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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
“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.
Before I start, I should mention that MCM has a particular knack for convincing me to like things I normally hate. For instance, logo bags – I haven’t bought a logo bag since I was in college and have no plans to do so now, but MCM’s logo pieces have such unpretentious swagger to them that I’d totally go down that road for one of them.
When I look at a bag I’ve never seen before for the first time, the first thing I always try to imagine is where I’d take it. Accessories both need and provide context in various ways, and a strong sense of how a bag fits into the aesthetic world is one of the surest ways to start evaluating how well-designed it is.
Most men, no matter their sexual orientation, personal style or level of comfort with their masculinity, don’t really want to look like they’re carrying a purse. Even if the bag is intended for women and the male owner is fine with that, dudes seem to gravitate more toward unisex shapes like totes and satchels in dark, neutral colors. Men’s accessories lines seem to understand that, which is perhaps why men’s hobo bags< are comparatively rare - they look more purse-y than most customers are comfortable with.
I hadn’t even considered the dearth of men’s hobos until I came across the Belstaff Tye Full-Grain Leather Tote Bag.