In recent years, the fashion industry has seen tremendous progress around the realm of high fashion’s classical leather goods. Today, the handbag industry is still undoubtedly one of fashion’s largest and most lucrative divisions. As it has always been, nearly everyone requires some type of bag to carry around their essentials. However, it appears the future of handbags, specifically for people in the professional sphere, holds many unexpected turns.
People Are Trading in Style for Comfort!
For a long time, the professional scene came with its own somewhat serious atmosphere. Most professional women were seen consistently choosing the typical large handbags while the men in the industry were usually seen with briefcase-type carryalls. Things have since changed drastically. Over the years, the fashion industry has gradually experienced a significant shift in dynamics, such that looking good is no longer strictly identified with doing away with your comfort.
With the rise of more self-care-geared trends and fitness-inspired trends, both professional men and women are ditching the once classic professional handbag staples and opting for more comfortable options. Older options gave way for a myriad of discomfort issues, so much so that there has been an exponential increase in the adoption of cross-body and two-shoulder handbag models. There has been a significant rise in the demand for backs like backpacks, slings, and even cross-body bags. Luxury fashion brands are now caving to the new wave, leaving the chances of a comeback for classic handbags much lower than the industry has seen in a long while.
Then The Pandemic Came
When the COVID-19 pandemic rolled around, many people, professionals included, were forced to retreat into the safety of their homes per social distancing guidelines. This birthed the work-from-home era and a long pause of nearly all social events. With most professional workers stuck inside their homes, they had practically nowhere to go with a handbag.
There was almost no need to purchase one as a large chunk of the workforce turned remote. The fashion industry was feared to be entering a period in which handbags — at least, the classic large design — would die an untimely death. Thankfully, bags still seem to go hand in hand with humanity post-pandemic. Whether or not professional workers return to purchasing handbags fully post-pandemic, they will still have to carry some type of handbag. They will always have to carry something.
Handbags in a Digital World
The tremendous rise in digital technology and the use of more portable devices such as mobile phones and tablets have made a world of difference for handbags. Sure, there were times when the classic straps-over-one shoulder handbag model or the handle-in-one-hand handbag model were seen as the normal choice for professional carry-alls. Things are quickly changing to support this power shift.
Handbag designers are now picking up on this hands-free imperative such that the classic top-handle design has been brought back, but only with a twist — additional long straps. Also, in the spirit of listening to the new wave of smartphone-driven demands, handbag models have drastically changed to more portable two-shoulder designs.
No longer are white-collar workers choosing the typical handbags. They are now choosing designs that are easier to carry and maneuver to keep their hands free to operate their mobile devices effortlessly. This has caused the fashion industry to record a rise in the projections for totes, backpacks, and slings.
Fashion is possibly looking at a new era in which functionality, comfort, and dexterity are the driving forces determining the evolution of handbags in the professional scene.