Designer Bags, what are the Top 10 Most Expensive Brands of 2013?

When it comes to designer bags, some of the highly recognizable brands would be Coach, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Gucci, Chanel, Guess by Marciano, Christian Dior, Dolce & GabbanaDooney & Bourke, Michael Kors, Jimmy Choo, Salvatore FerragamoYves Saint-LaurentChloé, Kate Spade, Kenneth Coleand Burberry to name a few and this is because we see a lot of these brands’ counterfeit. But are all these included in the list of the ten most expensive designer bag brands? Shockingly, no! For the other brands that is.

Designer bags

If you try to search online, there will be a lot of websites and blogs listing different top 10 expensive brands for bags that will end you being more confused. I did too. You’ll mostly see brands that are really famous in most of these lists. Just because a brand is famous does not always equate that it is one of the most luxurious out there but that doesn’t also mean that they’re cheap either. In fact, some of these top designer bag brands are not quite known, for me that is. Unfortunately, we won’t know this unless we belong to the society of the richest or someone tells us.

So, with the help of the modern technology that we call internet, I’d narrowed my resources down to two only. Why these two? Because they have almost similar list, the difference being the ranking, and majority of the brands in their list can be found on the list of others. Plus, both lists included the 9 brands that have the 10 most expensive handbags. Yes, 9 out of these 10 brands  made at least one handbag that was included in 2013’s Top 10 Most Expensive Handbags (not brand). Louis Vuitton and Hermes have two of their handbags included in the list, both Fendi and Marc Jacobs made the tenth most expensive ones at the price of $38,000.00 each, and none from Prada, surprisingly. It is also notable that most of these designer brands had appearances in the most fashion forward show, Sex and the City.


10. Hilde Palladino


With the youngest fashion line amongst the rest, the lovely Hilde Palladino is a Norwegian designer that started the Gadino brand in 2001. Ironically, Palladino’s name had only risen to the ranks of famous designers when the Gadino Limited Edition Handbag was included in Forbes’ list of Extravagant Handbag back in 2007, now the 9th most expensive handbag costing $38,470.00, which is made from crocodile skin with 39 white diamonds placed in white gold.

It is hard to find resources on both Palladino and Gadino but I did find this purse forum where a member posted Paladino’s letter with regards to the the limited edition handbag. In said letter, the designer clearly stated why she has no intention of reproducing said handbag, which is the same reason as to why all these extravagant handbags are extravagantly expensive.

9. Lana Marks

Lana marks most expensive bag

Headquartered in Palm Beach, Florida, Lana Marks is known for its exotic leather and as the handbag designer to the stars (quoted from Gwyneth Liew of Lifestyle Asiaespecially during The Oscars. Its Cleopatra Clutch, the 4th most expensive handbag, made of metallic silver alligator skin with diamonds and 18k white gold is worth $250,000.00.

Marks’ very first creation was way back in 1980’s, a bold top-handle alligator handbag modeled after a lunchbox (quoted from The Elite Traveler). Aside from the Cleopatra Clutch, she also designed the Princess Diana Handbag, Lady Di being a personal friend of hers.

8. Prada


Everybody knows Prada, who doesn’t? What not everybody knows though is that before it became famous for its bag and clothing lines, it was actually a thriving leather bag manufacturer when it was founded by Mario Prada back in 1913. Its success story began long after the succession of his grand daughter, Miuccia, in 1978. And with the help of Bertelli, now her husband, Prada became known as a premium luxury brand in early 1990’s because of a black nylon bag.

Although Prada caters to the high-end market of the society, it’s really renowned for its modest design, incorporating minimalism and practicality while at the same time ensuring timeless quality. Unlike most of the well known luxurious brands, the only visible symbol of its brand is its famous triangular shape plague.

7. Judith Leiber

Judith Leiber

Judith Leiber is mostly known as the handbag of the First Ladies during inaguaration, well majority of them that is. The founder, Judith Leibar herself, is a Jew that had lived through Hitler’s time. Unlike most of the handbag designers listed here, Leiber entered the handbag industry from the very bottom, by sweeping floors and glue cooking at a prestigious handbag manufacturer, Pessl, and worked her way up. Leibar spent years working for others before she opened her own boutique way back in 1963 with the encouragement of her husband, Gus and later became a big name because of her creation of minaudières. In 1993, the company was sold to Time Products and in 2000 to Pegasus Apparel Group and later to Schottenstein Group.

