The days of the affordable designer bag brands are here to stay! First there was Mansur Gavriel, which used their iconic bucket bag to launch their brand to cult status in 2013, and has since parlayed the online brand into a retail store and a ready-to-wear clothing collection.
Now, there’s the ever-present Cult Gaia (and all it’s knock-offs) that keep popping up on your Instagram feeds. With a price point ranging from USD $128 to $300+ (the signature Ark bag is only USD$168), this brand plays in the space of a modern contemporary bag brand that appeals strongly to the Millenial generation by leveraging on social media.
What ultimately is the way to becoming a cult bag brand? This seems to be the formula:
1) Have a really strong, signature product that screams: This is X brand!
2) Get fashion influencers/bloggers to wear & post about it. Limit quantities so that demand is larger than supply.
3) Expand the product line, rinse & repeat.
We’ve picked 5 of the top designer bag brands that are heading towards cult status:
1) Cult Gaia
Still going strong from their 2017 cult bag brand status, the brand has started to foray into increase their product line, with a range of on-trend straw bags for Spring Summer 2018, and also a ready-to-wear collection that resonates with their boho & architectural aesthetic.
Here are some of our favourite picks from the brand:
2) Tara Zadeh
Inspired by the architecture of mosques and palaces in Iran, Tara Zadeh handbags are elegant and refined, with a touch of contemporary. Featured in several fashion publications, the iconic round Azar clutch was the It bag for girls after their launch on Moda Operandi.
Launched by Sarah Staudinger the former fashion director of Reformation, Staud bags are fun and quirky, have been seen on the arms of Leandra Medine and Alexa Chung, and continue to push the envelope for novelty and creativity in terms of bag shapes.
Wandler will probably be the next major cult It bag after Mansur Gavriel in a massive way. We love the play on the minimalist design and inspiring trapeze bag shape, as well as the beautiful colours of Italian calf leather as designed by Dutch Elza Wandler.
Hortensia medium shoulder bag via Net-a-porter.
Anna belt bag via Net-a-porter
Miles Shoulder Bag via Net-a-porter
5) Danse Lente
Meaning ‘slow dance’ in French, Danse Lente was set up by London-based Youngwon Kim, with an aesthetic focused on minimalism and structured shapes. The designer trained in footwear design before moving onto designing bags, and the brand is now stocked in over 80 specialty boutiques & online stores all over the world after only launching in 2017.
Mini Johnny bag via Danse Lente
Lilou Bianco via Danse Lente.