In a fashion landscape dominated by pint-sized purses, the allure of the extra-large handbag is making a triumphant return. It’s not just about making a statement; it’s about making room for luxury in your everyday hustle — stars and influencers included. Enter the realm of celebrity-approved tote bags — fashion’s latest ‘it’ item that has everyone from Bella Hadid to Zoë Kravitz turning heads with their arm candy.
The impact of pop culture, as seen in the popular TV series Succession, has surprisingly drawn attention to giant bags, with a dash of quiet luxury thrown into the mix. Although the commentary in the show wasn’t in favour of the “ludicrously capacious” £2,000 worth Burberry bag, the hilarious moment brought more attention to giant reticule rather than bad publicity. The unexpected endorsement turned the tide for totes, making them not just a functional accessory but also a coveted fashion statement.
Marc Jacobs, Saint Laurent, and Dior are among the trendsetters championing the oversized charm of these bags. Marc Jacobs, in particular, has elevated the tote game with ‘The Tote Bag,’ a chic collection spanning various sizes and fabrics that debuted a few seasons back, offering an elegant departure from the typical flimsy totes that clutter our cupboards. The trend extends with Loewe’s ‘XL Flamenco’ and Khaite’s ‘Amelia Tote’ making waves as investment-worthy iterations. Dior’s ‘Book Tote’ has undergone a transformation, turning a traditionally lacklustre item into a statement piece.
However, the best known in the world of celebrity-endorsed tote bags come from Saint Laurent and its ‘Icare Maxi Shopper.’ Worn by A-listers such as Bella Hadid, Zoë Kravitz, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, and Sydney Sweeney, this jumbo quilted bag has become Lyst’s “hottest product,” sparking a 46 percent surge in searches. The celebrity halo effect is undeniable, with searches for totes soaring by 55 percent in the last quarter of 2022.
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Tote bags may have seamlessly woven themselves into the fabric of our daily lives by offering a spacious haven for our essentials; yet, the challenge arises as we find ourselves accumulating these humble totes faster than we can put them to good use. The New York Times exposed the “cotton tote crisis,” revealing that it takes about 20,000 uses to offset the environmental impact of production. Nevertheless, the love affair with tote bags persists, prompting high-end fashion houses to craft opulent alternatives that marry fashion and function.
As we delve into the enviable closets of our favorite stars, one truth emerges — even celebrities opt for a select few cherished accessories over a revolving door of fleeting fast fashion. In a world where every paparazzi snapshot is a potential fashion headline, the reliability and re-wearability of a celebrity-approved tote bag can speak volumes. From discreet crossbody bags to monogrammed totes, these investment pieces prove that a well-styled accessory can stand the test of time and trend. So, why have 30 different bags when one perfect tote can steal the show again and again? Get ready to tote-tally revamp your style with the latest in celebrity-approved arm candy!
7 best celebrity-approved tote bags to purchase
The Celine Cabas tote
When Angelina Jolie picks out a bag for errands, you can bet it’s one of the best around. The Celine Cabas tote. The bag integrates the brand’s signature Triomphe canvas and calfskin trimmings and comes adorned with a gold finish. With a convenient snap button closure, one main compartment, and an inner flat pocket, this bag is both practical and luxurious, reflecting Jolie’s effortless style.
Loewe’s ‘XL Flamenco’ tote
With fashionable celebrities like Jessica Alba whipping out this XL bag for everyday chores, you know it comes from the annals of quiet luxury. Loewe’s Flamenco tote is crafted specially by leather artisans from Madrid and features a grained calfskin with a herringbone canvas lining. It has soft, accordion-like pleats and secures with drawstring fastenings that are tied by coiled knots – a signature of the Spanish house.
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The Row Park North tote bag
Caught in the streets of New York this week, the 27-year-old model and co-host of Next In Fashion effortlessly showcased the ideal off-duty style. Hadid rocked a white tank top, quilted cream vest, and white straight-leg jeans; yet it was her black leather The Row Park North tote bag that stood out the best. Available in small, medium, and large sizes, the tote’s scarcity underscores its immense popularity. Crafted from Italian leather, it simply features an interior toggle closure and flat handle, adding a touch of sophistication to the model’s laid-back yet chic ensemble.
Price: US$2,390 (approx. S$3,190)
Chloé Marcie Large Grain tote
Say goodbye to the tyranny of tiny bags — oversized totes are reclaiming their fashion throne, and Katie Holmes is leading the charge. In bustling NYC, where every inch of space matters, Holmes effortlessly flaunts a large black leather tote with a laid-back sneaker ensemble, proving that practicality can be stylish. The roomy tote, crafted from shiny and grained calfskin, embodies the Maison’s Marcie bag line, marrying equestrian charm with a 70s folk spirit.
Dior Book tote
Fashion faithfuls like Rihanna, Priyanka Chopra, Bella Hadid, Jennifer Lopez, and more have elevated the Dior Book Tote to iconic status among celebrity-approved tote bags. If XL-sized bags align with your style, creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri’s masterpiece should top your wishlist. This spacious iteration, a regular in airports and star-studded wardrobes, boasts a sleek canvas texture that allows for custom name tags. Beyond its fashion statement, it effortlessly accommodates everything from books to a comprehensive list of travel essentials, solidifying its status as the ultimate holdall alternative by Dior.
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5. Saint Laurent’s Icare Maxi Shopper tote
Worn by Zoë Kravitz, Hailey Bieber, Blackpink’s Rosé, Miley Cyrus, and Sydney Sweeney, this tote bag, one of the best around right now, needs no introduction. The maxi-sized Italian-made tote, crafted with quilted lambskin, accommodates all your essentials, and then some. Whether you wear it wide or tapered, the resulting look is still chic. With bronze-toned hardware, toggle closure, one main compartment, and a removable zippered pouch, it’s a star-approved accessory with both style and functionality.
Ferragamo Hug Bag
Elevating swiftly to ‘It’ status, the Ferragamo Hug bag stole the spotlight from its Milan fall/winter 2023 runway debut. Predicting its destined fame was easy, given creative director Maximillian Davis’s track record. Aptly named for its embracing shape, the XL clutch pays homage to the classic satchel in two distinct iterations: a top-handle and clutch, both in Ferragamo’s signature black and bright scarlet. The latter has swiftly become a celebrity-approved tote bag, with Kylie Jenner and Tracee Ellis Ross among its many fans.
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Louis Vuitton Alma GM bags
If the tote bag trend could speak, it would point to this iconic pop-culture moment: Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton twinning in their metallic tracksuits with a very metallic LV Alma GM tote bag slinging from their arms. The then-best friends are also known to be early purveyors of the velour tracksuit, way back when Juicy Couture was having its moment. The embossed bag, a feature of Marc Jacob’s 2006 catalogue, quickly transcended to celebrity status, much like their carriers. Fast forward to 2020, Kardashian, now a founder of SKIMS, brought the totes out once again for a campaign — instantly surging the popularity of the once-forgotten Louis Vuitton bag.
Which of these best celebrity-approved tote bags is on your wish list?
(Main and Featured Image: Saint Laurent, Hailey Beiber/Instagram)
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