Cover Photo: Versace

This season, our favourite designer handbags come in small sizes that leave a big impression

A scroll through Instagram lately might have you reconsidering your sense of perspective. Since when was the Lady Dior handbag barely the size of a wallet? And is that the Fendi Peekaboo bag accessorised with… a micro Peekaboo?

No, you’re not seeing things—luxury brands have indeed been shrinking their signature bags. Of course, the mini bag trend has been around for a while; it can be traced back to 2018, the year that Jacquemus launched its cult bag Le Chiquito (that’s Spanish for “tiny”) and inspired other then-emerging fashion labels like By Far, Wandler and Staud to offer their own petite purses.

While initially deemed as impractical and frivolous—as though fashion wasn’t supposed to be fun—these teensy accessories soon established their staying power on the arms of celebrities and fashion insiders, season after season.

Fast forward to the present, and you’ll see that heritage fashion brands can no longer resist the playful charm of the itty-bitty handbag. For Spring/Summer 2022, fashion houses such as Versace and Prada have downsized their bestselling bags, while others, like Gucci, debuted new styles that already come in petite proportions.

Below, discover all the micro and mini designer bags that will make a huge impression this season.

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1. Versace La Medsua Mini

Both Anne Hathaway and Dua Lipa have already given the La Medusa Mini their stamps of the approval, and it’s easy to see why. Aside from its petite proportions, the new bag doesn’t stray too far from the look of Versace’s viral La Medusa handbag: it retains the slightly boxy shape, comes in fun colours, and its flap is adorned with the Medusa plaque.

Its top handle, however, is now crafted with a chunky chain that adds some spunk to the otherwise cute accessory. A detachable shoulder strap also lets you wear the bag as a crossbody instead.


2. Fendi Peekaboo ISeeU Petite and Micro

Fendi’s Peekaboo family now includes many mini members. The Italian fashion brand has reworked the Peekaboo ISeeU—whose accordion-style sides make it more structured than the original Peekaboo—in Petite and Micro sizes. The former, just roomy enough for a smartphone, is best worn as a crossbody bag. Along its top handle, attach the Peekaboo ISeeU Micro as a bag charm to carry your AirPods.

Fendi offers both bags in plush, nappa leather across a rainbow of colours, from timeless neutrals to bright hues that will suit your neon ensembles. You can also make a statement with the styles crafted from exotic leathers like natural python, crocodile leather and lizard skin.


3. Dior Micro Lady Dior

It doesn’t matter what you put in the Dior Micro Lady Dior bag, although the French fashion brand suggests that there’s enough space for your lipstick, keys, and all-important AirPods. What matters is the outside. Do you go for the the lambskin iterations featuring the original Lady Dior’s cannage stitching, offered in bright orange, blue, or yellow, as Blackpink singer Jisoo did?

Or do you opt for the sleek, patent leather finish of the bright pink Micro Lady Dior, adorned with Dior alphabet charms in iridescent metal? Equally charming are the bags embellished with tiny, embroidered beads in a quilted pattern. No matter what you choose, each design is a testament to the couture house’s craftsmanship and its attention to even the smallest of details.


4. Gucci Bamboo 1947 Mini

Gucci has unveiled a new iteration of Princess Diana’s beloved bamboo-handle bag: the Gucci Bamboo 1947. Informed by equestrian accessories, the flap bag is all smooth curves with its rounded leather construction and bamboo top-handle, with the latter being shaped by flame through a process conceived by Florentine artisans.

It’s available in medium and small, but the mini is the most tempting. Gucci offers the accessory in cuir leather in bright pops of colour, like pink, blue and green, as well as exotic python leather. For the casual dresser, there’s a belt bag version which comes with a riding harness-inspired belt.


5. Prada Mini Cleo

Prada’s slim Cleo handbag was never very roomy to begin with, so you will have no problem downsizing to the new mini iteration. Featuring the same sloped and curved construction of the original, the Prada Mini Cleo is offered in sleek, brushed leather in black, white, red and an array of pastel hues.


6. Bottega Veneta Cassette Mini

Bottega Veneta has scaled down its It-Bag, the Cassette, into a boxy crossbody bag. Just spacious enough to fit your phone, the bag is defined by its intrecciato leather weave exterior and adjustable strap. The bag comes in the Italian brand’s go-to neutral hues that work with plenty of outfits, as well as its signature Parakeet green.


7. Celine Small Box Cuir Triomphe

Celine’s Triomphe monogram sits front and centre on the adorable Small Box Triomphe bags, which each come with a long leather strap that can be adjusted as a top handle. This chic, cube-like accessory can fit most of your must-haves if they’re on the smaller side, but its limited capacity may not be suited for larger smartphones. Instead, use the bag in bright red or Anis yellow as a defining point of your outfit.


8. Diesel 1DR bag

Since joining the Italian fashion brand, designer Glenn Martens has made Diesel cool again. He has even already introduced a hit accessory: the 1DR bag. Its structured, rounded rectangle shape and Y2K-style metal ‘D’ logo plaque makes the handbag particularly striking, and that’s even before we talk about its colours.

So far, the bag has appeared in soft nappa leather, mirrored leather as well as wax canvas, all in eclectic colourways and patterns. Julia Fox recently opted for the black and yellow style, while Megan Thee Stallion got a pink mirrored one to match her Diesel dress.


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