In a culture where speed is often rewarded, there’s something uniquely refreshing about practicing a little patience. And in the case of the recent Fall/Winter 2022 fashion weeks — New York, London, Milan, and Paris — it presents the opportunity to embrace the art of anticipation. Across the board, the collections were an energetic display of designers who are ready to get dressed up again and the handbag trends, specifically, gave a sneak peek at what accessory staples will be shimmying their way into the spotlight later this year.
The latest bag silhouettes are a mash-up of what you’ve seen before, but with inventive design details to translate them to a modern context. Think: a classic bucket bag — but crafted in shearling, or a chunky chain strap, but designed in a powdery shade of blue instead of silver metal. These tweaks and creative adjustments fine tune the handbag category and serve as a reminder that even though a handbag trend doesn’t have to be life altering, it can still elevate your personal style pretty effectively.
Continue ahead to dive into the season’s best handbag trends from highlights spanning the globe and from a vast array of creative designers. Whether it’s via attention-grabbing textures and splashy silhouettes or a spate of new color ways and prints, these bags are worth the wait.
Always a bold look, chunky chains were once again prominent for fall. This time around, it wasn’t all about the traditional silver or gold metal, though. At Loewe, saturated orange links came down the runway similar to the chains on brightly hued bags at Stella McCartney. And at Fendi, tortoiseshell chain links established the material as a must-have.
Autumn’s arrival always signals a resurgence of texture — wool, fur, shearling — and the latter was translated onto handbags for the season. Unsurprisingly, it feels like the ideal piece to carry for the colder months of the year and brands like Chanel, Altuzarra, and Ulla Johnson kicked off the inspiration.
Back It Up
A far cry from your college-era backpack, designers elevated this hands-free bag for fall with iterations ranging from woven materials seen at Off-White and Altuzarra all the way to sleek leather satchels, as spotted at Gabriela Hearst. No one silhouette reigns supreme, but rather, a varied assortment of backpack styles that evoke a ‘back to school’ spirit.
Drop In the Bucket
A beloved classic, the bucket bag makes its way back into the spotlight this season (and with great versatility). Neutral hues — browns, creams, black — serve as the palette, while subtle design details like piping and trims add extra oomph. And because you know it’ll never fall out of fashion, it’s the perfect investment piece.
Lights, Camera (Strap), Action
A little sporty and a smidge nostalgic, camera strap bags were sprinkled on the season’s runways. Whether it was romantic lavender from Stella McCartney or textured silver like at Givenchy, the wide strap lends a standout touch.
Oversized hobo bags have been in circulation the last couple of seasons but for fall, they sized down a bit. Other defining characteristics like rich colors and autumnal patterns cement the silhouette as a perennial pick. Chloe’s braided iteration with its circular hardware and warm brown tone feels like an especially perfect introduction to fall.
Say My Name
The logo tote makes a splash for fall, with designers in all major cities introducing their interpretation of the signature piece. Take, for example, Chanel’s rainbow bright tweed tote with the brand’s name stitched on front. Or, Christian Dior’s delicate floral pattern with the house name embroidered across the middle. Great for work, even better on the weekends — it’s a Sunday through Saturday kind of staple.
Pattern is a low-lift way to add depth and excitement to any outfit, and for fall, designers illustrated the power of a printed handbag. With slightly unexpected color-ways and textiles that feel reminiscent of your favorite wallpaper, this is the kind of piece you’ll return to year after year.
Another heavy hitter makes a comeback — saddle bags were spotted all over the runways, reminding everyone how timeless this silhouette really is. The vibe felt like a decided nod toward the ‘70s, while still feeling modern and natural to translate to a contemporary context.
You can expect to find metallic bags on the runways any season of the year — yes. But for fall, designers introduced silhouettes crafted in metallic materials that felt less like a festive party piece and more like an everyday staple. The result? A fresh perspective on this high-shine material.
It’s always a fun pursuit to spot the season’s most Instagrammable prints and motifs, and for fall, there was a slew of geometric patterns splattered across handbags of all shapes and sizes. Consider this the next wave of checkerboard prints.
Imagine this: It’s autumn, temperatures are dropping, and your coat isn’t cutting it. Enter the furry bag — a cozy accessory that doubles as a source of warmth. And with so many designers working with faux fabrications these days, it makes it a no-brainer pick.
Not every handbag trend has to be a sexy new shape or print — sometimes a classic can be just as enticing. And in the case of the front flap bag, this beloved staple was represented in several big name collections, like Proenza Schouler and Jil Sander.
Let’s Go Bowling
Give your wardrobe a retro touch with one of the season’s many stylish examples of the bowler bag. Characterized by short handles and a horizontal shape, it’s a great everyday staple that also translates to after-work dinner or drinks, too.
For an accessory that feels larger than life, go for one of fall’s top handbag trends: oversized. Brandon Maxwell’s luxurious suede tote kicked things off in New York and as each city presented its collections, these jumbo bags popped up on the runways making a splash.
Puffy & Padded
When pillow clutches debuted, it was no big shock that the masses adopted the trend quickly. Now, for fall, a similarly plush piece comes into the forefront — namely, bags that look puffy and padded. Think of it like a super chic sleeping bag you’d want to make into a purse.