Each fashion week, brands select their most marketable handbags to be carried by attendees they personally dress for their show. These often include social media influencers, A-listers, and close friends of the brand.
Because of this street style-driven marketing tactic, it’s not always easy to spot which bag brands are having a moment vs. which bags are being carried because of the paycheck behind it.
In today’s fashion week landscape, spotting the bags that are actually trending is better determined by looking toward the industry insiders. What are the editors, buyers, creative directors, and stylists carrying?
“I definitely see Bottega a lot,” says Julia Spicer, a long-time street-style photographer. And “Loewe wasn’t even on [her] radar” until suddenly it was everywhere, their Paris fashion shows quickly becoming a highlight of each season.
Battling for (and sharing) It-bag status, Loewe and Bottega’s reign over the fashion girl has been ramping up for years. Outside the NYFW shows, the street-style scene is now a parade of woven Bottega leather and intricate Loewe Anagrams.
With neither brand based in NYC, this is far from a marketing ploy.
The Brands of Choice
Spotted by PurseBlog carrying two distinct Loewe handbags this past NYFW, Anna LaPlaca, fashion editor at Who What Wear, says Loewe speaks to her own “fashion values,” citing how the bags are “artful without being too trendy” and are “always wearable, never gimmicky.”
On the love shown to Bottega and Loewe by the industry’s taste-makers, LaPlaca points towards the brands’ “logo-free handbags that manage to still be iconic and recognizable to industry insiders without being too loud about it.”
“Elements like the paneled leather on the Loewe Puzzle and, of course, Bottega Veneta’s Intrecciato technique are what make bags from these brands more subtle than the designer It-bags that came before them,” continues LaPlaca.
As saturation throughout fashion capitals and social feeds rise, I do wonder if the dwindling IYKYK-factor once relished by carriers will have consequences for success in the future as quiet luxury continues to reign supreme. Still, as fashion week street style continues to be a tool for spotting market trends, signs of a slow-down are nowhere in sight.
Handbags and Beyond
From Bottega green to the Loewe tank and shows that create buzz season after season, handbags aren’t the only products of these fashion houses having moments year over year, the mark of a house that should have no issue maintaining their top spot.
As for the next bag to buy from these two top contenders? Anna LaPlaca points towards the Loewe Puzzle Fold Tote being “the next It buy,” adding her prediction that Loewe might overtake Bottega as “the must-have label” as “more A-listers reach for their bags in place of others.”