Why I Fell in Love With Retro It Bags This Year

There is also the Marc Jacobs Stam bag, which was named after model Jessica Stam and hit its peak in 2005 onward. With its quilted leather body, it is ladylike, but the hulking gold chain adds a hint of kitsch. The combination allows it to go from downtown to uptown. (It also feels very Gossip Girl.) Also in the mix is the sturdy, squishy, rectangular Chloé Paddington bag, the object of affection for naughties boho babes like Kate Bosworth; the Fendi Spybag, which is curved and cushy; and Proenza Schouler’s PS1, which was practically ubiquitous in the mid-2000s fashion circles. One of my favorites is the oh-so-’70s Yves Saint Laurent Mombasa bag, with its circular shape and horn handle.

Lindsay Lohan with the Marc Jacobs Stam bag.

Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

These bags were less popular than the Louis Vuitton Murakami collection or a Fendi Baguette, which defined the era. And while the Vuittons and Fendis have skyrocketed in popularity and pricing, pieces from Chloé, Proenza Schouler, Balenciaga, and Marc Jacobs are still relatively affordable on resale websites while perpetually packing a stylish punch. A Chloé Paddington will only set you back $250, and a Marc Jacobs Stam bag hovers around $100 on sites like TheRealReal and Poshmark, while a Fendi Baguette can fetch over $1,400 and a Dior Saddlebag can near $1,000. The fact that these bags aren’t saturating the market makes them all the more covetable. They aren’t ubiquitous, which gives them a nostalgic, if-you-know-you-know factor that can unearth tender fashion memories.

Katy Perry with the Chloé Paddington bag. 

Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

Price aside, these bags represent a micro-moment in the industry that allows fashion lovers to reminisce. The other day I was speaking with David Moses, a vintage dealer, who said that he was once stopped in an airport because of his Mombasa bag. “TSA made a big deal about something they saw in my bag,” Moses told me. “It turns out it was the horn handle.” Bizarre, fab, and funny—it’s a story that could only happen with one of these less popular bags. The best thing? They still pack an extremely chic punch.

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