Serving as the first choice as a jeweller for kings and queens through the ages, the journey of crafting such exquisite pieces began in 1847 when it was founded by Louis-Francois Cartier. Since then, it has become synonymous with iconic jewellery, fine watches and all aspects of luxury living, including fashion.
Cartier makes signature handbags as well, and this history dates back to the 1880s when the brand first showcased its elegant mesh bags.
Here are some iconic Cartier bags:
Double C de Cartier
The Maison launched the Double C de Cartier bag in 2021, and its first appearance would tell you that the brand is pressing hard on the nerves of the modern millennials. The sculpted and chic bag features the brand’s iconic double C monogram lacquered in golden metal. However, the encasing oval, which is usually seen in Cartier bags, is given a miss for a more modern and trendy look.
Tagged among one of the most expressive yet minimalist bags by the fashion house, it is made of pure smooth calfskin and is of the perfect size to fit in all your day-long essentials. It has an adjustable strap, making it easy to change it from a shoulder bag to a cross-body carrier.
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The collection also has a youthful chain strap handle bag variation and comes in several colours that can uplift any outfit instantly. The mini and nano versions are available in cherry red, powder pink, black, mint and Capri blue.
The Double C bag collection also comprises other leather accessories, which you can customise with your initials or get the date hot stamped on a gold foil or engraved on the mirror inside.
Must de Cartier
In the 1970s, then brand President Robert Hocq was looking for ways to make Cartier bags a must-have staple. Thus, he created one that will be high on fashion and functional. This was also when he introduced the term ‘Les Must de Cartier,’ which means ‘a must-have Cartier,’ which led to the launch of Must de Cartier bags in 1973.
Their popularity continued through the 80s when the cult-favourite made the rich burgundy shade the Cartier signature. Later, the bag was reimagined for the label’s 2020 collection.
Styled with a gender-neutral touch, the Must de Cartier bag is a fitting tribute to the house’s origin. The inlaying mirror of the calfskin bag also bears the engravings “Cartier, Paris, London and New York,” which pay homage to the three metros that Cartier was found in.
The collection includes a hobo bag, a saddle bag (available in three sizes — medium, small and nano) and an amply spaced tote bag that can accommodate your laptop and documents. The three variations feature clean and structured tailoring, as well as a saddle-stitched embossed logo on the front. The hobo and the saddle bags also have an ardillon buckle and a stylised C. They come in burgundy, black, beige and grey colours.
The collection is completed with a range of leather accessories like mini wallets, flap wallets, as well as zipped and simple card holders.
Panthère de Cartier
The Panthère de Cartier bag echoes the spirit and the bold creative freedom of Jeanne Toussaint, Cartier’s creative director in the 1940s, whom the founder referred to as ‘La Panthère’. Toussaint had taken after the fiery and dauntless spirit of the animal and used it as a medium to create a range of Cartier timepieces and jewellery over the years.
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The new bag treads on similar lines of the unapologetic and carefree spirit of the animal but also takes into account the French minimalist ideas. The sharp trapezoid bag has a metallic clasp, featuring a coiled black freckled body of the panther that takes the form of a large C, with the head of the beast resting on the flap.
Designed by artistic director Marlin Yuson, the Panthère de Cartier bag is a result of the collaboration between Cartier’s design studio and its High Jewellery Sculptors. It comes with a top handle and exudes the legendary jewellery craftsmanship of the luxury label. The item’s shape and gussets personify strength and femininity. It has a detachable shoulder strap as well.
Available in two sizes, small and mini, the bag comes in four colours — black, dark green, pale pink and red cherry. The collection also has a range of elegant and stylish metallic clutches, featuring the feline at its splendid best.
Guirlande de Cartier
Anyone who loves Cartier would also know about the maison’s iconic red boxes that house its jewellery. The Guirlande de Cartier bag aims at transforming the boxes into more than just cases.
The octagonal bag is sleek and has a golden border which lends a regal touch to its calfskin silhouette. The top handle bag is compact and spacious, which makes it an ideal carry-on accessory for a casual day. A detachable shoulder strap adds to its versatility.
The collection comes in three colours red, green and black and has a line of chain wallet bags, flap wallets and card holders.
Cactus de Cartier
The Cactus de Cartier handbag range comprises a line of splendid bejewelled bags where the flower on the clasp can be separated and used as a brooch for any occasion.
The Cactus de Cartier jewellery range was launched in 2016 and a year later, a range of bags followed. Exuding luxury and regal fashion, these bags can be easily called a piece of statement jewellery themselves.
With one of the designs, the exotic crocodile skin is brushed with a layer of 24-carat gold dust. The blooming orange carnelian flowers rest on the green clasp. Shaped like a cactus, it is made with emeralds and diamonds. Its chain is also made of 18-carat gold while the green interior pockets are made of lambskin.
In another instance, a blue-green crocodile skin handbag features a jaw-dropping lapis lazuli clasp in the shape of a cactus flower, which is studded with chrysoprases and diamonds. The interiors are made of calfskin and the chain is of yellow gold.
Other Cactus de Cartier bags are available in red, green, blue and yellow with embellished clasps.
(Main and feature image credit: Cartier/ Instagram)