Micro-mini purses have captured the fashion industry's attention this past year, but take note: the new year may mark the rise of a new It-bag. Before you consider which clothes to invest in, look to the runway first for the Spring/Summer 2020's top handbag trends poised to overtake closets and Instagram feeds alike. After all, bags are the fashion item that helps a woman navigate her life every single day and carry the things that matter most to her. It’s a considered purchase often driven by functionality and beauty in equal parts.
This season, there are seven themes that stood out among the handbags seen on the runways in New York, London, Milan, and Paris. Notably, in opposition to the micro bags of recent seasons, super spacious carryalls were everywhere, some with long straps that reach far down on a woman’s frame, others hung on a bias like a sash worn by a pageant winner. Handheld clutches — a style that's recently emerged back on the radar thanks to Bottega Veneta's Pouch — were seen in puffy, cloud-like shapes. Meanwhile the motif of bold stripes repeated across several runways, and a dose of ‘70s disco shine was preferred for a more special occasion (unless metallics at the grocery store are your kind of thing).
In all, the most popular bag styles didn’t really fit one particular aesthetic at all. They are means to serve multiple purposes in a woman's life. And while there was still some preference for smaller silhouettes (Jacquemus, for instance, still championed micro styles), there was more of a range of sizes that offered practical and beautiful solutions. Ahead, peruse the seven strongest trends and the brands that stood behind them.
The XL Sling
As an equally dramatic (but way more functional) alternative to the too-teeny-to-carry-anything handbag trend, extra large sling bags with elongated straps walked the runways of several shows across continents. This included Sies Marjan’s sleek, ring-detailed design, Jacquemus’s bow-tied versions, and frilly iterations from Nanushka. These look especially speak to those who prefer not to travel light, nor opt for subtlety.
Dose Of Disco
While a number of ‘70s references were seen in Spring/Summer 2020 collections thanks to brands like Brandon Maxwell, Maryam Nassir Zadeh, and Paco Rabanne, there was also a more literal nod to the decade. This happened by way of shiny silver metallic handbags. A dose of disco, if you will, that accented ensemble meant for going out or going to work.
One of the most noticeable details among Spring/Summer 2020 collections were bamboo handles that accented designs at Prada, Miu Miu, and Gucci alike. The nature-inspired element is one that feels distinctly on-point for the warmer seasons and provides a nice textural contrast to a leather or satin style. One added bonus: This trend can easily be tried ahead of next year with a simple trip to a vintage store or online consignment search.
More Is More
While some trends on this list may invite you to toss everything you can into a vast, oversized carry-all, this one offers options to compartmentalize. Two- and three-pouch versions of handbags were a common thread on the runways. For JW Anderson and Peter Pilotto, this included bags with multiple compartments, while Coach took a more DIY approach with two handbags knotted together to achieve a similar look.
The Grown-Up Basket Bag
While woven and basket bags have been ubiquitous in fashion for the past couple years, 2020 shows an all-grown-up version of the trend in designs that have clean structure and are trimmed with luxe leather instead of straw. As seen at Kate Spade, Michael Kors Collection, and Loewe, the new woven bags strike the balance between natural, beach-ready fabrics and polished, timeless silhouettes.
Charming pouches were seen in spades on the Spring/Summer runways. In both minimal (Khaite and Tory Burch) and more ornate (Louis Vuitton) iterations, these styles included coin purse clasps and pillowy shapes for carrying by hand or with a delicate strap.
Stripes may be fashion's most classic print, but it got a refresh in the bags of the new collections. Be it Marc Jacobs' clutches or Fendi's signature square tote shape, there were broad, colorful stripes that decorated many of the styles seen on the runway. Even luxe minimalist Gabriela Hearst adopted a bold, blue-striped pattern. Expect this pattern to be replicated and reinterpreted several times over in the months to come.