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The Best Saint Laurent Bags Through the Decades

 Best YSL Bags future graphic.
Best YSL Bags future graphic.

It's been sixty-two years since the French fashion house Saint Laurent, which embodies sleek sophistication and high-quality leather work, was founded, and while trends, creative directors, and the Yves have come and gone, the French fashion house has always retained its top spot in the luxury landscape, impressively maintaining its foothold, particularly within the wild, capricious world of handbags.

From heritage silhouettes launched at the height of the '60s to styles that debuted just a few seasons ago, the best of YSL and Saint Laurent bags stand the test of time because they reflect the brand's core value: offering timeless and practical goods that women really do want to wear.

"Saint Laurent boasts a broad collection of coveted handbags," Elizabeth Layne, Chief Marketing Officer of Rebag, tells Marie Claire over email. As for which of the designer bags to invest in precisely, Layne has several suggestions. "Among these are the practical Loulou shoulder bag, ideal for everyday use, and the stylish Lou camera handbag, a fantastic choice for those starting their luxury collection. The sleek Sac de Jour, known for its timeless design, and the chic Le 5 à 7 hobo bag are also noteworthy Saint Laurent styles," she notes.

Kate Moss in Saint Laurent's Fall 2023 campaign carrying a Manhattan bag.
Kate Moss in Saint Laurent's Fall 2023 campaign carrying a Manhattan bag.

Whether you're splurging on your first designer bag or seeking to add to your existing collection, allow our curated selection of the best YSL bags to guide you. Ahead, you'll discover tips from Layne on where and how to start shopping and seven of the iconic brand's most prevalent styles.

How to Buy a YSL Bag

Rebag's Layne encourages you to hit the books—or, in this case, the Internet and other fashion-specific resources—to gather background information before pressing 'buy'. "Before investing in a Saint Laurent handbag, or any luxury handbag for that matter, it's important for shoppers to research the style's investment value," she says.

From there, then you can orient yourself to what exactly you're looking for and, as Layne describes, "the bag's functionality in relation to [your] lifestyle and how well it aligns with [your] personal style and preferences." For instance, are you now working in an office a few days a week and searching for a dutiful laptop bag? A large carryall like the Sac de Jour will tick that box. But if you're hunting for a smaller everyday style, the Sac de Jour, a versatile crossbody-cum-top-handle designed for toting around all day, is a silhouette to consider.

Le 5 à 7 Bag

When a bag makes its way onto the arms of Taylor Swift and Hailey Bieber, congratulations—you have an It style on your hands. Debuted in the brand's Spring/Summer 2021 show, Saint Laurent's Le 5 à 7 comes in a slew of fabrications, from canvas to calfskin, and is offered in both a shoulder bag and bucket-like silhouette.

Layne particularly shouts out the style's hobo designs: "Chic and compact, the Saint Laurent Le 5 à 7 shoulder bag is ideal for evening dressing. It features a simple silhouette, with clean, classic lines, and the YSL logo on the front," she details.

Small Le 5 A 7 Supple Hobo Bag in Smooth Leather
Small Le 5 A 7 Supple Hobo Bag in Smooth Leather

Saint Laurent Small Le 5 à 7 Supple Hobo Bag

Saint Laurent Mini Le 5 à 7 Lizard Skin Bag
Saint Laurent Mini Le 5 à 7 Lizard Skin Bag

Saint Laurent Mini Le 5 à 7 Lizard Skin Bag

Saint Laurent Le 5 à 7 in Shiny Leather
Saint Laurent Le 5 à 7 in Shiny Leather

Saint Laurent Le 5 à 7 in Shiny Leather

Le 5 à 7 Supple small leather shoulder bag
Le 5 à 7 Supple small leather shoulder bag

Saint Luarent Le 5 à 7 Supple Small in Suede

Le 5 à 7 Linen Canvas Hobo Bag
Le 5 à 7 Linen Canvas Hobo Bag

Saint Laurent Le 5 à 7 Linen Canvas Hobo Bag

Le 5 à 7 padded leather shoulder bag
Le 5 à 7 padded leather shoulder bag

Saint Laurent Le 5 à 7 Padded Leather Shoulder Bag

Manhattan

Next up: The Manhattan. As its name implies, this boxy briefcase is ideal for toting downtown all day. Or, when scaled up to its medium or large silhouette, it doubles as an incredibly chic and polished work bag. Prices begin at $2,990 in its smallest crossbody iteration and range up to $4,200 for the larger leather tote bag.

Manhattan mini leather shoulder bag
Manhattan mini leather shoulder bag

Saint Laurent Manhattan Mini Leather Shoulder Bag

Saint Laurent Manhattan Small in Box
Saint Laurent Manhattan Small in Box

Saint Laurent Manhattan in Box Bag

Manhattan Medium Calfskin Shoulder Bag
Manhattan Medium Calfskin Shoulder Bag

Saint Laurent Manhattan Medium Calfskin Shoulder Bag

Manhattan mini leather shoulder bag
Manhattan mini leather shoulder bag

Saint Laurent Manhattan Mini Leather Shoulder Bag

2021 Medium Manhattan Shoulder Bag
2021 Medium Manhattan Shoulder Bag

Saint Laurent Manhattan in Box

Saint Laurent Manhattan Mini Bag
Saint Laurent Manhattan Mini Bag

Saint Laurent Manhattan Mini Bag

Icare

"The more recently introduced Icare Maxi Shopping Bag, an oversized carry-all unveiled in 2022, has rapidly gained its reputation within fashion circles," details Layne. "Worn by celebrities such as Hailey Bieber and Zoë Kravitz, this capacious handbag will fit all of the wearer's essentials—and more." Offered in one supersized silhouette, choose between inky black or light ivory.

icare maxi shopping bag in quilted lambskin
icare maxi shopping bag in quilted lambskin

icare maxi shopping bag in quilted lambskin

Saint Laurent Icare Maxi Shopping Bag
Saint Laurent Icare Maxi Shopping Bag

Saint Laurent Icare Maxi Shopping Bag

Le 37

For busy days out and about, this is the bucket bag you want by your side—or, more specifically, on your shoulder. This slouchy style features a hook closure, ensuring your goods stay where they belong—inside—and an adjustable, detachable shoulder strap for your customization. Prices start at $2,100 for its mini size and tick up to $2,900 for the larger bucket.