Back in 2007, Judith Leiber herself crafted the 8th most expensive handbag today, Leiber Precious Rose Bag, worth $92,000.00 with 1,016 diamonds, 1,169 pink sapphires and 800 tourmalines lined with 18k white gold, is the only one in the universe. Who owns it? Who knows.

6. Marc Jacobs

marc jacobs

Renowned designer Marc Jacobs, the only American designer amongst the list, is well known for his eponymous label and since 1997, as Louis Vuitton’s Creative Director who had succeeded in turning it into the fashion powerhouse it is known today. Before he became these though, Jacobs already attained a lot of achievements under his name. He was the recipient of three of Parsons School of Design’s highest honors, the youngest recipient of CFDA’s Perry Ellis Award for New Fashion Talent, won the Women’s Designer of the Year award, and so on.

The Marc Jacobs label first appeared in 1986 however, the design company, Marc Jacobs International Company, was not launched until much later in the year 1993. But his first design to be professionally produced was his graduation show’s sweater that was sold under the label Marc Jacobs for Marc and Barbara in the trendy Charivari boutique. Its most expensive item though is its Carolyn Crocodile Handbag, which cost $38,000.00 and tied with Fendi’s at the 10th spot of 2013’s most expensive handbags, made of quilted purple crocodile skin.

5. Fendi

Fendi logo

Fendi, now owned by Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy, was launched by Edoardo and Adele Fendi in Rome, Italy on 1925 as a leather-goods business and later moved onto fur. The business grew immensely successful though because of the famous Fendi sisters, Paola, Anna, Franca, Alda, and Carla. Although very famous for its fur coats, it was not until 1997 that it became known for its handbags line through the creation of the Baguette Bags, which until the present time is still the highlight of their fashion show.The now well known double F (stands for Fun First) logo actually came from Karl Lagerfeld, Fendi’s Creative Director since 1965, who Carla Fendi calls as the sixth Fendi child.

Fendi first launched its Selleria Bag way back in the 1938 however, the most expensive one costing $38,000, the 10th most expensive bags of 2013, is made of sable and chinchilla, rarest and most expensive animal skins. Aside from the materials used, what made this of real value is that it is made to order but it’ll take four months to be delivered. Out of all the most expensive bags though, only this bag is big enough for your everyday practical use.

4. Chanel


The House of Chanel‘s origin can be traced back to the year 1909, wherein which Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel started designing and selling hats. Coco Chanel, known for her bobbed hair, bright red lips, and smoking, is truly the most iconic female to leave a long-lastiing impression in the fashion world. It was in 1913 when she opened her first shop offering not only hats but practical yet sensible woman’s clothing that allows woman free movement. However, in 1939, during the breakout of World War II, she closed down. She reopened in 1954 with the financial help of  Pierre Wertheimer, a previous business partner, but it took quite a while to get back the fame she once had. Finally, in 1955 the iconic 2.55 quilted handbag was launched. She continued to work until her death in 1971.

Now known as Chanel S.A., currently owned by Alain and Gerard Wertheimer, the brand continues to reflect Coco’s ideals but at the same time incorporates modern trends to cope with the changing time with Karl Lagerfeld as the Artistic Director since 1983. Coco’s inter-locking C’s continues to be the brand’s insignia. And its most expensive handbag to date is the Chanel Diamond Forever Classic, costing a hefty $260,150, made of alligator skin with 334 diamonds and 18k white gold, debuted in late 2007, is the 3rd most expensive bag with just 13 bags in the world.

