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Winter is coming and we’re ready to end the year with a bang. I mean bag. We want a new bag. But before you blindly jump into a new investment, we reached out to the top buyers in America for industry tips on the styles edging toward it-bag status. Get excited, because impractical micro bags are nowhere on their radar (we don’t blame you for experimenting with them— they’re so cute one who cares if they can only hold approximately one Goldfish cracker). Read on for their favorite trends of of the season, with a bonus nod to the hottest designer of the year, here.
Finally, a trend that speaks to our inner hoarder. “For the lifestyle of women who are always on the go, XXL bags are the perfect solution,”says Natalie Kingham, Fashion & Buying Director at MatchesFashion. “Brands such The Row, Bottega Veneta and Loewe producing some incredibly chic options that remove multiple tote bags from your daily life.” The fashion director of Moda Operandi Lisa Aiken agrees. “Oversized bags, in general, have been brought to the forefront. From the carry-all clutch to larger totes,” she says. She notes that even the smallest bags are getting a little heftier, pointing out the increased size of a traditionally small handbag. “While clutches have historically been reserved for [the] evening, they have evolved into a daytime essential, equipped to hold more than ever.”
Structured Top Handles
The tailoring trend of 2019 is moving beyond structured suits, our sources explain. “I love the structure of the top handle bag, which often comes with a cross body strap, because it can instantly give an outfit some polish whether [you’re]running errands or going to work you will feel pulled together,” says Erica Russo, Bloomingdale’s vice president and fashion director. These ladylike bags compliment outfits with modern silhouettes, but they contrast nicely against flowing dresses too. “We love [they] can complete a casual weekend look or a more dressed-up look for the office” suggests Elizabeth Kanfer, the fashion director of accessories at Nordstrom.
The Return of the Hobo
Practicality strikes again, this time with a handbag silhouette we haven’t seen since the ’90s. “The soft hobo has been gaining momentum for some time and we love the versatility,” says Russo. It’s no wonder that the slouchy shape is making a comeback: the spacious bag actually fits your necessities, comfortably sits on your shoulder, and works with almost any outfit. Kanfer doubles down on the resurgence of the premillennial aesthetic in general. She says, “we’re seeing a return of the 90’s with soft, minimalistic shoulder bags in supple leathers.”
Delicate Evening Clutch
Have a million parties coming up this winter? There’s a trend for that. “Winter brings the holiday season and a statement clutch will have you easily going from desk to dinner. The style is being seen more and more as a day to night option depending on the fabric and style,” says Russo. Think soft pouches, feathery clutches, and embellishments galore. “Small pouches in delicate fabrics such as silk and satin are an elegant compliment to your evening look, with Bienan Davis, Erdem and The Row all celebrating this incredibly lady-like accessory,” Kingham says. You don’t need to have a gala on the books to participate in this trend, though, because we plan to wear these handheld baubles with jeans during on weekend errands.
Animal Style Texture
“Faux exotics such as python and croc look super chic,” says Kanfer. I don’t know the science behind it, but they’re right: somehow embossed texture looks expensive. “The resurgence of crocodile effect leather and animal prints is also something incredibly popular this season,” says Kingham. She notes that indie brands Wandler and Staud are leading the animal style pack, with luxurious offerings in lizard-effect and zebra print. Our new favorite clocks in under $50 at Bloomingdales, so buy it now before it sells out.
Bottega Veneta Everything
2019 is the year of Bottega Veneta, and their effect on fashion is not slowing down anytime soon. Under the deft hands of creative director Daniel Lee, the brand has revitalized the industry and reminded us what true luxury is: timelessness. Buyers and customers agree, too, since their bags disappear as soon as the hit the shelves—we listed the brand’s Pouch bag as a future heirloom. “Bottega Veneta has firmly put the Pouch bag back on the map and it feels like the best evolution of the small bag which our customer can’t get enough of,” says Ida Petersson of Browns Fashion. “This bag is hands downs the hottest of the season and has been the most photographed and carried bag over the last two fashion months.” Beyond the Pouch, Aiken predicts the Italian house’s next it-bag: “The padded cassette bag from Bottega Veneta is the next cult hit, taking the classic intrecciato pattern the house is known and rendering it oversized felt inherently modern. Lee is a master of making updated classics feel cool.” Hear that? It’s the sound of Cassette bags worldwide being added to cart.