Good news for all the style-conscious ladies out there who carry around a ton of stuff; the backpack is officially back en vogue. It actually has been for a while. And just to be clear: We’re talking luxury backpacks, here, not just your run of the mill Jansport. (No offense to Jansport or anything; we’re just totally taken with the high-end backpack situation at the moment.)
The luxury backpack movement started all the way back in 1984 when Prada came into the market with its waterproof nylon version. (This one.) At the time no one liked it; 10 years later it was all the rage.
Now–almost 30 years later–designers are upping the luxury level even more by using expensive materials and hardware to reel in buyers who may have previously thought the backpack too casual. Take, for example, this extreme example: The $50,000 backpack by Damien Hirst’s collaboration with The Row, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen’s super high-end line. While this style wasn’t mass produced, the fact that it was produced–and that it sold–at all speaks strongly to the strength of the trend.
Designer Phillip Lim–whose backpacks have apparently been selling well for years–attributes the return of the pack to a rise in our mobility as people. He told The Business of Fashion, “I think it’s for sure honing in on a moment. People are becoming more mobile, riding bikes and are on the move.”
The Senior Fashion Director at Barney’s, Tomoko Ogura, even believes that the “backpack has transcended the original hype because of its functionality.” So, what once was cool because it was Prada in the 90s, now is cool because it’s The Row in the 2000s and because it’s actually a practical accessory.
Practical and stylish are two buzzwords in our vocabulary so we went ahead and gathered up some of the most practical and stylish luxury backpacks around. Add them to your wish list, or treat yourself to a fabulous gift. The choice is yours!
Elizabeth and James Haircalf Sling Bag, available here.
Illesteva Charlie Backpack in Orange Python, available here.
MCM Large Stark Backpack, see here for details.
Meredith Wendell Backstroke Backpack, available here.
Photo: 3.1 Phillip Lim
3.1 Phillip Lim Zip Around Backpack, available here.
Photo: Mr. Porter
Raf Simons Eastpak Backpack, available here.
Editor’s note: This is a men’s backpack, but the navy satin is too lush to resist.
The Row Drawstring Backpack, available here.
Photo: Tory Burch