The global handbag market is showing healthy growth, with a forecast compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.8%. North America dominates the market, with over 31.00% market share, and is expected to maintain its dominant position with a stable compound annual growth rate (CAGR). Asia-Pacific is expected to be the fastest-growing region, driven by increasing consumer purchasing power and the rise of online shopping. The European market, particularly Italy, remains important in terms of production. Italian production has seen a spectacular 90.9% increase in 2021 after a pandemic-induced drop in 2020.

Italian exports increased by 32.9% over five years, and despite a -16.9% drop in domestic sales in the leather goods sector between 2019 and 2021, a +25.7% rebound was recorded between 2020 and 2021. In addition, the second-hand market in Italy has seen strong annual growth of 12%, reaching 25 billion euros in 2022, stimulated by affordable prices and ecological concerns, among other factors. Italian handbag exports are dominated by leather bags, which will be worth $5.3 billion in 2021. Italian consumers also show a strong preference for leather handbags, with domestic spending of 835.9 million euros in 2019, and Italy's international reitaly's international reputation for manufacturing leather goods remains high, with the country perceived as the best for production, followed by France and the USA.

The Italian handbag market: a summary of trends and key figures

The Italian handbag market is a notable segment within the wider fashion accessories industry, with a range of consumer considerations influencing purchases, including practicality, aesthetics and brand prestige. The market is incredibly varied and is segmented into luxury, high-end, mid-range and low-end ranges, differing in design, size and materials, such as leather, synthetic and fabric. Although Italy stands out for its strength in handbag manufacturing, taking the lead with over 55% of EU production, domestic consumption has slowed as part of a broader trend of reduced spending in the apparel market. The industry faces the challenges of increased competition and the changing dynamics of the luxury and low-end market segments. Traditional producers must adapt to new distribution channels and the growing popularity of private labels.

Worldwide, the handbag market is worth over $45 billion, and is expected to grow at an average annual rate of close to 6%. North America accounts for a significant share of revenues, while Asia-Pacific is expected to grow rapidly. Italy exports mainly to high-income countries, with Switzerland, France and the United States being the main destinations. The value of handbags exported from Italy reflects the high regard for the "Made in Italy" label, with leather handbags accounting for the majority of exports. Italian handbag production has experienced some volatility, with dramatic rises and falls between 2010 and 2021, partly influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the sector rebounded strongly after the slowdown observed in 2020, demonstrating its resilience and growth potential. In terms of sales between 2010 and 2021, the sector showed an upward trend until the pandemic, and has since returned to prosperity levels similar to those before the pandemic.

With regard to Italian brands in particular, the country has a rich tradition of craftsmanship in the handbag industry, with a concentration of companies employing fewer than 10 people. While the number of Italian companies in the sector has increased, a recent trend towards concentration means that there are fewer companies but more employees on the market, indicating a process of industry consolidation. In Italy, domestic demand for leather handbags, which accounts for more than half of Italians' leather goods purchases, is outstripped by international demand, with Italian exports worth billions of dollars, of which handbags make up the lion's share. This demand, driven by foreign markets, underlines the prestige of Italian leather goods. Moreover, Italy's international reputation for high-quality hand products is a major asset for the global handbag market.

When it comes to handbag fashion, the market is dominated by a series of illustrious brands, each with a unique heritage and a devoted clientele that extends beyond international borders. These purveyors of luxury and style are not simply manufacturers of accessories; they represent the confluence of haute couture, heritage and unrivalled craftsmanship, setting trends for consumers and enthusiasts the world over. Let's take a closer look at some of the major players shaping the handbag industry.

Foreign brands with a fashion pedigree

  • Chanel: The embodiment of timeless elegance, Chanel is a symbol of haute couture, known for classic designs such as the iconic Chanel 2.55 bag, which has captivated the hearts of style-conscious people for generations.
  • Hermès International: With an unshakeable reputation for exquisite leather goods, Hermès is a symbol of opulence and refined craftsmanship. The coveted Birkin and Kelly bags are often seen as investments and status symbols among the fashion elite.
  • LVMH ITALIA S.P.A.: The Italian branch of the world's leading luxury goods group, Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, offers a range of high-end handbags under a variety of renowned brands, each with a distinct fashion identity.
  • Michael Kors: A brand synonymous with accessible luxury, Michael Kors offers a modern, jet-setting aesthetic with a diverse range of handbags that appeal to a wide audience in search of style and functionality.
  • Yves Saint Laurent Parfums (L'Oréal Group): Although primarily known for its perfumes, Yves Saint Laurent, under the aegis of L'Oréal, continues to be a major player in the luxury handbag segment, with models that blend avant-garde fashion with Parisian chic.

Italian icons of style and sophistication

  • Gucci: Renowned for its "GG" monogram and bold interpretations of modern luxury, Gucci handbags are as much a fashion statement as they are carriers of personal effects, with eclectic designs that often set trends.
  • Prada Group: Combining minimalist design with premium materials, Prada offers a range of handbags that embody understated luxury and are often a subtle nod to elevated social position and refined taste.
  • Valentino: Known for their distinctive stone studs and red-carpet-worthy creations, Valentino handbags combine modernism with traditional craftsmanship, creating pieces that are not only objets d'art, but also objets d'art.
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Summary and extracts

1 Market Summary

1.1 Definition and presentation

The handbag market is part of the broader accessories market.

