Meet the season’s hottest handbags.

By Laura Reilly
Updated Aug 05, 2020 @ 11:12 am
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Credit: Instagram/@audetteofficiel

If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the past five months, it’s that we don’t need an occasion to buy a new bag. Okay, well, we’ve probably learned some other, more valuable lessons as well, but right now we’re talking about bags.

Having fewer opportunities to sling a tote over our shoulder or dangle a wristlet from one hand hasn’t stopped us from our obsession with all things purses. And just as we haven’t left handbags in the dust, the world of handbags hasn’t abandoned us either.

Despite all odds, a select handful of bags that hit the market in time for a summer like no other  have still managed to secure viral status. While we’d usually see trending summer bags make their way from the real world to our screens, this year, the season’s hottest bags were launched directly from the internet, on the Instagram Stories of women too chic to let a pandemic dampen their style.

For fashionable outdoor dining and park dates, there's nothing more powerful than an outfit consisting of stylish, comfy basics, a protective mask, and one of these must-have carryalls.

Below, see summer 2020’s hottest bags.

Bottega Veneta The Pouch Leather Clutch

Credit: Nordstrom

The era of the Dior saddle has quieted and made way for the era of the Bottega anything. Daniel Lee’s creations for the house have been instantly adopted as top trends in luxury circles, with last season’s Cassette bag subsumed by this season’s Pouch.

Shop now: $2,700;

Loewe x Paula's Ibiza Raffia Slit Bag

Credit: Courtesy

What’s a summer bag list without a straw tote? This ultra high-end version from Spanish house Loewe is a vacation in and of itself, no travel necessary.

Shop now: $850;

Simon Miller Puffin Bag

Credit: Nordstrom

This pillow-like pouch from New York-based Simon Miller has found itself not only a hot design this season, but a useful one too. The extra long strap can be extended and shortened to extremes so that it's easy to carry over the shoulder and in-hand, depending on what your day is shaped like.

Shop now: $520;

Staud Rey Snake Embossed Leather Shoulder Bag

Credit: Nordstrom

The bag brand Selena Gomez, Sophie Turner, Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, Hailey Bieber, and so many others wear on repeat keeps delivering new, exciting takes on its classic styles. This perky pyramid bag is the latest evolution of the beloved circle bag seen on so many famous shoulders.

Shop now: $375;

Medea Tall Busted Leather Tote

Credit: Nordstrom

Medea — whose teeny shopper bags have been an industry and icon favorite for a couple of seasons — has returned with a cheeky, "busted" edition of its beloved top-handle bag. The pre-weathered purse reaffirms the assertion that Medea bags only get better with age.

Shop now: $495;

By Far Billy Shoulder Bag

Credit: Courtesy

By Far has been a mainstay on viral bag and shoe roundups for a few years now, and for good reason. Its minimal takes on beloved nostalgic styles continue to get cosigned by celebs, and this season, Camila Mendes is one of many who’ve been spotted with the brand’s patent leather Billy bag.

Shop now: $564;

Audette Nuit Bag

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With a French soul and Mexican body, Audette’s line of bags have quickly become social media favorites thanks especially to their Instagram-worthy leather colorways. The brand’s international following made it especially poised to take off in cities across the world.

Shop now: $330;

Clare V. x InStyle Grande Fanny

Credit: Courtesy

We may be biased, but we think this bag — which we collaborated on with one of our all-time fave accessory designers, Clare V. — is the next viral bag waiting to happen. Its hands-free design can be worn in so many different ways, and based on more than a few socially distant celeb sightings, we’re betting that’s exactly what your next coffee-holding dog walk needs.

Shop now: $325;

Clare V. x InStyle Badass Tote

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This classic tote with a powerful message is even more convenient than our fanny, and can fit so much. Maybe it’s the French text, but this market-ready bag has a je ne sais quoi about it that matches with our entire summer wardrobes.

Shop now: $45;

Jacquemus Le Petit Bambino Leather Bag

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Simon Porte Jacquemus has given us yet another micro bag to obsess over. No, it’s not the single-plate picnic sling bag he sent down the cornfield runway last week, but rather the bag we’ve been eyeing since seeing Gigi Hadid debut it at the Jacquemus fall show in January.

Shop now: $420;

Telfar Small Shopping Bag

Credit: Courtesy

Nearly impossible to get one’s hands on, this affordable cult bag from Brooklyn-based designer Telfar Clemens is not only celebrity-worthy, it’s the zeitgeist’s hallmark of a true trend-setter. Clemens is a Black designer whose brand has been nominated for a CFDA award and been shown in museums. The bags are critically elusive, but if you pay close attention, you can sometimes buy one, say, through a food-ordering app alongside hot sauce, as with one of Clemens’s signature campaigns.

Shop now: $150;