Does a woman go anywhere without her bag?From the tiny hand-held jewel with just enough room for a lipstick to the trendy Prada backpack, handbags are our most essential accessory and the ultimate status symbol. As clothing becomes increasingly minimal, handbags have been embraced as the quintessential fashion statement. Handbags also make it possible to indulge in designer wares without spending thousands of dollars on a single outfit. These compact icons of style speak volumes of our personal approach to fashion.Focusing on our fascination with bags, this book presents the best of contemporary design from the world's leading firms. From the status bags of Gucci and Hermès to the exquisite beaded purses of Jamin Puech and Nathalie Hambro, the book includes numerous design sketches and brilliant advertising photos that speak of each creation in its own language. An engaging text by Valerie Steele and Laird Borrelli reveals the trade secrets of the designers who created these signature looks.