When you ride the New York subway every day at regular commuting hours, you see a lot of different kinds of bags; after all, New Yorkers can stow things in their cars during the day, and whatever we want to have from the time we leave in the morning until we get home at night has to be carried somewhere on our person. Invariably, men’s gym bags are the ugliest of these bags, and with the Parabellum Full Grain Bison Day Bag, I’d like to remind them that they can do better. (more…)
It’s not often that I have the urge to refer to any bag as “jaunty,” let alone a men’s briefcase, but it’d be hard to argue that the Ted Baker Harlemm Mixed Leather Briefcase is anything other than that. It’s a traditional brief shape with a little bit of kick.
Making a briefcase feel a little bit fun without making it utterly inappropriate for an office is a bit of a tough line to toe, and although this bag would probably garner a few weird looks in the most conservative work environments, it would probably fly in most. Teal leather is for a very specific man, though, and probably one who pays a lot of attention to detail in the other areas of his appearance.
In fashion, spotting something twice can be a coincidence, but once you’ve seen a similar piece three times, from three different brands, you can bet that you have a trend (or, at the very least, a trendlet) on your hands. It took no time at all for me to round up the three floral backpacks above, so you best believe that designers are looking to make dudes a little more flower-friendly for spring.
Average guys probably have a little bit of trepidation when it comes to strapping on a bag made out of a garden-party print, but these designers aren’t making bags for average guys. Fashion-forward men have been experimenting with florals for many a season, and the trend continues to gather momentum. Spring is the perfect time to step a little bit out of your comfort zone, and these three bags all ring in at somewhat reasonable prices.
AMI Floral Print Canvas Backpack
$344 via MATCHESFASHION.COM
Herschel Classic Settlement Backpack
$55 via Bloomingdale’s
Surface to Air Aloha Print Backpack
$300 via SSENSE
I don’t get fooled often. Not only is a sense for leather a biproduct of my job, but most brands that use embossed faux-exotics for their bags just don’t use very good ones. The differences between real and fake are most apparent when it comes to python, but usually crocodile and alligator are pretty easy to spot as well, even when the bag is very expensive. The Neil Barrett Embossed Croc Tote had me going for a minute, though.
When I scrolled past this bag, I didn’t think for a second that it might not be real croc. When I read the description and price, I was surprised – the finish has just the right amount of gloss and variation, and the simple structure usually indicates that a designer would like to draw attention to the material used. The clean, somewhat anonymous lines are perfect for showing off one of the finest materials in the world, and this tote does a fine job of convincing you that’s exactly what you’re looking at. It’d be hard to find something that looks more expensive for the price. Buy through SSENSE for $1,325.
Outside the bounds of the most forward-thinking sectors in menswear, printed and patterned men’s bags, besides plaid, have long been basically nonexistent. Florals and leopard print are a tough enough sell in shirts, let alone in a bag that a dude might be expected to carry every day. Menswear is expanding rapidly, though, especially when it comes to western men’s ideas of what they can wear or carry to still feel “masculine.” That means that even the most mainstream designers have given men a lot more interesting things to play with over the past few seasons, which includes a lot of print bags for spring.
Below, we’ve assembled a small selection of our current favorites from some of the globe’s best accessory brands. Ladies, feel free to snap these up for yourselves.
We’re rarely jealous of the boys, but we get a little bit miffed every season when they get to see their upcoming collections before we do. New York Fashion Week (let alone Paris) isn’t for nearly another month, but last week, Louis Vuitton Men’s Fall 2014 graced the runway in Paris. It did so, naturally, with some very interesting bags, and we have some gorgeous shots of the new collection straight from Louis Vuitton.
These bags are in keeping with Vuitton’s strategy of moving away from its iconic logo and into more traditionally luxurious territory. Not only is there one exceptionally gorgeous crocodile Keepall (expect to see lots of exotics from Vuitton going forward), but the canvas bags get a new, subtle makeover with the introduction of Damier Cobalt, a navy-and-black take on Vuitton’s iconic check. In another fit of innovation, the first run of Damier Cobalt can be purchased now through Louis Vuitton’s website. Check out all the images of the sophisticated, luxurious collection below.
