Gen Z Has Spoken: These Are the Only 6 Handbag Trends That Matter to Them RN
Apparently, age isn't just a number anymore. It's a letter. To be honest, I didn't even know I was considered part of Gen Z until I started writing this article. All of these different labels—Gen X,Y, Z, boomer, millennial—are really just trendy ways of describing your age. But putting aside my age-labeling qualms, I figured it was time to start thinking about what our generation is wearing these days, particularly regarding our handbags.
On my walk to work, I passed through SoHo and Nolita, two of the most overtly trendy neighborhoods attracting more than their fair share of skateboarding vloggers. Baguette bags, designer belt bags, mini bags, nylon backpacks, and saddlebags surrounded me. But while these bags had a modern look, the styles themselves were nothing new. And I realized that being a Gen Z is about bringing the past into the present.
I thought about one of my favorite handbags (a bluish-white monogrammed Yves Saint Laurent baguette bag from the 1950s that my grandmother passed down to me) and what it had lived through: In 1954, it was propped up on a wooden dresser in a Back Bay condo. In 1988, it was looped around my mom's wrist on her way to a first date. And now, it's in 2023 with me, walking the streets of the West Village.
Being a member of Gen Z means that we know how to revitalize a good trend. We hijack everything and use the past for inspiration. Take the baguette bag that flaunts the streets today, designed by Fendi and popularized in the 1990s. Look at the nylon backpack that was created by Miuccia Prada in 1984 to be the next It bag, or even the scrunchie bags, resurrecting the 1960s invention and fad of the scrunchie. All of our bags pay homage to the ones that made fashion history and our generation is remaking this with a distinctly 21st Century spin.
So, my age is the last letter in the alphabet. And just as Gen Z is about appreciating all of the bags and letters that came before us, it's also up to us to restart the cycle. When I think about Gen Z's trends now, I realize that at the core, it's all about unity. We are the generation that unites all generations, and I'm pretty proud to be a part of it.
Keep scrolling to see all of the Gen Z handbag trends that are revitalizing fashion history's most wearable trends.
1. Moto Mania
Hardware-laden handbags full of buckles, studs, grommets, and claps of all kinds are surging right now, thanks in no small part to Gen Z's infatuation with them. The early 2000s bag redux is bringing back popular styles from the era and with it, plenty of affordable options that give off the same feel, so it comes as no surprise why this Y2K-obsessed group is so smitten.
Almost like our punk phase in high school never ended.
When it comes to these bags, the more zippers, the better.
2. Bright Spot
One thing Gen Zers are known for? Taking fearless fashion risks and trying out styles that are a little bit weird, quirky, or attention-grabbing. This brings us to our next bag trend: shades of bright colors like kelly green, lime, and bubblegum that are instantly eye-catching.
The '90s redux bag that's *not* sold-out (yet).
3. Logo Love
Gen Z is about bringing the past into the present and they're passionate about shopping secondhand, which makes them low-key experts in vintage designer bags. Whether it's the baguette bag Fendi popularized in the '90s or the collectible Louis Vuitton speedy, they're all about revitalizing fashion history's through their arsenal of archival handbags.
I didn't think the iconic Fendi Baguette could get any cooler, but this modern update somehow is.
Vintage collectors cry tears of joy when they find this style.
If there were a bingo card for Gen Z fashion girls, a logo baguette bag would most definitely be on there alongside a matcha latte and a phone charm.
4. Bowler Bags
No, it's not just you: I've spotted yet another trend from the early 2000s that's we need to talk about. Gen Z's latest Y2K fixation is none other than bowler bags. Designer labels like Prada and Louis Vuitton, whose early aughts versions first put this handbag silhouette on the sartorial map, are bubbling up once again on a certain subset of cool girls like Devon Lee Carlson and Camille Charriere whose social media feeds are peppered with these vintage (and vintage-inspired) styles.
This sleek style honestly rivals its expensive counterparts.
Gen Z girls flock to this bag brand for cool under-the-radar styles.
5. High Shine
Gen Z suffers from main character syndrome, but in the best way possible so their love of disco ball-like bags just feels right. Whether sequinned, glitter-encrusted, or metallic, catch them adding a bit of shine to both day and nighttime ensembles alike.
6. Not So Serious
One thing about this generation that I admire is their hyper self-aware sense of humor and that somehow comes with little to no embarrassment. They definitely wear their hearts on their sleeves—and in this case, their bags—with conversation-starting carryalls like a classic L.L. Bean tote with ironic custom embroidery or the kitschy cookie bag from Puppets and Puppets.
Another irreverent fave from the brand behind *that* Twilight bag.
Show off your best snarky humor with embroidery like "girl boss" or "flop era."