One of my favorite things to do with men’s bags is to examine how they differ from women’s bags by the same designer. Very often, a brand will base new men’s and women’s bags on the same idea, and even more often, a successful women’s bag will be translated for the male market after it has already reached prominence. In the case of these 3.1 Phillip Lim Backpacks, it looks like a case of the former.
Backpacks are a huge fall trend for both men and women, and Lim’s signature minimalist style is ripe for cross-gender appeal; after all, his 31 Hour Bag appeared in both lines, with no discernible differences beyond size. In this case, the 3.1 Phillip Lim Zip Around Backpack (for women) and 3.1 Phillip Lim 31 Hour Backpack (for men) have a few more alterations between them, but they’re still very similar bags.
The men’s version is slouchier, with more textured leather and a very slightly larger size. It also features zippers that are either tonal or covered, and reducing the prominence of hardware is a common theme in adapting a women’s bag for men. The women’s version also has a more ornate (and far more interesting) strap setup, which may leave more fashionable dudes feeling a little left out. They shouldn’t, though – both of these bags could easily be carried by men or women without so much as a batted eyelash from the more closed-minded among us.