When it comes to sartorial benchmarks of the early 2000s, there may be few as potent as that of the ‘It’ bag. The usage of ‘It’ (capitalization, quotes and all) first became common at the start of the 20th century thanks to author Rudyard Kipling and his manner of using it to describe a particular kind of feminine allure. It didn’t take long for ‘It’ to be applied to stars of stage and screen, a practice that’s endured. But the idea of an ‘It’ item, particularly an ‘It’ bag, was something novel. There had been iconic bags in the past, but the intersection of the internet and the explosion of luxury brands (thanks largely to Bernard Arnault’s acquisition of several historic companies, a strategy matched by Tom Ford at Gucci) combined to create a frenzy surrounding the category that had never existed before. Many notable styles emerged, but one of the first, one that turned out to set the stage for so many of the rest, was Balenciaga’s Lariat.

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