Arm candy: The best new-season designer bags

Zoe Gunn

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3 March 2022

Level up your SS22 accessories wardrobe with the latest must-have handbags

3 March 2022 | Zoe Gunn | If you purchase something via our website, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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s there any item so prized in a woman’s wardrobe as her favourite handbag? A trusty companion for work and play, invest wisely and you’ll love it forever (especially if you take advantage of the growing number of luxury restoration services). So, with a slew of new SS22 handbags finally reaching stores, which should you be buying now? Oversized totes are always a good idea – especially if you’re joining the ranks returning to the office. And you can never go wrong with a classic quilted crossbody bag or chic backpack and, when it comes to brands, a Gucci bag or a Louis Vuitton holdall will never go out of style.

Alternatively, shop with your heart instead of your head and allow yourself to be seduced by SS22’s biggest handbag trends. Nineties shoulder styles are back in a big way this season while there’s a cornucopia of colour and texture to choose from thanks to the likes of Bottega Veneta, Prada and Valentino. And should your tastes move on? Well that’s what luxury resale sites are for. Here’s our guide to the best new season designer bags to buy now.

Burberry Frances Bag

Free from bells and whistles, nothing says ‘the boss’ quite like Burberry’s Frances tote. Elegant, simple and large enough to conceal the detritus of even the most chaotic day, it’s made in Italy using calf leather and lambskin and will never leave you wanting for a bag to match your outfit.

Frances tote bag, £2,150, burberry.com

JW Anderson Chain Lid bag

JW Anderson’s oversized chain detailing needs no introduction. The designer’s chain slides, which debuted for AW20 and have inspired innumerable imitators, are now a firm house signature, with their popularity spawning a satellite of co-ordinating accessories. Made in Spain from supple, smooth leather, this bag combines the oversized chain with a stylish mid-century silhouette. An instant classic.

JW Anderson Chain Lid bag, £845, net-a-porter.com

Jacquemus Le Porte Azur bag

French designer Simon Porte Jacquemus has made his name on extreme scale. First via sun hats with brims metres-wide and, more recently, with shrunken accessories, like this teeny crossbody bag, which is just 10cm wide and 6cm high. Can you fit your iPhone in it? Of course not. Will it be a great conversation starter at every spring gathering? Absolutely.

Jacquemus Le Porte Azur crossbody bag, £235, farfetch.com

Dior Vibe bowling bag

First revealed at Dior’s Cruise 2022 show in Athens, the Dior Vibe line riffs on sporty, athletic silhouettes blended with heritage Dior motifs. Alongside a colourful line of clothing and sneakers, and a brilliant collaboration with Technogym, the range also introduced a new collection of bags. This sleek bowling bag, which is the ideal size for an overnight stay or some very chic gym kit, features the house’s new Athlètes print created in collaboration with Italian artist Pietro Ruffo.

Vibe classic bowling bag, £3,950, dior.com

Bottega Veneta Mini Jodie clutch bag

During his short three-year tenure as creative director of Bottega Veneta, designer Daniel Lee reinvigorated the brand with collection after collection of cult accessories, many of which reimagined the house’s signature Intrecciato weave. As a parting gift to fans of the brand, Lee left them with one last bag line, standouts of which were new colourways of the Mini Jodie – a chunky clutch characterised by a knotted handle. This pistachio hue is the perfect companion to sunny spring days.

Bottega Veneta Mini Jodie clutch bag, £1,710, brownsfashion.com

Valentino Garavani V-logo shoulder bag

With its elongated rectangular body and armpit-hugging shoulder strap, this minimalist Valentino design is quintessential Noughties revival. Also boasting a chain that can be worn long or short, it’s finished with the V logo, which is inspired by an archival emblem from the 1960s.

Valentino V-logo shoulder bag, £1,650, matchesfashion.com

Gucci Dionysus GG Supreme shoulder bag

The vogue for logos shows no sign of abating this season – especially when said logos are left in the capable, quirky hands of Gucci’s Alessandro Michele. Incorporating one of the creative director’s favourite emblems, the tiger head, to create an ornate closure, this timeless shoulder bag is made from Gucci’s GG Supreme canvas, which promises durable construction and low environmental impact.

Gucci Dionysus GG Supreme shoulder bag, £1,470, harveynichols.com

Saint Laurent Le 5 à 7 shoulder bag

Inspired by classic Nineties silhouettes, the Saint Laurent Le 5 à 7 is one of the Parisian brand’s most covetable handbags, working perfectly with tailored office looks and weekend denim alike. You could buy it in white or black but this new-for-SS22 fuchsia hue is so fresh it hasn’t even officially launched yet.

Saint Laurent Le 5 à 7 shoulder bag, £1,510, matchesfashion.com

Fendi Pomodorino mini bag

Thanks to the release of Sex and the City reboot And Just Like That, the Fendi Baguette is the handbag du jour once again. Cool girls, however, know that it is in fact the slouchy, curvaceous Pomodorino that is this season’s greatest investment. Featuring a drawstring closure and gold Fendi logos, the fact that its name translates from Italian as cherry tomato just makes it all the sweeter.

Fendi Pomodorino mini bag, £1,110, farfetch.com

Acne Agost shoulder bag

Silhouettes don’t come much stronger than that of Acne’s Agost bag. Created by co-founder and creative director Jonny Johansson, the statement-making asymmetric design is crafted in Italy from smooth calf leather and, while it does come in black and cognac, this marigold shade is so much more fun, no?

Acne Agost shoulder bag, £750, matchesfashion.com

Read more: The Shopping List: The best things to buy now