Why the men’s handbag is coming back into fashion

by time news

Ehere they are, these scenes of a (heterosexual) partnership in which you find yourself in the midst of a cliché. One of them is the typical dialogue of a couple just before leaving: Could you maybe take my cell phone? – Yes, of course. – Will my key still fit in there? – Yes, that should work. – And maybe my wallet too? – But more is really not possible!

Either the questioner is the man who, on a warm summer evening, leaves his jacket with inside pockets at home, doesn’t want to spoil his light trousers with baggy pockets and therefore seeks refuge for his belongings in the woman’s handbag. Or it is the woman who wears a coat for a walk through the cool spring air, the waisted cut of which cannot cope with spacious and certainly not filled pockets and in which inner pockets are missing anyway.

If so, then crossbody bag

People have always needed bags. And yet a strangely inflexible attitude towards them has established itself in fashion: men’s clothing is sometimes absurdly lavishly equipped with them, women’s clothing is often only hinted at. And while women also avoid handbags for this reason and celebrate them as a status symbol, a man with a handbag still often causes puzzled looks and hasty conclusions.

Not so in the Taiwanese capital, Taipei. In the metropolis, many men wear a “man bag” as a matter of course. A particularly common sight: the so-called crossbody bag, a small, usually rectangular bag with a long strap that is worn around the shoulder and into which everything you need fits.


With a handbag: Singer Harry Style at the Toronto Film Festival
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Bild: Picture Alliance

But there are also signs of a change of heart more than 10,000 kilometers to the north-west. In Berlin-Neukölln, on Frankfurt’s Zeil, in Düsseldorf’s old town, young men in particular wear fanny packs diagonally across their upper bodies. Labels are often emblazoned on them – Prada, Gucci, Louis Vuitton.

Rappers like Drake and ASAP Rocky, actors like Robert Downey Jr. and social media stars like the Elevator Boys are leading the way; other prominent carriers dare to larger models. For example, the acting and modeling pop star Harry Styles, who has recently appeared in front of the cameras several times with a Gucci bag.

The demand is increasing

Die murseso the purse (handbag), but just for men, big labels have long been in the range. In 2017, the brands Supreme and Louis Vuitton teamed up and released a small shoulder bag. In retrospect, this could have been the starting signal for the men’s handbag. Today, this is used to meet growing demand: sales of men’s and unisex bags have increased by 700 percent in the past three years on the American market alone, says Carl Tillessen, trend analyst at the German Fashion Institute, which works in cooperation with other institutions developed trend forecasts from the 16 leading industrial nations. There are still no comparable figures from the European market, but here, too, it is predominantly young men who have bags with them more and more often.

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