

Vintage Alexander Wang Rocco Pebbled Leather Stud Detail Black Handbag

Vintage Alexander Wang Rocco handbag in black pebbled leather with a gold tone metal stud detailing underneath.

Vintage Yves Saint Laurent Patent Leather Croc Embossed Black Tote Bag

Vintage Yves Saint Laurent tote bag in black patent leather with a croc embossed pattern.

Bottega Veneta Limited Edition Round Woven Yellow Handbag

Vintage Bottega Veneta limited edition round handbag in yellow woven rolled leather.

Prada Black Vintage Shoulder Bag

Condition: Good <

Bulgari Black Leather Vintage Top Handle bag

Condition : Excellent

Louis Vuitton PM Monogram Canvas Brown Vintage Shoulder Tote Bag

Authentic Louis Vuitton Delightfull PM tote bag in monogram canvas.

Louis Vuitton Noe Large Blue Epi Leather Vintage Shoulder Bag

Authentic Louis Vuitton NOE famous champagne bag created in 1932

Louis Vuitton Noe Large Yellow Epi Leather Shoulder Bag

Authentic Louis Vuitton NOE famous champagne bag created in 1932.

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