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MAIN Arrow to Home LifeShopping Arrow to Fashion & ClothingClothing Arrow to HandbagsPurses & Handbags

Handbags of the Rich & Famous

actress Angelina Jolie wearing a Valentino handbag
Angelina Jolie with
stylish Valentino
"Histoire" handbag.

Whether it be Hermes or Gucci, Fendi or Valentino, a superstar handbag is the ultimate answer to the question: "What would SHE wear?"

Fashionistas often associate the beginning of the modern era of handbag mania with the marriage of Hollywood actress Grace Kelly to Prince Ranier of Monaco in 1956.

Princess Grace Kelly had become one of the most photographed women in the world when Life Magazine snapped her clutching a Hermes bag that turned heads.

Suddenly, everyone woman aspiring to Hollywood style had to have one. As a result, Hermes was inundated with orders resulting a 6-month waiting list in stores across America.

Today, the most sought after "arm candy" of the stars continues to be the ultimate in top-of-the-line and trendy handbags coveted by millions of fashionistas around the world. One photo in a magazine of a major star continues to touch off a national if not an international craze — either for the real thing, or authentic-looking handbag knockoffs.

Several decades after the "Kelly" bag, Hermes was at it again, this time with the wildly popular Birkin bag, named for actress Jane Birkin. Today, it remains as popular as ever (even with an average price tag of $6,000) and can be seen on the arms of such celebrity trendsetters as Victoria Beckham, Jada Pinkett Smith, model Kate Moss and homemaking maven Martha Stewart.

Grace Kelly with Hermes handbag
Actress Grace Kelly
begins the modern era
of handbag mania with
an iconic Hermes bag.

Beginning with the 2000's, fashion leaders like actress Cameron Diaz continue to set the style of chic and trendy designer handbags, and has been spotted just about everywhere with her Pierre Hardy Boston bag. Her choice for ultra-stylish yet oversized designer tote bags (with room for everything a Hollywood star might need) has definitely set a a trend among busy, on-the-go women looking for style and practicality.

Reese Witherspoon is another actress who is partial to one particular designer and is often seen toting a Givenchy design, whether its the Nightingale or the Charm Hobo.

Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria also knows just what she likes, and is always looking elegantly smart whether out on the town or attending a Hollywood premiere. But her eclectic choices have ranged everywhere from a snakeskin Prada to the go anywhere Gerard Darel's 24-Hour fringe bag.

Singer and Hollywood star Beyonce also definitely likes to shop around, and over the years been seen clutching everything from Valentino to Louis Vuitton to Jimmy Choo. Superstar Angelina Jolie also likes to exercise her women's prerogative by sporting any designer she happens to favor at the moment.

Of course, you can bet that show biz 'royalty' get noticed just as often for their beauty as for the designer bags they carry.

Beyonce carries Jimmy Choo handbag
Beyonce carrying the
Jimmy Choo "Troy"

Perhaps the truest test of star power is when one particular handbag gets poor reviews by the fashion community but still manages to make a splash after being seen on the arm of a celebrity.

One prime example happened back in 2008 -- when the Chloe "Daytripper" which was viewed as as ho-hum (at best) by many in the fashion community. That is, until trendsetters Miley Cyrus and Jessica Alba begin sporting them everywhere!

Soon, the bags were being sold out coast to coast, resulting in a second look at Daytripper which went from design "dog" to the Cinderella of fashion designer bags almost overnight.

So where will the hottest handbag trends go next? Always look to the stars ....


More about celebrity handbags around the Web:

Hautness Magazine
- "Haute for handbags" is their motto, featuring news and features on what's buzzing in the world of celebrity handbags.

Purseblog - Celebrities - Find out who's toting what, with regular updates on the trendiest bags in tinsel town.


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