A key trend that emerged during Pitti Uomo and the recently concluded menswear weeks in Milan and Paris was that men of all age groups were letting their bags do all the preening. While backpacks and fanny packs have always been considered essential, men, including actors like Ranveer Singh (his recent airport look included a sporty Gucci Adidas scarf) and Ranbir Kapoor (famous for his collection of shoulder straps), experiment with accessories with a slight twist.
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From flip-flop leather water bottle pouches to oversized woven bags, bag choices are no longer defined by owner’s occupation or gender. It’s about expressing individuality and instilling iconography. Leather shoulder satchels, harness bags and briefcases worn on shirts, trench coats and suits are becoming more common, more so internationally.
More and more designers are realizing this, offering men’s bags in quirky styles with whimsical touches, from Loewe’s anagram-embossed leather clutch, Fendi’s FF jacquard technical canvas shoulder bag to the crossbody bag. camo print nylon jacket with 4G zipper by Givenchy. Shoulder bags, in particular, have had a major impact on street style with fashion designers, influencers and bloggers sporting them. Louboutin’s recently unveiled LoubiLab leather and rubber shoulder bag and Lemaire’s crescent-shaped leather shoulder bag are two great examples of this trend.
Tote on the lawn
Stylist Akshay Tyagi, who recently unveiled tann-ed, a line of vibrant totes, bags and accessories, observes that totes and crossbody clutches speak a universal language. “Tote is the new briefcase. It’s rectangular and has a masculine dimension to it. I would say the tote is the new work bag and the waist bag is a hybrid of athleisure and functionality. It’s an era of accessorizing and men go for genderless jewelry, they need a roomy tote to put all those essentials in,” says Tyagi.
The designers also believe that the growing interest in bags has a lot to do with men also accepting their individuality. “They want to express themselves in light of how they feel and nothing is more expressive than fashion accessories. These are fun and experimental and stand out in the most interesting way,” says designer Jatin Malik. “They want to explore and experiment with different mini tote bags, tote bags, crossbody bags, or even clutches. Over the past few seasons, the bag game has become huge thanks to increased interest among men,” he adds. he.
Cruise bag craze
The cloth bag, once synonymous with cruising or the beach, has been seen on Gen Z actors and celebrities across the board in street style imagery. Malik suggests two ways to style it.
“For a casual look, opt for a basic ivory t-shirt and white jeans and add a beanie with a fabric tote bag like Fendi’s to complete the look. For a formal outing, a pair of shirt and tailored pants paired with a fitted shirt a blazer and slip-on loafers would complement a fabric bag,” adds Malik.
Apart from usability, men have become keen on styling the product in many ways for that added benefit. “Today, men have the same amount of essentials to carry as women, if not more. So why not do it in style?” says Sayukta Chawla, founder and CEO of Label Sugar.
A casual day out seeing friends can easily become an excuse to wear an abstract fabric tote or fanny pack and pair it with jeans, sneakers and a basic white t-shirt. “Plus, clutches and purses pair well with pants and a satin shirt for a fun night out,” Chawla adds.
Market research shows that Gen Zers like to shop outside of their assigned gender category. “Whether it’s the idea of fluid identities or the growing need for avant-garde utilitarian products, the result is before our eyes, men buying and wearing stylish bags,” says Ashutosh Sirohiya, senior designer at Snitch. “That’s why brands have started designing more unisex items so no one feels left out.”
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