So often, trends can feel like flash-in-the-pan moments that come in hot and fizzle out just as fast. But every once in a while, a trend with real staying power comes along, takes Instagram by storm, then sticks around for seasons to come. Think: wide-leg trousers, oversized khaki trench coats, oversized blazers, and the croc-effect bag trend, the latter of which saw a swift resurgence this during fall 2018 thanks to brands like Rejina Pyo, Nanushka, and Staud; each brand showed accessories like top-handle bags, cross-body bags, and even some faux-leather styles at their most recent presentations.
Hot on the heels of the snakeskin trend that peaked over the last couple months, croc-effect accessories are enjoying a steady, more sustainable climb. As for why it's so popular? Shopbop's Fashion Director Caroline Maguire has one theory: "It's an easy trend to try," she tells TZR. "It’s subtle but chic, and brings an element of luxury to your look. Plus, it’s a timeless look which also means one worth investing in."
Nanushka, one of the first brands to dive head-first into croc-effect leather, saw a ton of success with its belt bag, which eventually spawned more than a few knockoffs.
"The bumbag trend just took off," says Nanushka designer Sandra Sandor, speaking about one of the accessories that she's carried over in seasons past. "The croc effect is popular because of the huge nostalgia effect in fashion at the moment," she continues. Sandor continues to show croc-effect leather accessories in her lineups for both Spring/Summer 2019 and Resort 2019 — though this time around, they're staged alongside satin and velour accessories, too.
Arguably, it was Nanushka's croc-effect accessories that put the Budapest-based brand on the map quickly after its 2017 stateside launch. After that, "Nanushka [quickly] gained momentum and the brand was able to catch attention at the right time," she says as a nod to the Nanushka's meteoric rise
Staud, another brand that gained momentum on Instagram thanks to bloggers like Courtney Trop of @alwaysjudging, Camille Charrière, and Sophia Chang, saw a ton of traction on its croc-effect pieces — so much so that Maguire called out the brand's Madeline bag as a standout piece on the site for next season. "I’m really into mini hand-held bags at the moment and absolutely love the combo on this STAUD bag," she says, noting that the trend can go with practically everything.
If you're not sure how to style the look, know that croc-effect is just like any other leather — just with a fanciful touch: "I love pairing a croc-effect handbag with other animal prints or fabrics," Maguire recommends. Wear yours with the cheetah-print skirt or snakeskin-print pants you probably scooped up in the past few months, and see how instantly luxe your outfit feels. "The juxtaposition allows you to be trendy but polished."
Even better, the croc-effect of the leather means that some of the more affordable iterations (many of which are vegan leather) look just as chic. Shop some of Maguire's favorites from Shopbop, including a Marc Jacobs stunner, along with a few other chic croc-effect bags from top retailers, below.