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Ysl Bags
Photo courtesy of Saint Laurent

  • by Nav Gill
  • Last Updated:  Oct 08, 2021

YSL bags are a must-have addition to any luxury lover’s closet.

  • by Nav Gill
  • Last Updated:  Oct 08, 2021

No designer bag collection is complete without a YSL bag. The Parisian maison is renowned for producing some of the most enduring silhouettes that can transform even the most casual of outfits, and creative director Anthony Vaccarrello continues to ensure that Saint Laurent bags retain their contemporary relevance. New additions to the line, like the Kaia and Solferino bags, fuse heritage aesthetics with modern appeal.

Whether you have a wardrobe full of high-end bags or are saving for your first-ever luxury piece, our guide to the best YSL bags for this season has something to suit every style — and budget. From the never-out-of-fashion Sunset and Sac du Jour models to instantly recognizable pieces like the LouLou, there’s a dream bag to land right at the top of your wish list. 

Keep reading for everything you need to know about YSL bags and the silhouettes to watch in 2021—and beyond.

Named after LouLou de la Falaise, Yves Saint Laurent’s close friend and muse for more than three decades, the LouLou is one of the most beloved bags in Saint Laurent’s arsenal. Its hallmarks are its soft but boxy structure, front flap closure, and quilted chevron finish. Having become a staple of Saint Laurent’s accessories offerings, the LouLou is now available in more sizes, ranging from a small over-the-shoulder bag to one that’s oversized enough to carry more than your essentials. 

For first-time buyers, we recommend starting with the classic YSL Puffer medium bag in black or gray. It’s a rare example of a bag that can work for any occasion and with any ensemble, no matter the season or era. For a seasonal twist, why not wear the LouLou in a soft suede finish or in a fall/winter hue like forest green?

The simple Lou bag is every minimalist fashionista’s best friend. Modeled after a camera bag, the Lou has a soft yet boxy structure, plus practical details like an exposed zipper fastening and adjustable shoulder strap. As a nod to the LouLou, this bag most commonly features a chevron-quilted upper. The Lou has been presented in almost every colorway imaginable over the years. 

If you’re looking for a timeless everyday bag, the Lou in black or cream leather with gold-tone hardware is a perfect choice. Although it’s an understated designer bag by nature, luxe finishes like patent red and black suede elevate it — and any outfit you wear.

The Kate is one of Saint Laurent’s most recognizable, and most glamorous, bags. An ever elegant choice to accompany eveningwear, the Kate has a compact, wallet-like interior and a thin chain shoulder strap. In most cases the strap can be detached to transform this sleek bag into a clutch. One of the most striking features of the Kate bag is its delicate chain tassel which hangs below the signature YSL emblem and swishes gently with every movement. 

This bag is our go-to nighttime accessory and we gravitate toward its fancier fabrics and opulent jewel tones. All eyes are on the croc-embossed patent leather iteration this season, but for something even more stylish, the slim Kate baguette in fuchsia is a guaranteed showstopper, especially against an all-black outfit.

The Becky bag is one of the most versatile in Saint Laurent’s accessories arsenal, ideal for those who need a bag that can transition seamlessly from day to night. It has a rectangular shape and a diamond-quilted leather finish accented by a chain strap and the YSL emblem in the center. This bag has plenty of room for your essentials with two separate compartments and a zipped pocket.The white leather Becky, accented with silver-tone hardware instead of gold, adds an icy touch to a fall/winter wardrobe. Better still, you can continue the tiny-bag trend with the mini Becky crossbody bag which, like the Lou, has a more camera-like shape.

Creative director Anthony Vaccarello introduced the Jamie bag to Saint Laurent’s collection in summer 2018. It’s since become an understated hit among YSL bag fanatics thanks to its unique Carré Rive Gauche quilting. It has a roomy interior with a zipped pocket inside, a chain strap with leather strap pads for the shoulder, and YSL’s signature monogram at the center. Initially available in black and red leather, the Jamie also now comes in a light pink that subtly softens the edge of dark fall/winter outfits. 

If you’re not quite ready for the luxury athleisure trend, you’ll probably be taken with the Jamie bag, made from wool in a jersey weave. This soft bag in heather gray pairs perfectly with sweatpants and more formal attire. Win-win.

Saint Laurent’s latest It bag is named after Kaia Gerber, the young supermodel following in the footsteps of her mother, Cindy Crawford. Gerber has become a runway regular for Saint Laurent, so it makes sense that she was Vaccarello’s muse when it came to designing this bag. 

The Kaia has a simple satchel-like shape and a rounded bottom, and it’s available in small and mini sizes. Smooth leather finishes define the Kaia, and that’s exactly why we’re switching things up this season with the patent leather crocodile-embossed version in glossy black. Better still, the Kaia also comes as a belt bag to accommodate those of us who are constantly on the go.

The slouchy shape of Saint Laurent’s Niki bag makes it the top choice for high-low style. It can be worn with casual and more put-together outfits without ever looking out of place. The preferred finish is supple, ever-so-slightly distressed leather, which gives it a bit of a vintage feel. It also features an edgy chain-link strap, a foldover flap, and a tonal YSL emblem on the front. 

In its signature form, the Niki is a happy medium: a roomy bag with more than enough space for your everyday necessities and more. But fans of its rock ’n’ roll aesthetic will be pleased to know it also comes in compact shoulder and large tote forms.

With the holiday season ahead, the Niki in metallic silver leather will bring a glitzy accent to your wardrobe, whether there are parties on the horizon or not. For a more subdued seasonal option, we love the Niki shoulder bag in crinkled deep red leather, a practical choice that’s guaranteed to stand the test of time.

