Art Imitating Art: 5 Iconic Designer Bags on the Silver Screen

The world’s most beloved handbags are no strangers to the spotlight. But beyond street style pictures and celebrity arms, some designer bags have taken their very own star turn on the silver screen.

Read on to find out which styles received the award for favourite handbag in a supporting role, then browse similar options from Luxury Promise’s collection of pre-owned designer bags.

1. Hermès Leather Birkin Bag

“The Royal Tenenbaums”

Arguably the grande dame of the handbag world, the Hermès Birkin bag inspires everything from sculpture to rap lyrics. Any collector worth her rolled leather handles knows that this design is named for the actress, singer and muse Jane Birkin.

The roomy design was created for Jane Birkin by Hermès chief Jean-Louis Dumas, who sat next to her on a flight and watched as she accidentally spilled the contents of her woven straw bag into the aisle while trying to fit it into the overhead bin. When Jane took her seat, Dumas offered to make Jane a better travel bag. Soon thereafter, a legend was born.

It’s worth noting that the Birkin’s extreme popularity also comes with a years-long waitlist for fans ordering the bag directly from the atelier. Collectors seeking immediate Birkin gratification can browse Luxury Promise’s collection of pre-owned Hermès bags instead.

The famously roomy and secure Birkin bag has appeared in several movies and television series, but we love the sepia-coloured version carried by Margot in “The Royal Tenenbaums” best of all.

The film may be turning 20 years old this December, but it’s a testament to the skill of costume designer Karen Patch and actress Gwyneth Paltrow that we still see Margot Tenenbaums at any given fancy dress occasion.

Perhaps Halloween this year is when you’ll channel Margot with smudged eyeliner, a barrette-secured bob, and your very own secondhand Hermès Birkin bag. Costume or not, we think this irreverent way of wearing a classic Hermes Birkin bag still looks relevant today.

2. Bottega Veneta Lauren 1980 Clutch

“American Gigolo”

Lauren Hutton, the model/actress known for her boundary-breaking gap-toothed smile, ignited a revolution with her personal style by wearing relaxed, masculine silhouettes rendered in luxe fabrics. The mere mention of her name conveys a certain laid-back and quintessentially American glamour.

If these were her only contributions to the fashion lexicon, it would have been enough. But she also gave us wardrobe goals for life with her role in the 1980 movie “American Gigolo.”

In it, Lauren Hutton plays Michelle, the wife of a United States senator who seeks the services of (and eventually sacrifices everything for) Richard Gere’s Julian Kay, the film’s titular escort.

There is no denying that Richard Gere was seriously fit in his prime, but it was Michelle’s oxblood-red intrecciato clutch bag from Bottega Veneta that really had us swooning.

A staple mid-to-late 1970s design for Bottega Veneta, the house re-released the clutch in 2016 as the Lauren 1980 and continues to produce variations of it today under current artistic director Daniel Lee.

Intrecciato, the leather-weaving technique synonymous with Bottega Veneta, makes supple lambskin leather into something stronger and more durable for everyday use. In fact, used Bottega Veneta bags hold up exceedingly well over the years, and intrecciato hides signs of wear better than other styles.

Keep your eyes on this style, bag aficionados. We expect a major resurgence in both slouchy clutches and frame-closure bags (the Lauren 1980 is both) based on the upcoming Fall/Winter runways.

3. Prada Spazzolato Leather Logo Frame Bag

“The Devil Wears Prada”

One of the most fashion-centric movies in recent memory, “The Devil Wears Prada” is full of quotable lines and covetable looks.

Meryl Streep plays Miranda Priestly, the Prada-wearing “devil” of the movie’s name, with a wardrobe built around power-dressing staples like tailored suiting and statement coats.

Costume designer Patricia Field (best known for her work on “Sex and The City,” see below) stated that the wardrobe for “The Devil Wears Prada” totalled well over 1 million dollars; judging by the handbags alone, we believe it.

There are many unforgettable carryalls in the 2006 film, but the best-loved of these is Miranda’s classic Prada spazzolato logo bag. A high-shine pewter leather frame-closure handbag of substantial proportions, it is carried by a single top handle and is embossed with the Prada logo.

This particular logo highlights the brand’s heritage. It features the House of the Savoy’s heraldry and knotted rope encircling the Prada name, symbolising the brand’s status as an official supplier to Italian royalty during the early decades of the 20th century. (All this being information that the fictional Miranda already knew, surely.)

As we mentioned before, frame handbags like Miranda Priestly’s Prada are poised for a major comeback. Browse frame closure styles from our pre-loved designer bags collection and become an early adopter of this up-and-coming trend.

4. Gucci Bamboo Top-Handle Bag

“House of Gucci” (expected release in late November 2021)

We suggest collectors familiarise themselves with Gucci Bamboo designs immediately. These bamboo-handle handbags are likely to become hot commodities for winter 2021/spring 2022 thanks to the upcoming film “House of Gucci.”

The internet lost its collective mind when the trailer dropped, in no small part due to the incredible wardrobe sported by its stars. This includes a covetable vintage Bamboo top handle bag worn by Lady Gaga, who plays Patrizia Reggiani Gucci in the movie.

Interestingly, Gucci’s luxury bamboo handbags were born out of scarcity. The iconic look was invented by house founder Guccio Gucci in 1947 as a way of working around the shortage of leather in Italy after World War II. Imported Japanese bamboo was plentiful and less expensive, and the distinctive handles became so associated with Gucci that the brand patented their use a decade later.

Stay one step ahead of the trend by shopping for the pre-owned Gucci handbags in our collection now.

5. Fendi Sequined Baguette Bag

“And Just Like That…” and “Sex and the City”

Hype is growing for the upcoming “Sex and the City” reboot, “And Just Like That...” It’s helped on by the fact that Patricia Field’s costumes for the original series and the related movies were epic.

So even though “And Just Like That…” is coming to the small screen, it was too exciting to leave off our list.

Remember that it was Carrie Bradshaw (played by Sarah Jessica Parker) who made Manolo Blahnik a household name — and hesitated to hand over her Fendi baguette while being mugged at gunpoint. Even the most casual viewers will be delighted to see an old friend, Carrie’s violet sequined Fendi baguette, making its triumphant return.

There is no set air date yet for the new series, but we predict that once it streams, Fendi’s baguette will be poised to reclaim the “It Bag” throne it relinquished back in the early 2000s. Prepare for the baguette resurgence by shopping Luxury Promise’s collection of pre-owned Fendi bags.

Designer Bags in the Spotlight

These five well-loved designer bags are certainly stars in their own right. Keep an eye out for other iconic handbags next time you see a new film, and check out top-quality pre-loved designer bags at Luxury Promise today that can add a touch of that Hollywood glam to your outfits.