10 Of The Largest Handbags In Fashion History

BY Harper's BAZAAR Australia / Dec 8 2019 / 17:01 PM

How big is too big?

10 Of The Largest Handbags In Fashion History
Getty Images; Instagram

The fashion world is definitely a world of extremes.

For handbags, the pendulum swings both ways—we favour bags that are so small, they're genuinely impractical, while also fawning over bags that are so big, they're almost a hindrance.

You could argue that an unnecessarily large bag is actually more impractical than one you can barely fit a lipstick into.

Case in point: Opening Ceremony's colossal new tote, which is so big, it looks as though it could be used as a makeshift boat or floating device. (Do not try at home.)

Outside of the streetwear world, many high-fashion labels have produced their own takes on the trend. Take, for example, Bottega Veneta's giant woven leather totes at spring/summer '20, or Jacquemus' Instagram-friendly straw raffia totes.

Scroll down for 10 of the most memorable giant handbags, since they first became a thing.


Opening Ceremony's giant yellow tote (2019)

In 2019, New York label Opening Ceremony released the crème de la crème of giant handbags—a yellow, giant tote bag, which has, unsurprisingly, gone viral on social media. It currently retails on the Opening Ceremony website for a relatively affordable price of Dhs390.


Bottega Veneta's giant woven leather tote (2019)

Daniel Lee modernised Bottega Veneta's iconic leather weave accessories in 2019, and for spring/summer '20, he supersized the trend. During the show, Lee sent giant woven Bottega bags down the runway that were so oversized, they could be used as overnight bags.


Balenciaga's shopping totes (2017)

Balenciaga creative director Demna Gvasalia introduced the brand's comically large shopping totes in 2017, and they've since transcended trendiness to become an iconic accessory.


Balenciaga's IKEA tote (2017)

At their spring/summer '17 menswear show, Balenciaga also introduced a now-beloved spoof of IKEA's popular blue shopping tote—except, their one was made from calfskin, and retailed for over $2,000.


Jacquemus' straw totes (2018)


French label Jacquemus produced giant variations of their popular straw tote bags in 2018, which were an instant success—and became the perfect accompaniment to their signature straw sunhats.


Chanel's 'hula hoop' bag (2012)

Chanel's giant round 'classic flap' bag (dubbed by some as the 'hula hoop' bag) is one of the most memorable pieces Karl Lagerfeld ever produced. It was later made even more famous when Lagerfeld aficionado Kris Jenner was photographed trying one on in a Paris Chanel boutique in 2013.


Celine's huge rectangle totes (2017)

Before Celine was given a whole new look by Hedi Slimane (and before the famous 'É' was cut from the name), creative director Phoebe Philo added a range of gigantic over-the-shoulder totes to her flawless lineup of Celine It-bags.


Celine's huge totes

For autumn/winter '17, Philo also created an enormous, soft-sided spin-off of her iconic 'Luggage' tote (one of the most popular handbags of the 2010s).


Louis Vuitton's holographic travel bags (2019)

There's no shortage of neon in Virgil Abloh's street-ready Louis Vuitton collections, and many of the exclusive pieces immediately become collector's items. While the neon 'Keepall' bags are intended for travel, it's not unlikely to see fashion influencers re-purposing them as trendy (albeit thoroughly oversized) handbags.


Hermès Birkin (every year)

Considering how hard they are to get, it's an honour to own one of Hermès' sought-after Birkin bags in any size. However, the bag was originally designed as a travel tote for iconic actress Jane Birkin, and therefore, rare, large versions of the bag are available (seen here on Kendall Jenner in 2017).

All Images: Getty Images & Instagram

From Harper's Bazaar Australia