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The evolution of the man's bag

From the clutch to the waist bag, to the crossbody bags by Dior and Jacquemus

The evolution of the man's bag From the clutch to the waist bag, to the crossbody bags by Dior and Jacquemus
Shezi Manezi

In these months marked by the spread of the pandemic, there has been a lot of talk about how consumer habits and interests, especially in terms of fashion, have adapted and changed, in some cases suggesting a permanent evolution. Lyst has always been a reference point for analyzing trends, consumption and habits of a huge number of users, a global platform for fashion research that in the first six months of the year recorded a significant increase in searches for men's bags, precisely a +12% compared to the same period of the previous year. 

Although these numbers are already quite surprising, in particular given the period in which they were recorded, it is also true that the last five years have seen the rise and growth of unprecedented interest in men's accessories, also thanks to the global success of mainstream streetwear. If in 2015 the most sought-after male accessory was the backpack, an item of clear sports derivation and therefore always part of the male wardrobe, the following year the trend changes and searches for male clutch bags record a peak of 381% compared to the previous year. 

But it is from 2017 that streetwear, for years a subculture distant from the catwalks and the most prominent stores of the fashion industry, began to gain increasing attention, thus ending up in the mainstream. Along with the success of bucket hats and stadium scarves, interest in the waist bag clearly emerges. More than many others, this item was the first experimentation space both for properly street brands and for luxury brands, such as Gucci, Burberry and Prada. If on the one hand the luxury trend is outlined, on the other there is a strong push towards a more technical approach, the son of a more functional fashion, sometimes survivalist, which counts among its most illustrious exponents Matthew Williams and his 1017 Alyx 9sm. The chest bag was the natural evolution of the waist bag, the perfect accessory to experiment and innovate both in terms of shapes and materials used. 

Starting from last year, however, it is another trend to have conquered consumers and fashionistas. Also thanks to the spread of a new concept of masculinity and with the proliferation of gender-fluid brands and collections, the 2019 accessory was the crossbody bag. If re-editing and bringing the Saddle Bag back on the catwalk, Maria Grazia Chiuri had rekindled an unprecedented interest in one of the most iconic Dior bags, then Kim Jones reiterated it also in the men's collection of the Maison, turning it into an indispensable accessory also in the male wardrobe, also thanks to versions co-signed with Rimowa. During the year, in particular, on the catwalks of the European FW, there had been definitive confirmation of the evolution of the crossbody bag as an indispensable item for men's collections, as seen at Fendi and Loewe. Then there is the inevitable influence of Virgil Abloh in the creation and further spread of this trend, thanks above all to his ideal of Louis Vuitton man. The impact of brands such as Jacquemus and Telfar, which from the beginning were able to create real staple accessories - Le Chiquito for the former and the Shopping Bag for the latter - should not be underestimated, thanks to items able to cross the limits of what was once only male or female, thus opening up to a very large audience. 

Despite the current global situation, this year's trend appears to be confirmed this year. In addition to a gender-fluid approach, what consumers are looking for is sustainability and an ethical approach to fashion. Since the end of 2019, average spending has shown signs of growth, as users are looking more for vintage bags of iconic brands. In Italy for this category the most popular brand is Burberry