Saint Laurent Le 37
Saint Laurent Le 37

Saint Laurent Le 37

Le 37 Small Bucket Bag in Shiny Leather
Le 37 Small Bucket Bag in Shiny Leather

Saint Laurent Le 37 Small

Saint Laurent Small Le 37 Bucket Bag
Saint Laurent Small Le 37 Bucket Bag

Small Le 37 Bucket Bag

Le 37 Micro YSL Leather Bucket Bag
Le 37 Micro YSL Leather Bucket Bag

Saint Laurent Le 37 Micro YSL Leather Bucket Bag

Saint Laurent Le 37 Small
Saint Laurent Le 37 Small

Saint Laurent Le 37 Small

Le 37 Raffia Bucket Bag
Le 37 Raffia Bucket Bag

Saint Laurent Le 37 Raffia

Sac de Jour

Another style whose intention lies in its name, the Sac de Jour, "bag of the day "in French, is the ideal everyday bag. "Renowned as one of Saint Laurent's most iconic handbags, the Sac de Jour is lauded for its timeless elegance and flawless design," says the CMO of Rebag. "It showcases distinctive and comfortable top handles, complemented by a detachable and adjustable shoulder strap for added versatility." This spacious style is lined in leather and comes with two zippered compartments to fit all your daily, on-the-go essentials.

Sac De Jour Baby Top-Handle Bag in Grained Leather
Sac De Jour Baby Top-Handle Bag in Grained Leather

Saint Laurent Sac De Jour Baby Top-Handle Bag in Grained Leather

Small Sac de Jour
Small Sac de Jour

Saint Laurent Sac de Jour Nano

Sac De Jour nano croc-effect leather tote
Sac De Jour nano croc-effect leather tote

Saint Laurent Sac De Jour Nano Croc-Effect Leather Tote

Sac De Jour Medium Top-Handle Bag in Grained Leather
Sac De Jour Medium Top-Handle Bag in Grained Leather

Saint Laurent Sac De Jour Medium Top-Handle Bag in Grained Leather

Saint Laurent Sac de Jour Nano
Saint Laurent Sac de Jour Nano

Saint Laurent Sac de Jour Nano

Sac du Jour shearling-trim tote bag
Sac du Jour shearling-trim tote bag

Saint Laurent Sac du Jour Shearling-Trim Tote Bag

Loulou

Named after Loulou de la Falaise, a dear friend and muse of Yves Saint Laurent, the envelope-flap Loulou has swiftly climbed the ranks as one of Saint Laurent's best-selling styles. "First introduced in 2017 as part of Saint Laurent’s Fall/Winter collection, the Loulou bag features a distinctive chevron-quilted pattern," Layne recounts. "Renowned for its practicality, it can be worn as either a shoulder or crossbody bag." Softly quilted like a pillow, the Loulou comes in various fabrications, including plush velvet and buttery calfskin leather.

loulou small in quilted leather
loulou small in quilted leather

Saint Laurent Loulou Small in Quilted Leather

Loulou Small YSL Shoulder Bag in Quilted Suede
Loulou Small YSL Shoulder Bag in Quilted Suede

Saint Laurent Loulou Small YSL Shoulder Bag in Quilted Suede

Mini Loulou Matelassé Leather Crossbody Bag
Mini Loulou Matelassé Leather Crossbody Bag

Saint Laurent Mini Loulou Matelassé Leather Crossbody Bag

2017 Loulou Toy shoulder bag
2017 Loulou Toy shoulder bag

Saint Laurent Pre-Owned 2017 Loulou Toy Shoulder Bag

Small Loulou Quilted Velvet
Small Loulou Quilted Velvet

Saint Laurent Small Loulou Quilted Velvet

Saint Laurent Toy Loulou Bag
Saint Laurent Toy Loulou Bag

Saint Laurent Toy Loulou Bag

Lou Camera Bag

"With a rectangular or square shape and distinctive matelassé stitching, the Saint Laurent Lou camera bag provides a compact yet spacious design perfect for those who favor a modern aesthetic," Layne shares. This chevron-quilted bag doubles as either a shoulder bag or crossbody, courtesy of its adjustable strap. Starting at $1,490 for the mini, the Lou is one of Saint Laurent's less expensive luxury handbags.

Saint Laurent Lou Camera Bag in Quilted Leather
Saint Laurent Lou Camera Bag in Quilted Leather

Saint Laurent Lou Camera Bag in Quilted Leather

Saint Laurent Mini Lou in Shiny Canvas
Saint Laurent Mini Lou in Shiny Canvas

Saint Laurent Mini Lou in Shiny Canvas

Saint Laurent Lou in Quilted Suede
Saint Laurent Lou in Quilted Suede

Saint Laurent Lou in Quilted Suede

Lou Quilted Camera Bag
Lou Quilted Camera Bag

Saint Laurent Lou Quilted Camera Bag

Lou Medium YSL Camera Bag with Pocket and Tassel in Quilted Leather
Lou Medium YSL Camera Bag with Pocket and Tassel in Quilted Leather

Lou Medium YSL Camera Bag with Pocket and Tassel in Quilted Leather

Lou belt bag
Lou belt bag

Saint Laurent Lou Belt Bag

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