The more coveted it is, the more counterfeited it is. And, since an authentic Hermès-made Birkin is currently the most coveted handbag on the planet, counterfeiters are now going to greater and greater lengths...
11 Best Designer Tote BagsApril 5, 2021 - Handbag Articles
The 11 Best Designer Tote Bags
- Hermes Birkin
- Chanel Cerf/Executive Tote
- Louis Vuitton Neverfull
- Chanel Grand Shopping Tote
- Gucci Ophidia
- Givenchy Black Wing Shopping Baag
- Celine Mini Luggage Handbag
- Gucci Shopper Tote
- Fendi Sunshine
- Goyard Saint Louis Tote GM
- Balenciaga Bazar Shopper S Tote
1. Hermes Birkin
Estimated Retail: $9,000 to $2M
In 1984, actress-singer Jane Birkin spilled her woes about the lack of good tote bags for moms to the man serendipitously seated in the adjoining airplane seat. This was Jean-Louis Dumas, then the Executive Chairman of the French company Hermes. With her input, he sketched what would become the most coveted designer bag — not just tote bag — in the world. It even had a dedicated space for a baby bottle!
Notoriously tricky to purchase at retail (perhaps a slick marketing ploy by Hermes) and because of their reliable resale profits — and, apparently, despite a worldwide pandemic — Birkins abound on the preowned market. One preowned site experienced a 185% increase in Birkin searches in 2020.
- Trademark saddle stitching
- Top handles
- Variety of materials (from canvas to leather to diamonds!)
- Artisan crafted
- Flap closure
Celebrity Birkin fans: Cardi B, Chrissy Teigen, Jennifer Lopez, Demi Lovato
2. Chanel Cerf/Executive Tote
Estimated Retail: $3,400
In 2005, Chanel introduced this understated, sophisticated tote that easily goes from errands to work to cocktails. Its original lambskin body didn’t prove durable enough, so Chanel switched to a hardier leather tote. Carry with the rolled top handles or detachable shoulder strap.
- Snap closure
- Interior zip pockets
- Removable interior compartment
- Exterior pocket
- CC turn-lock closure
Celebrity Chanel Cerf fans: Lady Gaga, Kate Upton
3. Louis Vuitton Neverfull
Estimated Retail: $1,600
The Louis Vuitton Neverfull debuted in 2007 and has remained one of the most profitable Vuitton bags on the resale market. Cinch it to your liking and dangle it from your arm or wear it over your shoulder. Its removable pouch doubles as a clutch!
- Available in 3 sizes
- Cowhide trim
- Vuitton Monogram canvas
Celebrity Louis Vuitton Neverful fans: Hilary Duff
4. Chanel Grand Shopping Tote
Not available at retail
So well-known among Chanel-aholics, it goes by the shorthand “GST.” Chanel stopped production of this roomy bag in 2015, but in its heyday, it proved as popular as Chanel’s iconic Classic Flap Bag. Demand for the GST has remained extremely high on the preowned market.
- Hand carry or over the shoulder
- Zipper middle compartment
- Keyholder strap
- Front pocket
- Back zipper pocket
Celebrity Chanel Grand Shopping tote fans: Eva Longoria, Jennifer Garner, Paris Hilton
5. Gucci Ophidia
Estimated Retail: $1,900
Environment and animal friendlier than many bags, the hardy Ophidia comes in signature coated-canvas with leather just serving as trim. The bag’s long handles let you carry it by hand or wear it over your shoulder.
- Double-G logo
- Detachable zipper pouch
- Antique gold-tone hardware
Celebrity Gucci Ophidia fan: Tinashe
6. Givenchy Black Wing Shopping Bag
Estimated Retail: $1,300
Sophisticated and minimalist design meets maximum functionality. The removable zipper pouch simplifies grabbing smaller items, like a smartphone. This bag can even hold a 15-inch laptop!
- Gold logo
- Double handles
- Grosgrain lining
7. Celine Mini Luggage Handbag
Estimated Retail: $3,100
This leather bag from the famous French fashion house may be called “mini,” but it’s big enough to cart your 13-inch laptop to Starbucks!
- Zip closure
- Zip exterior pocket
- Aged gold hardware
- Microfiber interior
- Double handled
- Protective base stubs
Celebrity Celine Luggage Handbag fans: Jennifer Garner, Demi Lovato
8. Gucci Shopper Tote
Estimated Retail: $2,200
This Double G tote debuted in the 1970s and is still a favorite with bag buffs and Gucci’s current Creative Director. Comes in an abundance of materials, including animal friendly wool, canvas, straw, and nylon (the perfect tote material for rainy days). Some models sport Gucci’s signature bamboo handles.
- Gold-toned hardware
- Double G
- Double handles
Celebrity Gucci Shopper tote fans: Jennifer Lopez
9. Fendi Sunshine
Estimated Retail: $3,500
From the legendary Italian fashion house that’s now more popular than ever, this tote comes in straw, canvas, and leather. “FENDI ROMA” is proudly embossed on the front for all to see.
- Opens wide
- Double handles, with interior hooks for attaching a shoulder strap
- Spacious lined interior
- Gold-finish metal hardware
- Plexiglass or leather handles
10. Goyard Saint Louis Tote GM
Own two luxury bags in one with this reversible gem named after a king. It originated as a beach bag, so the canvas side keeps wet items from causing damage. The linen/cotton weave side simply looks great. Carry by hand, over the shoulder, or hanging from the crook of your arm.
- Nap closure
- Double handles
- Handy removable external pouch
Celebrity Goyard Saint Louis tote fans: Kerry Washington, Gwyneth Paltrow
11. Balenciaga Bazar Shopper S Tote
Estimated Retail: $1,750
Debated on some websites, with detractors against its resemblance to its dollar store inspiration and fans in favor for the same reason. Other pros of the Balenciaga Bazar Shopper S Tote include its beautiful leather.
- Top handle
- Cross-body strap
- Comes in solids, stripes, graffiti
Celebrity Balenciaga Bazar Shopper S fan: Zoe Kravitz
How to buy designer tote bags for the best price?
There’s no getting around the fact that luxury tote bags represent the utmost in quality, chic sophistication. Whether you are looking for a Chanel designer work bag or a colorful Bottega Veneta, buy designer tote bags for the best price by shopping pre-owned.
With free US shipping (over $500) and up to 80% off designer handbags, shop affordable luxury tote bags at myGemma. All pre-owned and expertly authenticated.
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The history of the tote bag
The designer tote bag saw its beginnings in 1944 when outdoor brand L.L. Bean debuted the first modern tote. Made of sturdy canvas, it was intended for carrying ice from the car to the freezer.
Then the 1960s brought lots of changes and totes changed, too, when American designer Bonnie Cashin cashed in with her Cashin Carry Tote. Colorful canvas bags popped up everywhere. Cut to 1984 when the famed Hermes Birkin was born, and the designer tote craze was on!