Distinctly at odds with our voracious buying of tracksuits, puffer coats, pyjamas, track-soled boots and house dresses, the past year has also seen a sharp increase in the volume of über-luxurious designer and heritage handbags that style-conscious consumers are investing in. It was an unexpected result considering handbags have been of little to no use for so many people of late, but the message from high-fashion stores is that shoppers have used this time to finally take the plunge and pick up their “forever” bags.
Where contemporary handbag brands had previously been flourishing thanks to their cool trend-led designs at equally cool mid-ranging price points, 2020 led many to really think about purchasing even more sensibly in order to secure items that will stand the test of time—maybe the pieces they’re going for already have. We’ve witnessed a return to the classics just within our own wardrobes, but the concept is most definitely backed up by retailers, like Net-a-Porter, that have reported a resurgence in longstanding favourites such as Gucci’s Soho Disco bag or Loewe’s Puzzle. Interest has also been at an all-time high for the very sophisticated likes of Bottega Veneta and Saint Laurent, and MatchesFashion has seen a 26% YoY increase in tote-bag searches (perhaps the most practical shape of all). Even the newer, hipper kids on the block—like Telfar and Savette—all have a decidedly more pared-back aesthetic to match the mood.