8. The Sunset YSL Handbag

Saint Laurent’s sleek Sunset bag is the epitome of refinement. It has a double interior compartment, so if you love to keep things organized, this is the bag for you. Its sturdy square construction gives the Sunset a professional finish that’s further complemented by opulent buffed matte leather or glossy mock crocodile leather finishes. Other high-end touches: the detachable branded leather tag, YSL insignia, and chain strap.

It’s popular in black, red or white with gold-tone hardware, but our top pick for 2021 is decidedly edgier. We love the Sunset in smooth matte black leather with matching tonal details such as a black metal YSL plate and a black curb chain strap. Wear this with an all-black or all-white outfit to be the envy of minimalists everywhere.

For a day out hitting the shops, only the largest bag will do. That’s where Saint Laurent’s Shopping tote comes into play. Its spacious interior and stylish exterior is a dream combination, whether you’re on a spree or just window-shopping. The celebrated tote comes in many shapes and sizes, so whatever your personal style, there’s a roomy shopper to suit you. The most classic is the simple black grained leather tote with an open top that’s fastened by a single magnetic button. The removable zipped pouch inside is a nice bonus. Practical top handles allow you to carry this either by hand or slung nonchalantly over your shoulder. Metallic text branding on the front and a YSL charm hanging from the detachable tag highlight its effortless appeal. If you’re looking to match your bag to your coat this winter, similar options arrive in tan nubuck calfskin complete with a fully lined trim and shearling interior.As an alternative, check out the Toy Shopper tote bag. It has a more rectangular construction finished in a brown croc-embossed leather, and a detachable shoulder strap for more versatility.

10. The Solferino YSL Bag

The Solferino bag, a brand-new addition to the Saint Laurent house last fall, takes some direction from the traditional satchel with its boxy, functional design. It has an understated exterior, its foldover flap fastened by a large YSL logo plaque. The adjustable shoulder strap features matching gold-tone hardware. Its three interior compartments make this a go-to day bag, whether you’re headed to the office or out running errands. 

Like many Saint Laurent bags before it, the Solferino’s initial offering is limited to classic black, red, and white leather. Small and medium are the current size options. We’ll be adding the iteration in black suede with smooth leather edges to our holiday wish list.

11. The Cassandra YSL Bag

The Cassandra is another vintage-inspired classic. Simply put, there’s not really very much anyone could dislike about this bag. Commonly seen in black or white leather with gold hardware, it has a slim, squared structure, best suited to those who pack light.

If you’re looking for a break from traditional leather bags, the Cassandra in a cotton canvas finish is a breath of fresh air. It has canvas panels on the front, top, and back, and a contrasting buffed calfskin trim in black. The top handle and adjustable shoulder strap are also crafted from the same smooth black leather, with silver-tone hardware completing the look.

Most Saint Laurent bags boast the signature YSL emblem across the front, but if you like your designer accessories on the understated side, the Le Carré is for you. This satchel-inspired bag is a contemporary classic that’s ideal for everyday wear. It has a roomy interior compartment and a zipped pocket, as well as an adjustable strap that allows you to style it over the shoulder or crossbody. In place of the YSL logo is a square clip fastening engraved with Saint Laurent text.

For a bag style that can form part of your core closet for years to come, nothing beats the Le Carré in buffed black or white leather. The simplicity of the bag lends itself well to textures — this season we’re drawn to finishes like crocodile embossing and suede.

13. The Manhattan YSL Bag

The true sophisticate won’t be able to resist the enduring charm of Saint Laurent’s Manhattan bag. Yet another satchel-inspired piece, the Manhattan was inducted into Saint Laurent by its current creative director, Anthony Vaccarello. Following the design of the Le Carré, the Manhattan also foregoes the YSL logo in favor of sleek engraved hardware. This sizable bag is a good option for those who aren’t willing to limit their essentials. There’s enough room in here for everything you may need!

The Manhattan was initially released with only a top handle, but thankfully, recent iterations have a shoulder strap option for easier wear. We’re torn between this season’s patent black mock croc and the more conservative (but still stylish) one in canvas and tan leather.

Launched in 2013 during Hedi Slimane’s tenure as creative director of the house, the Sac du Jour has become a cult hit among accessories aficionados. The Sac du Jour, or “bag of the day,” has a classic, structured silhouette with accordion side panels that extend to fit all your belongings. Special details include a concealed padlock on a detachable lanyard, and a handy keychain attached to the interior. The Sac du Jour sees colorful releases almost every season, but we love it most in classic black and gray. We’re still not over the minibag trend, so this year you’ll catch us sporting this practical bag in the adorable nano size.

It’s hard to think of a YSL bag without immediately picturing the Envelope. This bag is as versatile as it gets, its silhouette taking the form of a slimline shoulder bag, clutch, or wristlet. Because it’s ultracompact, the Envelope works best as an evening bag or for occasions when one only needs to carry the bare essentials. 

The most commonly seen version of the Envelope is the wallet bag, with chevron quilting, a metal YSL logo, and a curb chain strap or detachable leather wristlet. If you like the simplicity of this bag but prefer a more high-end finish, the small quilted Envelope is an excellent option. Its upper combines chevron, diamond, and vertical quilted finishes, and there’s a logo plaque at the center and a bonus patch pocket on the back. 

About the Author

Nav Gill is a Senior Editor at Editorialist covering fashion, features and news. A Fashion Communication graduate, she was previously an Editor at HYPEBAE and has a strong interest in luxury fashion, emerging brands, streetwear and footwear. When she’s not on the road covering European fashion weeks, you’ll find her scouring the Internet for the latest sneaker drops.

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