A handbag is a fashion accessory for storing everyday items (e.g., wallet, keys). It is a consumer product, intended primarily for women; however, some specific models are also available for men. Many features are taken into consideration when a consumer purchases a handbag: practicality, aesthetics, and even branding remain particularly important.

The handbag market is very diverse and can be segmented into multiple categories based on a variety of factors:

  • Ranges or brands: luxury, high-end, middle-end, low-end;
  • Shapes or sizes: clutch, small bag;
  • Materials: leather, synthetic, fabric or recycled material.

In Italy, the handbag industry (manufacturers and distributors) is in excellent health, but faces a slight decline in handbag consumption, which is part of the broader cutback in spending on the clothing market by Italian consumers. Competition between more and more players is growing, and the two extreme segments of the market, luxury on the one hand and low end on the other, seem to be the driving pillars, thus to the detriment of all "middle" brands. Traditional manufacturers such as LVMH now have to deal, for example, with private labels. New distribution channels are also emerging, creating new opportunities for the industry.

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Latest news

Lvmh: Belloni steps down as general manager and will be president of Lvmh Italy - 22/03/2024
  • **Toni Belloni**
    • - Period in LVMH: more than 23 years
    • - Roles: General manager and chairman of the executive committee of LVMH
    • - Next role: In charge of some strategic missions and president of LVMH Italy
  • **Stéphane Bianchi**
    • - Date of hire at LVMH: 2018
    • - New roles: He will chair the executive committee and lead the group's geographic divisions and digital and data transformation, working in close collaboration with Bernard Arnault. 3.
  • **Wei Sun Christianson**
    • - Proposed Position: Administrator on the board of directors
    • - Skills: Financial literacy, knowledge of the luxury market and China
    • - Proposed co-option date: April 18 board of directors meeting
  • **Bernard Arnault**
    • - Roles: chairman and chief executive officer of the LVMH Group
    • - Comment on Belloni: Describes him as critical to LVMH's success, citing his vision, loyalty, and participation in the group's acquisitions.
Chanel invests in Italy again: new joint for Gensi Group - 29/02/2024
  • **Chanel investment in the Gensi Group Footwear Factory**:
    • - Inauguration of a new 3,000-square-meter splicing department at the Mosciano Sant'Angelo (Teramo) production site.
    • - Activation of 4 new production lines of 70 meters each.
    • - Currently, 6 production lines are in operation, with a plan to double them in the next 3 years through the inclusion of new professional resources.
  • **Corporate Sustainability Initiatives**:
    • - Formation of 3 working groups dedicated to the company's environmental sustainability a year ago.
    • - Reduction in energy consumption and processing waste.
    • - Advances in recycling and reuse.
    • - Launch of in-house training institute "M'Astri Nascenti" in collaboration with Arsutoria School, with 60 people trained to date.
  • **Workforce and Hiring Plans**:
    • - Currently, the company has more than 660 employees, of whom more than 120 are hemlines.
    • - New hires are planned to further increase the workforce.
  • **Manufacturing Chanel and Italian Supply Chain**:
    • - Chanel shoes are designed in France but produced in Italy.
    • - Italian companies controlled by Chanel involved in production: Roveda of Parabiago (acquired in 1999), Gensi of Giulianova (acquired in 2015), and Ballin Shoes (acquired in 2020).
Fashion: how Prada reinvents itself - 13/01/2024
  • Prada was founded in 1913 by brothers Mario and Martino Prada.
  • By 2023, Prada's retail sales have increased by 13% compared to 2022.
  • The luxury goods market is expected to see around 40% of its global sales absorbed by China by 2030, according to Bain & Company.
  • Prada created its own foundation in 1995, which is located in Milan.
Kering tackles crucial Gucci relaunch - 23/09/2023
  • Gucci is the main contributor to the revenues and profits of the Kering luxury group.
  • Between 2015 and 2022, Gucci sales almost tripled
  • Gucci's operating margin increased by 10 percentage points to 41% in 2019.
  • Gucci's goal is to break through the €15 billion sales barrier.
  • Gucci is forecast to achieve sales of just over €10 billion in 2023, up 3%.
  • The Chinese market accounts for a large share of Gucci's sales.
Chanel creates "La Parcelle", a new green and artistic space - 14/09/2023
  • Le 19M, the space dedicated to Chanel's métiers d'arts, was inaugurated in 2021.
  • Le 19M brings together 600 craftsmen and experts in eleven Maisons d'arts.
Hermès, champion of luxury growth - 29/07/2023

Hermès sales growth: 25% in the first half.

Planned openings: four new leather goods stores by 2027.

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Hermès International
Prada Groupe
Michael Kors
Yves Saint Laurent Parfums (Groupe L'Oréal)
Bottega Veneta (Kering Group)

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