Snob Essentials

The Fate of the Winged Tote: From Trendy to Timeless

Yves Saint Laurent, Alaïa, Giorgio Armani, Marc Jacobs, Céline Winged Totes

Arguably the most influential shape of this decade, it should come as no surprise that the winged tote has produced endless iterations. Contrary to popular belief, it was catalyzed by the YSL Downtown under Stefano Pilati’s tenure, not the Céine Luggage and Trapeze bags from Phoebe Philo – those came years later. Now that Alaïa has given his nod to the trend, has the flared bag of flight run its course? I’m going to say no. I, personally, love the shape and think it’s a timeless silhouette that will continue on into enduring desirability, much like the Birkin and Kelly styles. With that, the best of winged totes, past, present, and future:

1. Yves Saint Laurent Downtown Patent Leather ToteThe hardware-heavy day bag that started it all, downtown went upscale thanks to Stefano’s glossy and softly angular vision.
Sold out on Net-a-Porter (originally priced at $1,550).

2. Céline Trapeze: We wouldn’t even be having this conversation without Céline’s insanely covetable Trapeze. Of course, multicolor pony-hair only ups the ante.
Inquire at Céline for purchase.

3. Giorgio Armani Small Shopping Suede and Leather ToteI fell for this crisp, clean interpretation the instant I laid eyes on it, and it looks just as divine now as it did back in the summer.
On Luisa via Roma for $1,680.

4. Marc Jacobs Khaki ToteThis subtler shape might be the way of the future. A neutral palette and classic details make this an uncontroversial investment that won’t be labeled as trendy.
At Nordstrom for $1,695.

5. Alaïa Laser-Cut Python ToteThe newest and freshest of the bunch will cost you a pretty penny. Emphasis on pretty, thanks to python cut in classic Azzedine fashion!
On Net-a-Porter for $4,960.

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