Here are the chicest French designer tote bags to shop for right now. If you want to start investing in designer handbags and you want to find timeless and classic styles that would hold up over the years —especially with all the wear they would go through—, here are below the twelve French designer tote bags that are actually worth investing in.
Whether you’re preparing for a day at the beach, a long day at work or you need to carry all your daily essentials, a tote is an essential part of French women’s accessories repertoire. A tote bag is a bag that generally has an open-top, is fairly simple in structure, and generally has a set of handles that can be used to carry the bag in your hand or on your shoulder. Designer tote bags are generally large in size and have flexible walls, therefore, it makes them easy to use on days where you may need to take more to work. But what makes a tote bag a good tote bag is that it should also look great even when less is needed.
Being French, I do love tote bags —see the best French handbag brands to shop for—. Be it for practical reasons of holding everything I need for the day —notebooks, laptops, wallets, a smaller bag, the works— or simply for making my work outfit look classic, stylish, and sophisticated, these tote bags are truly a French women’s staple accessory.
So, if you happen to be in the market for a stylish designer tote, then it’s worth considering a style that will stand the test of time. Scroll down to see the chicest French designer tote bags which are unlikely to date any time soon.
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1. Saint Laurent Rive Gauche Canvas Tote
Saint Laurent’s Rive Gauche Canvas Tote is one of my favorite French designer totes for the summer season! This tote is perfectly sized to carry your purchases home from the farmer’s market. It’s made from linen canvas and printed with the words “Rive Gauche” —a reference to Paris famously artistic Left Bank—. Inside you’ll find a zipped pocket, so your phone is safe and close to hand. This tote bag is already sold out at Nordstrom, but you can shop it at Net-A-Porter or at Saint Laurent.
2. Chloé Large Woody Tote
Crafted from subtly speckled cotton canvas detailed with shiny calfskin strips, this large Woody tote bag is a spacious day-to-evening bag with a strong summer attitude. The roomy inside compartment includes a practical flat pocket. The bag’s sharp, modern lines are emphasized by the contrasting vertical leather strips and the signature Chloé logo ribbon carried over from the Maison’s Woody mule. You can shop this tote here at Nordstrom, at Saks Fifth Avenue, or at Bloomingdale’s.
3. Balmain Logo Tote Bag
This Balmain Logo Tote Bag is an indispensable addition to your handbag rotation. Made from cotton and linen canvas in beige, it has cognac-brown leather trim and branding at the front. This brown and cream tote bag will fit all your essentials. Carry yours while wearing one of the label’s iconic blazers to complete the look.
4. Goyard Saint-Louis Tote Bag
Few bags are more recognizable than Goyard’s Saint-Louis tote. With its striking chevron canvas and minimalist design, it’s no wonder that the tote is highly sought-after. Despite its apparent simplicity, the Saint Louis tote hides a lot of refined details. Entirely made in unlined supple Goyardine canvas allowing for lightness, the Saint Louis tote is completely reversible. Thus, it can be carried either on the Goyardine canvas side or on the linen and cotton weaved side. The absence of lining reveals all the Goyard savoir-faire as well as on the outside as on the inside. You can shop a pre-owned Saint-Louis Goyard bag here at Farfetch, or at Vestaire Collective.
5. Dior Book Tote Canvas in toile de Jouy
The Dior Book Tote has become a staple of the Dior aesthetic. Designed to hold all the daily essentials, the style has been fully embroidered with a blue Toile de Jouy motif. Adorned with the “Christian Dior” signature on the front, the bag exemplifies the House’s signature savoir-faire and may be carried by hand or worn over the shoulder. You can shop this beautiful tote bag here at Dior, or at 24S.
The Toile de Jouy (“fabric of Jouy”) also called Jouy Print, is a cotton or linen printed with designs of landscapes and figures for which the 18th-century factory of Jouy-en-Josas — near Versailles— was famous. The Jouy factory was started in 1760 by a Franco-German, Christophe-Philippe Oberkampf.
6. Fauré Le Page Daily Battle
Emile Henry Fauré Le Page established the Maison in 1865, although operations began in 1717, and was known as “Pigny.” The company was founded by Le Page’s ancestor Louis Pigny, and it was originally a firearms maker for French kings and nobility. In the 1920s Fauré Le Page began making leather goods for hunting in the form of cartridge cases and satchels. But it’s only in 2009, that Fauré Le Page started to manufacture leather goods.
