Backstage after Fendi’s Fall/Winter 2019 show today in Milan, the only thing people could talk about were the bags. Collaborating with Japanese luggage experts PORTER, Fendi sent a range of purses down the runway, including remakes of the brand’s iconic Baguette and Peekaboo models, marking the first time the Baguette has ever been made for men.
This isn’t the first time Fendi has made men’s bags — for FW18 the label sent furry monogrammed handbags, totes and travel cases down the runway. But the brand’s collection with PORTER is taking that one step further — bags weren’t an afterthought, they were arguably the highlight of the collection.
While it wasn’t so long ago that people were mocking the very idea of “man bags,” (and 50 Cent still is), it’s still notable that Fendi decided to market the Baguette bag directly to men. Arriving in sportswear-focused nylon (that gives us serious Prada backpack vibes) the model features two straps, making it a sort of hybrid sidebag-meets-handbag and bringing it much closer into purse territory than other men’s bags on the market.
Clearly, the idea of men carrying bags isn’t so wild anymore. Side bags have quickly become one of the basic tenets of streetwear, and people like A$AP Rocky and Tyler, The Creator are wearing what would traditionally be considered “girl’s bags” (“it’s not a purse, it’s a satchel“).
And why not? A bag not only offers ease (you get to keep your hands free while carrying around useful stuff) but it also takes your ‘fit up a level — and gets rid of unflattering bulging pockets.
Last year, we argued that sneakers had replaced handbags as the biggest status symbol in women’s fashion. Looking to flex? A hard-to-get pair of kicks will impress a lot more than an off-the-rack Alexander Wang bag. It’s not crazy to think the opposite could soon become true for men.
We’ve already predicted that Virgil Abloh’s iridescent Louis Vuitton Keepall bag will be the hottest accessory of SS19, and now it looks like the Fendi x PORTER collab is set to take over FW19. If you’re not already convinced by statement men’s bags, this year might change that.