mulberry-alexa-iconic35.jpgNext up in our classic handbags countdown is one of the youngest on the list so far: The Mulberry Alexa. Named after the equally youthful Alexa Chung, the bag has taken the fashion world by storm, and cemented the once-downtrodden satchel into handbag history. Which brings me neatly along to...

Handbag History: Introduce on Mulberry's S/S 2010 catwalk, the Alexa is less than a year old. Yup, that's right: this instant icon has only been with us for two seasons, and is about to enter its third in a huge variety of colours, textures and shapes for such a newcomer to the scene.

The satchel that was 'too cool for school' soon became a sellout item, with lengthy waiting lists not only for the bags themselves, but for the numerous high street copies that quickly emerged, notably this one by Peacocks. Mulberry describe the 'ingredients' for the Alexa as being 'one part Bayswater, one part Elkington (a men's briefcase that pre-dates the Alexa) and a dash of vintage inspiration'. But their primary muse for the bag was Chung herself, who was often photographed wearing the Elkington at the time.

alexa_chung.jpgAlexa Chung carrying the Elkington (left) and the Alexa at Mulberry's A/W 2010 show. Image: REX

Looking to the future, the Alexa is going to be around for a while, so expect to see all sorts of fun and inventive variations on the style coming through at Mulberry. We can't wait for the 'camera bag' version of the Alexa to go on sale in the spring. Currently you can choose between the standard Alexa, the oversized Alexa, the Alexa hobo and the Alexa clutch. There are also purses and wallets available.

In Our View: The Alexa undoubtedly draws on the wider 'utility' trend that Chung and others have championed for the last few years, and has become a highly recognisable an effortlessly chic way to wear the satchel style. But its true charm is the way it has emerged: through the individual style of an icon who had been forced to delve into the men's room to find a suitably workmanlike bag to suit her style. 

The Alexa is also brilliant for Mulberry as a brand as it's such a thoroughly youthful style, attracting a lot of younger customers.

Celeb Fans: Alexa Chung (obvs), Emma Watson, Florence Welsh, Leighton Meester, Charlotte Riley,

Get the Look:  You'll have to act fast if you want one of the latest Alexa styles, but the bag is now widely available via Mulberry, John Lewis, My-Wardrobe.com and others. Prices for the standard Alexa start at £750.