The best-known names of 20th-century handbag design were well established by the 1970s, but within a decade the trend for designer names had become an obsession. Names such as Chanel, Gucci, Fendi, and Hermès were must-haves on any stylish woman’s arm. The obsession with such designer names continues to this day.

At the same time, the desire to stand out from the crowd with a novelty bag – first seen in the 1940s and 1950s – continued, with Dallas Handbags’ telephone bags as well as other quirky forms, such as animals and magazine covers.

Floral suitcase-style handbag decorated with daisies. 1970s
Velvet bucket bag with Lucite handle and brass button detail. 1970s
Brocade bag by La Jeunesse with faux gems set in gold metal, gold foil, and beaded chain strap set with multi-colored diamanté. 1970s