The men’s versions of Fashion Week never get nearly as much attention as the women’s do, but there are still exciting details to find within the menswear collections, even if bags are your main concern. After yesterday’s Fendi Men’s Fall 2014 show, several images of a very particular bag popped up: the Fendi Men’s Peekaboo, this one (captured by Tamu McPherson of All The Pretty Birds on Instagram) with the ever-popular monster facade that’s gained Fendi so much accessories traction in the past six months.
That the Peekaboo has had a resurgence at all is surprising; its debut wasn’t all that long ago, and it lived a perfectly normal life cycle as a popular bag, with its visibility tapering off as Fendi introduced the Chameleon and Silvana bags. It was reintroduced without much fanfare last season after never totally being retired, and now the bag, along with the 2Jours, is Fendi’s marquee handbag shape. It lends itself particularly well to the irreverent structural shenanigans that Fendi has been up to with its Bag Bugs, and this new men’s version is big enough to allow for easier viewing of a smiling mouth (a zipper picket lined in bright red, natch), which is more easily obscured by the front flap in the the women’s version.
For comparison’s sake, here’s a picture from Fendi of Delfina Delettrez carrying the women’s version:
There’s no word on price for the men’s, which will debut in Fall 2014, but we’ll keep you posted.
I know that it might seem like it’s a bit early in the year to talk about boats and sailing and beaches and the appropriate bags to carry during those activities, but it’s, like, really super cold where I am right now, and I’d appreciate it if you guys would just indulge me for a moment. I need it. I also need a Black Point Mercantile Signal Tote.
These totes, made of coated canvas and intended to mimic the bold, primary-color look of nautical signal flags, are handmade in America, and they have to be some of the most perfectly preppy beach bags I’ve ever laid eyes upon. They fit the theme without being too precious because of their distressed detailing, which mimics the effect of salt water on actual nautical flags. The bags, complete with leather handles, will run you $276 apiece via East Dane.
Black Point Mercantile Uniform Signal Flag
$276 via East Dane
Black Point Mercantile X-Ray Signal Tote
$276 via East Dane
Black Point Mercantile Delta Signal Tote
$276 via East Dane
Black Point Mercantile Papa Signal Tote
$276 via East Dane
“Borrowing from the boys” is an idea referenced often in fashion magazines and blogs, and usually it boils down to buying some sort of fancy, feminized version of a menswear look – a women’s tuxedo, a pair of loafers or brogues, a bag inspired by a traditional briefcase. Because bags don’t have to fit your body or feet, though, borrowing from the boys can be a bit more literal; just go on over to the men’s department and pick up whatever you like. The bags might be a little oversized if you’re very petite, but if you like a roomy bag, they’re great. In fact, for Fall 2013, the Valentino Men’s Bags are particularly great. (more…)
“Are we ready for a Celine-inspired exotic men’s bag?” Is a question I never thought I’d find myself turning over in my head, but here we are. It’s Monday morning and that’s what’s on my mind. The En Noir Snakeskin Travel Bag owes a debt of design gratitude to any number of popular women’s bags; there are details here from the Celine Luggage Tote, the 3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli and Celine’s new Knot Tote, but I’m not sure they add up to much of anything.
What we have here could perhaps best be described as a Frankenbag. It’s full of ideas that are good on their own, but when all arranged together, they start to feel a little disjointed and overwhelming. Particularly in men’s accessories, that’s not a desirable outcome; male consumers generally err on the side of either stark modernism or all-out heritage styling, and this bag represents neither of those options.
Most problematic is the top flap, which feels like a very women’s-bag detail in this context. It’s also not properly scaled for the handles it partially covers, which makes it feel tacked on. If the flap was removed, this bag would likely fare far better. Celine already figured that it – the brand styled its Knot Totes with the cumbersome top flap hidden for Spring 2014.