Talk about investing in designer handbags and chances are you’ll hear names like Chanel, Hermes, or Louis Vuitton. Balenciaga, however, is also cementing its street-worthy status. Just ask style mavens like Kate Moss, Dua Lipa, and Kim Kardashian.
Although founded by Spanish designer Cristobal Balenciaga in 1919 in the Basque Country in Spain, the brand shifted his business to Paris in 1937 because of the Spanish Civil War, where he opened the fashion house at 10 Avenue George V. With fashion enthusiasts and celebrities lapping up Balenciaga’s collections and structured styles, there was no looking back.
Balenciaga handbags have been known to rewrite the definition of a classic bag. Combining modern silhouettes with heritage-driven touches, the accessories add edge to any outfit and set the wearer apart from the crowd. From a rock n’ roll-esque motorcycle bag to a polished evening bag, Balenciaga knows how to elevate the occasion with its most popular bags
Additionally, with the creative vision of names like former creative director Nicolas Ghesquière and current creative director Demna Gvsalia, one can be sure that Balenciaga’s bags are fashion statement pieces that will provide plenty of mileage in any wardrobe.
Here are some of the best Balenciaga bags to own:
Easily one of the most iconic Balenciaga bags today, the City bag – first designed in 2001 by Nicolas Ghesquière under a different name, Motorcycle Bag – has become a street style staple that comes in a plethora of colours, materials, and sizes.
With its studded hardware and slouchy shape, the bag was dismissed by the Balenciaga bosses at the time for not being in line with the brand’s aesthetics. Ghesquière, however, managed to convince them and launched just a few designs of the Motorcycle bag. It didn’t take long for it to become a grand success, becoming one of the most photographed handbags on the streets. While the City is no longer in production, the Neo Classic has taken its place to become one of the most popular bags today.
Reimagined in a myriad of colours and sizes, the Neo-Classic handbag comes with a detachable shoulder strap and is made of grained calfskin. Some of the mini and micro bags in this line also have Nappa lambskin lining.
For those who can’t pack light, the Neo-Classic has enough room for all your essentials – and then some. This shoulder bag comes with an iconic top handle, leather tassel zipper pull, interior zip pockets and leather framed mirror, making it even more alluring as a high street accessory.
To top it all, the Balenciaga logo is embossed at the front in leather.
On the other spectrum of the City lies the Hourglass, a sculptural bag designed by Demna Gvasalia that has a sharp trapezoid silhouette. One of the most stunning bags by Balenciaga, the Hourglass was innovative in its shape, and provided a glimpse of Gvasalia’s unique aesthetic vision.
Made in a number of leather options and available in a plethora of colours (many of them extremely eye-catching), the Hourglass features a detachable shoulder strap, magnetic closure, and a long flap with an aged gold B Balenciaga logo. The mini bag also has a back pocket, an inner zip pocket and a patch pocket. The Nappa lambskin lining adds layered drama to it.
Besides the croc leather variation, this top handle bag is also available in calfskin in classic colours like white, green and blue, among others. The black calfskin leather bag in this line is best for those who want something that’s easy to style and effortlessly chic. Besides the mini bags, the Hourglass also comes in small and XS sizes.
The designer bag also recently received a dazzling rhinestone variation. Made of suede calfskin in red, grey and pink, the rhinestone-studded Balenciaga bags are bejewelled accessories that will make heads turn wherever you go.
Despite their edginess, Balenciaga bags are still largely practical. The Ville is a minimalist bag that’s perfect for those who like to carry all their essentials while on the go. Much like the famous Balenciaga bucket bag, this dome-shaped shoulder bag might look small and compact but is spacious.
The Balenciaga Ville bag has an adjustable shoulder strap that easily turns it into a crossbody bag, allowing for different styles depending on your mood. While the bag is primarily crafted from high-quality leather, some silhouettes also come in croc-embossed calfskin.
Complete with an interior zip pocket and zip closure, this bag looks and feels elegant and classic, with a reinforced bottom panel and fitted brass feet for added durability. Ideal for the busy individual, a patch pocket at the back also helps you keep your phone handy. The Balenciaga logo is printed on the front.
Available in sizes XXS, Mini and Small, this shoulder bag comes in classic black, white, grey, pink and red colours.
Featuring ‘BALENCIAGA’ written in bold letters on the front, the Cabas is one of the most popular Balenciaga handbags. It is, after all, the perfect solution for days when you want a carry-all without sacrificing on style.
The top-handle bag comes with a detachable crossbody strap for easy toting, as well as a detachable pouch to keep all your important stuff handy. Inside, an inner zipped pocket is perfect for keeping phones and wallets safe, while semi-shiny palladium hardware makes it one of the chicest canvas bags around.
The bag is available in small, medium and extra-small sizes and in colours like black, beige, and pink. The beige iteration also comes in a special design that sees a contrasting lining of blue or black calfskin (pictured).
Creating a buzz right from its debut in the Pre-Fall 2021 collection, the Balenciaga Le Cagole is an ultra-trendy take on the classic City bag.
Made from arena lambskin, fitted with aged silver hardware, and adorned with an adjustable shoulder strap with braided shoulder pads, the Le Cagole bags come with a zipped closure with knotted leather pull, a detachable zip pouch and a removable but seriously adorable heart mirror. Soft cotton canvas lining makes the bag easy to maintain and carry.
Available in a number of bright and natural colours like black, white, pink, green, blue, and silver and in sizes that range from XS, small, mini, the bag works with everything from a light sun dress to an evening dress. A bucket bag version is also available if you need a roomier option.
Balenciaga’s Shopping XXS tote is perhaps the niftiest and most classic shopping bag out there. The structured calfskin leather tote is minimal and chic and goes beyond just carrying the essentials.
With ‘Balenciaga’ printed in bold capital letters at the front, the bag makes an easy fashion statement. Made in the brand’s north and south style, the XXS tote has contrasting black leather round handles and an adjustable and detachable crossbody strap. Its canvas lining helps protect its interiors from keys and even the stray mint. However, the bag does not have a clasp or closure of any kind.
Spelling minimalist to the T, the XXS tote is a luxury bag that is simple, chic, and utilitarian enough for everyday use.
Shopping phone pouch
If you thought mini and micro bags were out of style, you might want to hold that sentiment. An even smaller version of the Shopping XXS tote, the shopping phone pouch can also accommodate belongings like a card and maybe a lipstick as well.
This squared calfskin bag bears the brand’s name in bold font on the front. Pair it with casual wear and make a fashion statement while keeping it effortlessly stylish.
Besides the classic black and white versions, a shiny crocodile embossed variation is also available to elevate your casual outfits. Thin Nappa lambskin round handles, adjustable crossbody strap and a simple magnetic closure ensure maximum comfort all day.
(Hero and featured image credit: Edward Berthelot / Contributor/Getty Images & Dua Lipa/ @dualipa/ Instagram)