Women’s handbags are fashionably designed pouches used for female personal items, such as wallets, cosmetics, hairbrush, mobile phone, or even a book and pepper spray. Handbags were first made in the latter part of the 18th century, when women started asking for purses that were neither bulky nor unkempt in appearance. Reticules were then invented in France. It made use of slender fabrics like velvet and silk. It eventually crossed the channel to England, where it became known as indispensables.
During the Industrial Revolution, there was a notable increase in travel. An industrialist named Samuel Parkinson noticed that his wife’s purse was too small and flimsy. He ordered from H.J. Cave of London a set of bags of different sizes that can be used for different occasions. He asked the manufacturer to utilize materials similar to those used in his trunks and cases. This would help differentiate the bag from the ones used by the other social classes.
The result was the first set of luxury handbags ever created. Since then, women can never have enough of it. Whether it was Coach, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Dooney & Bourke or Prada who made the bag, women will always find a reason why they need one.
Here are the top ten most expensive women’s handbags.
11 The Mouawad 1001 Nights Diamond Purse - $3.8 million
Purses are usually associated with coins, but in the United States, the use of purses and handbags are interchangeable. What cannot be changed is the fact that this diamond purse is the most expensive handbag in the world, with a price that is double the second most expensive. The bag is shaped like a heart and is encrusted with gold and diamonds with a total weight of 381.92 carats. The diamonds include 4,356 colorless, 105 yellow and 56 pink ones. It took a total of 8,800 man hours to create this bag, with 10 people assigned to the task.
10 Hermes Birkin Bag by Ginza Tanaka - $1.9 million
This is a bag and jewelry accessories combined. The Japanese designer named Ginza Tanaka made it. The bag is made of platinum and is encrusted with over 2,000 diamonds. The completely diamond strap can be removed and used instead as a necklace or bracelet. The bag also features a pear-shaped diamond weighing 8 carats that can also be removed and used as a separate accessory.
9 Chanel Classic Diamond Forever Handbag - $261,000
The stars of the hit television show Sex and the City used Chanel regularly. Celebrities like Emma Watson and Lauren Conrad are some of its users. The Diamond Forever Classic features 334 diamonds weighing 3.56 carats. The bag itself, including the shoulder straps, is made of 18-carat white gold.
8 Lana Marks Cleopatra Bag - $250,000
Only one Cleopatra is produced each year. The 2007 version was made of alligator skin with metallic silver shade. The bag is made of 18-carat white gold, and is encrusted with 1,500 black and white diamonds. Helen Mirren, who starred in The Queen, had the privilege of using the bag in the 2007 Academy Awards. How fitting was it that the bag was carried around by royalty? And it might just be her lucky charm, as she took home Best Actress honor that evening.
7 Hermes Matte Crocodile Birkin Bag - $120,000
The bag is made of crocodile skin to underscore its strength. It also features a clasp encrusted with white diamonds weighing 10 carats. The materials are top of the line, but if you can make do with slightly inferior ones, Hermes is also selling less expensive versions for around $5,000.
6 Leiber Precious Rose Bag - $92,000
This is an extravagant handbag shaped like a perfect flower. Only one such bag was made, and it is studded with 1,016 diamonds weighing 42.56 carats in all. The bag also boasts of 1,169 sapphires and 800 tourmalines.
5 Hermes Black Crocodile Birkin Bag - $64,800
A company called Doyle sold this bag in an auction in New York. It features black crocodile skin, with the clasp and lock covered all over with diamonds. The bag was sold in 20 April 2005.
4 Louis Vuitton Tribute Patchwork Bag - $45,000
Louis Vuitton is probably the most copied bag in the planet. After all, it is considered to be the primary name when it comes to handbags. Celebrities like Jennifer Lopez, Angelina Jolie, Uma Thurman and Naomi Campbell swear by it. Still, we are not quite sure if this bag should bear the Louis Vuitton name. The bag was designed by Marc Jacobs using pieces taken out of 15 other Louis Vuitton bags. The look was unique and different, to put it mildly. Critics have not been shy bashing the bag’s design, however, with some members of the press calling it Frankenstein’s monster. Surprisingly, there were 24 customers who ordered the bag after it was featured in a fashion show. All 24 were custom-made and delivered, and the company has announced that they will not make any more Tribute Patchwork in the future.
3 Hilde Palladino’s Gadino Bag - $38,470
The Norwegian designer named Hilde Palladino designed this bag. The bag is made of crocodile skin. It also features 39 white diamond chips set in white gold placed at the clasps and lock of the bag.
2 Marc Jacob's Carolyn Crocodile Bag - $38,000
Marc Jacobs used to be connected with Louis Vuitton. He has since gone to set up his own company. This bag is one of his most popular items, with its quilt design made of purple crocodile skin. The bag also comes with interior pockets and separators.
1 Fendi Selleria Bag - $38,000
This bag can be customized based on a customer’s preference. She can choose from two of the most rare and most expensive animal skins in the world, namely the sable and the chinchilla. The sable can only be found in Russian forests and mountains, while the chinchilla is a rodent that looks like a squirrel that can only be found in South America.