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Over the years, the fashion items that have helped propel a person to trendsetter status have been in a constant state of flux. In the Roaring Twenties, marabou feathers came to represent the zenith of sartorial superiority, while the go-go boots of the Swinging Sixties were the holy grail of the fashionable. But ever since the Noughties, the one piece coveted by those in fashion circles has remained relatively unchanged: the illustrious It bag.

From Fendi’s Baguette to Hermes’s Birkin and Gucci’s Dionysus, designer carryalls have long been defined by their exclusivity, eye-watering price tags and chic details. And while there are seemingly endless options for anyone seeking to indulge in the whimsical excess of a designer handbag, the success of elaborate arm candy sits firmly in the grasp of one man: Michael Kors.

Arguably one of the most well-known American designers of this century, this week Kors celebrates his 60th birthday at the helm of an expansive fashion empire. One which has, in part, become defined by the stratospheric popularity of the New Yorker’s handbags.

Chances are, if you look around any office, restaurant or tube carriage, you’ll spot several of Kors’ totes swinging from the arms of everyday women. Be it the Mercer Tote, Whitney Shoulder Bag or Cece Crossbody, each of the designer’s bags are instantly recognisable thanks to their immediate elegance and, of course, the designer’s name spelt out in shiny gold capitals for all to see.

Nowhere does the term “investment piece” ring more true than when it comes to a designer handbag. After all, a well-chosen carryall really can last you a lifetime. But, the question remains, which one to choose?

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