The Daily Battle Tote was the first bag produced for the revamped brand. This sturdy shopper bag is characterized by its adjustable-length leather straps by way of 17 punched holes on one side, giving it a lot of carrying versatility. From the very beginning, the brand has used the Ecailles scale motif as the house signature. This motif —at once armor and ornament, evoking dragons and mermaids— confers power and allure to its wearers. The Daily Battle is currently available in eight colors and five sizes. It’s definitely one of my favorite French designer tote bags! You can shop a pre-owned Daily Battle Tote here at Vestiaire Collective.
7. Celine Triomphe Small Tote Bag Vertical
The Celine Triomphe tote bag is a small vertical cabas bag in Triomphe canvas with two handles and an adjustable, removable leather shoulder strap. Made of cotton and calf leather, it will be with you everywhere, as you take only what you need with you. Worn over the arm or by hand, its understated and rectangular design gives an elegant and ultra-feminine twist to your style. The only decoration is the Celine logo.
8. Louis Vuitton Neverfull GM
Louis Vuitton Neverfull tote bag is one of the most popular French designer tote bags. The Neverfull GM tote unites timeless design with heritage details. Made from supple Monogram canvas with a natural cowhide trim, it is ultra-roomy but never bulky, with side laces that cinch for a sleek allure or loosen for a more casual look. Slim, comfortable handles slip easily over the shoulder or arm. Lined in colorful textile, it features a removable pouch that can serve as a clutch or an extra pocket. You can shop a pre-owned Neverfull tote here at Fashionphile or at Vestiaire Collective.
9. Moynat Oh! Tote Bag
Established in Paris in 1849 by Pauline Moynat with Octavie and François Coulembier, Maison’s graphic progression can be attributed to painter and illustrator Henry Rapin, Moynat’s artistic director from 1905 to 1930. Rapin created the signature motif by forming alternating lines in the letter “M.” Rapin’s creation has since become the house’s toile initial. The original monogram was given a fresh, new look under current creative director Ramesh Nair, with a metallic bronze pigment used to highlight the letter “M.”
The Oh! Tote Bag was released in 2018 and is made from a durable and reinforced cotton canvas and linen blend. Since then, the Oh! Tote has become a mainstay in the monogram canvas collection of the brand. It features a tri-colored stripe with the Moynat macaron logo in the middle and comes in three colors and in two sizes. You can shop the Moynat Oh! Tote here at 24S.
10. Chanel Large Shopping Bag
Although Chanel discontinued its cult-favorite Grand Shopping Tote back in 2015, it still has plenty of oversized bag options. If packing light isn’t your style, this Chanel large shopping bag —made with straw, calfskin, and gold-tone metal black— is perfect for stashing all your beloved belongings. With this Chanel tote bag, you don’t have to worry about what to wear, it’ll elevate any of your outfits.
11. Saint Laurent Shopping Leather Tote
The Saint Laurent Shopping Leather Tote is one of my favorite French designer tote bags! I love the large, unstructured shape of this tote bag that will fit a spare pair of flats, laptop, and makeup bag. Smooth Italian leather elevates the look of this softly structured shopper. Long over-the-shoulder straps make it comfortable to carry, and understated logo stamps subtly brand the sophisticated piece. You can shop Saint Laurent Shopping Tote here at Nordstrom, at Net-A-Porter, or at Saint Laurent.
12. Moreau Paris Tote Celestin
In 1804, Joseph Marie Jacquard invented a device combining the best mechanical elements of the early 19th century, gradually simplifying the textile manufacturing process, including an infinite number of sophisticated patterns. Custodian of the french savoir-faire, Moreau Paris has created a Jacquard fabric line, named Célestin.
Three different yarns, mainly made of cotton, make up Moreau Paris Jacquard fabric, ensuring a much-appreciated suppleness and lightness without compromising the resistance and durability of the bag. A specific coating has been developed to ensure water resistance and avoid tearing and fraying. You can shop the Celestin Tote here at 24S or at Selfridges.
Bonjour! I’m Leonce, a French native and the founding editor of Leonce Chenal, a modern lifestyle platform for lovers of everything French. With my previous experience working for top tech companies in London and Paris, I created this platform in 2018 to offer discerning Francophiles an authentic experience through carefully curated content about French fashion, beauty, and lifestyle. Merci for visiting, and à bientôt!