A Junior Banker’s Guide to Purses for Advancement in Finance

It’s not just about carrying the right look that will advance you into an investment bank. If you’re a woman in finance, it’s also about showing the right bag.

As Business Intern reported last month, young women in banking tend to spend a portion of their bonuses on hand bags. On the day the bonuses hit their bank accounts, female analysts flock to buy quilted Chanel bags, a (male) banker observed. The next day they show the bags to the office.

A quilted Chanel bag will set you back up to $8,000, but that’s not the only option. the M&A associate based in Munich who runs an Instagram account for women in investment banking has put together the following bag guide for anyone considering investing their bonus in a sink. As with the watches, she says you have to start small: you don’t want to flash family money in the form of a Birkin bag when you’re intern.

the internal/analyst bag: The Longchamp shopping bag

It’s a good beginner’s bag, says the M&A associate. Properly modest, he enters various prizes from $120 to $600, you might want to progress.

the associate bag: YSL tote

Once you have done the analyst years, you can move on to the next level. This is the YSL Leather Tote Bag which retails for around $1000 and features a removable YSL interlocking “signature charm” in leather.

The VP bag: The Prada Saffiano

With a few more bank years under your belt, you can change it again. The M&A associate says she has an old Prada tote bag herself (she went against her own advice and bought it as an analyst) and continues to use it even though it has become a bit damaged. A new one costs around $4,000.

The MD bag: The black Birkin bag

At the top of the banking bag hierarchy is the black Birkin bag, or the “queen of all bags,” says the M&A associate. You shouldn’t venture to this bag unless you’re a Managing Director (MD), but again, you’re unlikely to afford it: it costs over $26,000. The M&A associate says she won’t change her Prada bag until she manages to get one.

Alternative bags for the unconventional

If you don’t want to stick with the black bags above, the M&A associate says there are a few more she’s seen.

These are:

The Louis Vuitton Neverfull, which costs $1.9k.

The Goyard tote, which costs $817.

The Bottega Veneta tote, which retails for $2.3,000.

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picture by Benjamin Williams to Unsplash

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