The ultimate wardrobe investment will always be a great designer bag. For many of us, a logo-ed tote or gilded clutch will have been our first foray into Big Fashion: a gateway into a world we’d long admired from afar, bestowed upon us for a significant birthday, studiously saved up for, or splurged on to mark a celebratory moment.

Today, the designer bag market is a behemoth, with every fashion house competing to create the style of the season (or, if they’re really smart, the style of the decade). Of course, those investment-level classics – think the Birkin and the 2.55 – will never lose their lustre, but now there’s a host of new players on the pitch, each one equally desirable and guaranteed to stand the test of time.

This year, modern minimalist brands are really making noise (well, metaphorically, at-least). Quiet-luxury mainstays Toteme and The Row are crafting sublime leather pieces that are both practical in proportion and elegant in aesthetic. For those after something with ‘It’ status, the likes of 16 Arlington and Kiko Kostadinov are combining statement shapes with dateless luxury. The Y2K revival is alive and kicking at Balenciaga and Givenchy, while Alaïa is first past the post to create a 2024 signature that’ll clearly become an integral part of the brand’s blueprint.

This year, modern minimalist brands are really making noise (well, metaphorically, at-least). Quiet-luxury mainstays Toteme and The Row are crafting sublime leather pieces that are both practical in proportion and elegant in aesthetic. For those after something with ‘It’ status, the likes of 16 Arlington and Kiko Kostadinov are combining statement shapes with dateless luxury. The Y2K revival is alive and kicking at Balenciaga and Givenchy, while Alaïa is first past the post to create a 2024 signature that’ll clearly become an integral part of the brand’s blueprint.

Whether you’re after an investment bag or something shiny and new from the affordable designer bag realm – or perhaps even a vintage designer bag for sustainable bragging rights – see the ultimate ELLE guide to the best designer bags of the year here.