3. Mouawad

Mouawad logo

Mouawad is actually not a fashion handbag maker but rather a very luxurious jewelry and timepiece company now headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland with Middle East headquarters in Dubai. Its story began more than a century ago, in the year 1890, when Daoud Mouawad, the first generation of Mouawad, went back to Lebanon after living in the United States to open a watch and jewelry repair workshop. However, the defining success of the business came upon the succession of the second generation, Fayez, who went to Saudi Arabia in 1950 and not long after became the jeweler of the kings and aristocrats. The third generation, Robert, was the one who expanded the business globally. His first move was to transfer the headquarters to Switzerland in the 70’s. Then he started producing watches and entered the world of jewelry auction, acquiring numerous collection of large diamonds. Then in 1990’s expanded to Europe, Asia, and North America. And in 2010, the fourth generation, Fred and Pascal, took over.

In 2010, the Mouawad 1001 Nights Diamond Purse, costing a whopping $3.8 million, received the Guiness World Records title as the most valuable handbag. This bag made of 18kt gold, 105 yellow diamonds, 56 pink diamonds and 4,356 colorless diamonds was a creation of Robert. Although this was the only bag of Mouawad, this was not the only Guiness World Record that they hold though. Presently, they have another three records in their belt, The Mouawad Splendor is the most expensive single pear-shaped diamond at  $12,760,000 (1990), The Very Sexy Fantasy Bra is the most luxurious and expensive piece of lingerie ever made at $11 million (2003), and L’Incomparable Diamond Necklace is the most valuable necklace (2013).

2. Hermes

Hermes logo

Hermès, now a world renowned French fashion powerhouse, was started by Thierry Hermès in 1837 as a harness workshop in Paris. It wasn’t until 85 years after, already being managed by the third generation, that it launched its first handbag but it was only in 1956 that it became famous for its Kelly bag renamed after Grace Kelly who caused its fame when she carried it around to hide her pregnancy. The most coveted and iconic Hermès Birkin bag, with a price range of $9,000 to $150,000, originally created for Jane Birkin, was  launched much later on 1984.

Hermes owns the 6th and 2nd most expensive handbags of 2013, Matte Crocodile Birkin Bag worth $120,000.00 and Birkin by Ginza Tanaka worth $1.9 million respectively. The former is made of alligator skin with diamonds on the clasp. And the latter is made of platinum with more than 2,000 diamonds with a detachable diamond strap and pear shaped diamond that can be worn as accessories.

1. Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton LV

The name Louis Vuitton (Malletier), the most counterfeited brand of all time, is synonymous to luxury. It had earned the title as the world’s most valuable luxury brand since 2006 but was actually the first designer bag dating back to 1896 when the famous monogram canvas was created by Georges Vuitton. The eponymous founder, Louis Vuitton, opened his first luggage making shop in Paris on 1954, after almost 19 years of working in the luggage making industry for others. But it was in 1958 that he first made a lasting mark in the fashion industry with the creation of Trianon grey canvas flat trunk that has inspired the modern design of luggage bags. Vuitton continued to operate the business until his death in 1892. Through the years, the company had experienced ups and downs but had thrived to become the world’s most sought-after brand today.

In 1987, Louis Vuitton merged with Moët Hennessy and formed LVMH that will later be known as the biggest luxury conglomerate with now 60 brands under its wings. In 1997, Marc Jacobs was hired as the Artistic Director and had since then brought the brand into its current success in the fashion industry in general, Louis Vuitton became the status symbol of timeless elegance.

Louis Vuitton products are only available in their own stores and in their own website to control quality and pricing. It is not only sought after because of its brand and limited edition items, it is also because it never goes on sale. The owner is assured that the value of their purchased item will never depreciate through time unless used.

Although known for its chic and timeless design, Louis Vuitton’s top 2 most expensive handbags are nowhere near that image in my opinion. LV Tribute Patchwork and Louis Vuitton Urban Satchel, the 8th (worth $42,000) and 5th (worth $150,000) most expensive handbag of 2013 respectively, are more like a ridicule than a designer bag. The former, launched in 2007 with only 24 in circulation, was made from the combination of 15 LV bag samples with no two bags alike. The most controversial though is the latter, launched in 2008 with only 12 pieces made in the market, known as the ugliest bag and yet sold out mostly to celebrities. I don’t know if that’s how the elite’s preferences are or its just because its a Louis Vuitton bag after all.

designer bags

So, that completes the list of 10 most expensive brands of handbags, not fashion brands, which is a different list.

DUMB and GENIUS hopes you enjoy your time here ^-^