It’s crystal clear why we want to carry sparkling handbags this season

By Josefin Forsberg

Photo: Marina Raphael

Everything that glitters truly is sartorial gold this spring/summer ‘24 season. But amongst the glittering skirts and bedazzled tailoring, the dazzling detail to catch our eyes were the sparkling carry-alls. Here, we chat with crystal handbag aficionado Marina Raphael about the trend we’re dying to try

Upon review of the spring/summer '24 runways, a theory becomes evident that we are turning into crows: coveting any kind of glitter. Be it full-blown crystal skirts or embellished outerwear, the season's shows were bright with bedazzlement. Amongst all the gleam, handbags led the glittering charge, offering easy-to-carry shimmer with glittering stones spotted held firm in hand or tucked under the arms of the models for Patou, Gucci, Stella McCartney, Dolce & Gabbana – to name a few. A clear sign that something sparkling this way come.


Aa a sixth-generation member of the Swarovski family, designer Marina Raphael could be considered the the uncrowned queen of crystal handbags. “I have always been inspired by my family - Daniel Swarovski set out to create “a diamond for everyone” and, for me, this really represents innovation, craftsmanship and enduring creativity symbolised by a crystal,” she says.

Raphael is someone who wants to push the boundaries of embellishments – whether that be a continuous panel of 5,000 hand-placed crystals, ombré crystals, or a bag made from one singular crystal. “Whether it is a simple touch of sparkle, or a fully embellished piece, I always like to include a nod to my Swarovski heritage in my creations.”

Patou spring/summer '24.

Gucci spring/summer '24.

Stella McCartney spring/summer '24.

Dolce & Gabbana spring/summer '24.

We have experienced a prolonged period of uncertainty and instability, and I think a touch of sparkle can be such a powerful tool to lift our spirits

Marina Raphael

According to Raphael, the recent uptick in crystal-embellished handbags is really a reflection of a wider movement in fashion and what is going in on in the world at the moment. “We have experienced a prolonged period of uncertainty and instability, and I think a touch of sparkle can be such a powerful tool to lift our spirits,” she says. ”I very much believe in fashion as a mood enhancer that has the power to transform how your feel about yourself,” Raphael says, noting how there is “something so cathartic” about dressing in an uplifting way. “Carrying a dazzling bag can be a simple way to inject a bit of happiness into a day,” she enthuses.

Marina Raphael's crystallised top-handle bag. Photo: Marina Raphael

What of Raphael’s thoughts on the recent rise of crystal handbags? “I try not to be too led by trends when designing, but I do look to bigger movements or design philosophies that I feel really resonates with me and the brand,” she says. “Trends often cycle but I think sparkle has always been a staple of glamour while also signaling fun and frivolity, it is this combination that, to me, gives it an enduring appeal.”

Planning to invest in a crystal-clad bag of your own? Find our shopping teams favourite styles to buy now below:

The small curve leather shoulder bag

Marc Jacobs

Micro stella bag in gold crystal

Marina Raphael

Caia crystal tote bag

Chiara Ferragni

Crystal-embellished satin tote bag


Jodie mini knotted crystal-embellished leather shoulder bag

Bottega Veneta

Crescent bow crystal-embellished glossed leather-trimmed tulle tote

Self Portrait

Rue wristle bag

Cult Gaia

Jackie small shoulder bag