Sleek and neutral was the vibe of choice for bags carried by men this past New York Fashion Week, with shades of black and beige (and a few novelty pops) dominating the streets.
From Coach to Prada and Commes des Garcon, the men brought the label diversity without straying too far from a simple, practical silhouette (for the most part).
The Rise of Men’s Bags
Tired of backpacks and briefcases and ever-more present at women’s ready-to-wear shows, men have embraced the outfit it-factor that is and can be a fire handbag.
It’s no secret that the men’s bag market has exploded in recent years, HIGHSNOBIETY recently reported a 700% increase in sales of men’s handbags between 2018 and 2021 as well as the bag resale market beginning to rival that of sneakers.
Take one scroll through Instagram’s fashion it-boys, and you’ll see bags of all sizes, shapes, and silhouettes (and not just from the men’s section). It seems like there’s been a collective agreement that men are done with their dad’s boring bags of practicality and size. The new generation wants fashion-forward, outfit-accentuating, and versatility.
Lizard Bags and More
Though sleek and simple owned the shoulders of the men this past NYFW, there were certainly a few welcomed pops. Up and coming brands like Rivers McCall, followed by the likes of Julia Fox on Instagram, and Angel Chen brought some whimsy to NYFW’s Men’s Day where brands like Jahnkoy and Nicholas Raefski presented their collections along with some new arm candy to potentially get in on the men’s bag boom of the 2020s.
“There has definitely been an uptick of men attending women’s fashion week in the last few years, and with that, we have seen men starting to carry functional and fashionable handbags,” says Julia Spicer, a street style photographer that has been working in the industry for more than 6 years.
Industry Insiders Say…
“There have been luxury briefcases for years, but the problem is that it’s hard to move through life carrying those,” Spicer says. “As some womens’ bags have gotten less functional – think the micro bag trend – it seems like mens’ have become more wearable.”
Spicer notes seeing many crossbody bags that serve both function and style outside many of the shows she attends and predicts the trend will only rise from here.
Digital creator Karb mimics Spicer’s sentiments when asked what he prefers when it comes to handbags. He notes that crossbody bags are “more comfortable” and what he “prefers,” as he’s typically smoking and using his phone at the same time throughout the day.
Every man, their mother, and their dog has things to carry while on the go (which is pretty much always). So let the bags rain down, and may they be as fashionable as they are practical. Amen.