When veritable trend-machine Fendi announced it would be rolling out a la carte embellished shoulder straps with prices exceeding $1,000, the writing was already on the wall; Valentino joined in with its own straps a few months later, and then it was off to the races. Straps may be the last uncharted territory in bag-embellishment, but the brands have finally arrived.
You'll find exotics, intricate weaves and vintage guitar strap-style embroidery on the straps of otherwise plain-leather bags, which is a solid way for a brand to take a design that's popular with customers and update it for a new season without altering the design elements that have already made the bag popular. This spring has also brought about a resurgence in striped webbing, likely a result of Gucci's hit-making success in incorporating its signature multicolored webbing in popular new designs.
For now, the nascent trend is largely limited to premier designer brands, which makes a certain amount of sense; detail-heavy embellishments quickly raise the price of manufacturing a bag, which is easier for a customer at the market's top price tier to afford than it would be for a customer shopping for more modestly priced bags. If consumers respond, though, expect contemporary brands to find a way into the trend.