The ultimate fashion trend that has taken 2023 by storm is quiet luxury — perpetuated by the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow and hit HBO series Succession. So it’s time to put your monogrammed handbags in storage for now, and invest in some quiet luxury bags that exude subtle sophistication.
Need a break from flashy logos and flamboyant designs? Perhaps a more understated approach to luxury might be more your style. Enter the realm of quiet luxury bags, where impeccable craftsmanship, exquisite materials, and timeless designs take the crown. These handbags eschew attention-grabbing embellishments and conspicuous labels, favouring instead subtler details and silhouettes. Crafted by renowned artisans and revered fashion houses, these bags let their style speak for themselves.
Today, we take a deep dive into the world of quiet luxury bags that boldly embrace the art of understated elegance. If you are looking for a silent companion that can only be recognised by a trained eye, all while whispering luxury in every stitch, this guide is for you.
12 of the best quiet luxury bags to invest in 2023
The Row Half Moon Bag
If there’s an ‘It bag’ for fashion insiders, The Row’s half moon bag is an obvious winner. Its Italian leather exterior is adorned with the tiniest, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it logo. The curved shoulder bag goes well with modern ’90s ensembles — a style trend that’s also firmly back in vogue.
Celebrities like Kendall Jenner and Hailey Bieber have rocked the minimalist style with this purse many times. The bag currently requires a pre-order and your months-long patience to own one.
Bottega Veneta Candy Arco Tote Bag
The new era of Bottega Veneta with Matthieu Blazy has taken the brand’s allure to the next level. The arco tote boasts the timeless craftsmanship of the brand, which is always appreciated by lovers of understated luxury. The style is classic yet unconventional. The carefully crafted design will stand the test of time and can be styled in many ways.
Glee star Lea Michele is an ardent fan of this handbag. She was spotted carrying this bag many times on the streets of New York City.
Khaite The Lotus Tote
Despite being a relative newcomer to the luxury fashion scene, Khaite has quickly become a celebrity favourite for its effortless style, sleek designs, and excellent quality. The up-and-coming brand offers various products spanning cashmere cardigans, shoes, accessories and bags, and is adored by prominent personalities the likes of Katie Holmes, Jennifer Lawrence and Meghan Markle. We particularly love its Lotus tote, a scarf-inspired, lightweight suede bag from the Pre-Fall 2023 collection that comes with a unique sculptural fold. It comes in six different shades and includes a dust bag.
The classic Hermès Birkin bag is probably the first quiet luxury designer handbag that started it all. But if you choose not to go with the iconic (and very recognisable) Birkin or Kelly bags, the Hermès Picotin is a great alternative. It boasts great craftsmanship, fine leather and timeless design — all the right qualities to nail that quiet luxury look.
The Picotin comes in various shapes and sizes and can be styled in many different ways. If you want to use it as a shoulder bag, don’t forget to purchase an additional strap.
CELINE Conti Bag
Celine’s S/S 23 collection introduced the Celine Conti bag, a supersized tote with subtle gold detailing and a small lock carrying the brand stamp. The sleek, sophisticated handbag possesses a noughties It-girl era vibe, and is available in various hues. Only astute fashion observers will recognise this masterpiece from a distance.
TOTÊME T-Lock bag
The TOTÊME T-lock has been one of the most talked about designer handbag launches in recent times. Simple but elegant, the pebble-grain leather bag is complemented with a small metal ‘T’ lock and comes with two convenient interior pockets for better organisation. You can carry it as a clutch, a top handle bag or a crossbody bag using the adjustable and detachable shoulder strap.
YSL Manhattan Shoulder Bag
Just like the city it’s named after, the bag is sleek, sophisticated, and timeless. The cult bag is made from calfskin leather and boasts two magnetic clip closures, and is adorned with gold detailing. Though Yves Saint Laurent is famous for its iconic YSL logo, this bag only has a small engraving of the brand name on its clasp.
Savette Tondo Hobo
Another breakout brand in recent years, Savette makes beautifully crafted leather bags with its signature metal hardware. The soft rounded curves of the Tondo Hobo complement casual styles very well. The small bag is equipped with one interior pocket and a magnetic lock, and is the perfect accessory for day-to-day events.
Loewe Small Puzzle bag
The Spanish heritage brand handcrafts its designer handbags in Madrid, combining traditional techniques with innovative designs. The cuboid shape and unique geometric lines are the key features of the Puzzle handbag. You can easily style it as a clutch, top handle, shoulder, or crossbody bag depending on your outfit. The bag is also customisable with personalised charms and straps.
Brunello Cucinelli Suede bucket bag
Italian fashion house Brunello Cucinelli presents the classic bucket bag silhouette in soft, velvety suede. The roomy bag sports a leather lining and a contrasting shiny monili embroidery handle. You also get a detachable interior zipper pouch within the bag.
Métier Incognito Large Cabas
London-based Métier never fails to impress with its elegant and chic creations. The lightweight Incognito Large Cabas with ample inside space and over-the-shoulder handles makes it a perfect companion for anything from social gatherings to business trips. Moreover, its low-key aesthetic with a lustrous matte finish and hourglass cut make it great for everyday use.
Loro Piana Happy Day Sesia Bag
Loro Piana has received a lot of attention lately for its understated, quiet luxury items. High-quality materials and meticulous craftsmanship have become synonymous with the brand. The Sesia bag is made from soft calfskin and has a laid-back, elegant appeal. The bag has a small brand hallmark on top which is not visible from the sides — making it the quintessential quiet luxury accessory.
Hero and featured images: Courtesy Loewe, Toteme, MyTheresa and Celine
This story first appeared on Prestige Singapore.