Carrie Bradshaw’s Iconic Fendi Baguette Bag Is Back

Carrie Bradshaw’s Iconic Fendi Baguette Bag Is Back

Carrie Bradshaw’s iconic outfits never lost their appeal. The Sex and the City heroine, and more aptly her famed stylist Patricia Field, inspired countless looks whose references have effortlessly lived on. From singlehandedly turning Manolo Blahniks into a wardrobe essential to making a pink tutu worthy of a fashion applause, Sarah Jessica Parker and Fields had a stylistic foresight which has yet to be mirrored in any other television series. And one of Bradshaw’s most beloved accessories — the Fendi baguette bag — is reliving its moment alongside the actress who propelled it into the spotlight two decades ago.

Two Shades of Black

Two Shades of Black

The Business of Fashion is exploring the grey market of handbags and accessories and fashion in general. Is it for real or twice the scam? is exploring the grey market of handbags and accessories and fashion in general. Is it for real or twice the scam?

Fashion’s Dirty Secret: Millions in Grey Market Sales

LONDON, United Kingdom — Fashion’s favourite poster boy of disruption Guram Gvasalia
skewered the industry last year for its practice of quietly selling
product on the grey market to boost sales, dubbing it the sector’s
“dirty secret.” The Vetements co-founder told the Financial Times that
luxury brands routinely inflated sales figures by allowing product to
leak into “horrible” stores where it’s sold at discount.

The grey market refers to the trade in goods from unofficial
suppliers. The way this often works in luxury fashion is a retailer buys
product at wholesale from a designer and instead of selling it directly
to end consumers, sells it to another retailer or agent who isn’t
approved by the brand and typically lacks the same aura of exclusivity
as official sellers. The product is legitimate but sold via an
unofficial channel, hence the term grey. (This is distinct from
counterfeit goods, which are “black” market).

Often grey market sales are a play on price differentials. Retailers
engaged in this practice typically buy product at wholesale prices,
about one-third to half of recommended retail prices, and then resell it
for a smaller margin to unauthorised retailers. When that unauthorised
channel is based in another country — typically China, Japan, South
Korea and the Middle East for luxury products — this is known as
“parallel imports” because the product is sold in a market for which it
was not intended and without the permission of the company that created
it.

But many major luxury brands are known to turn a blind eye to such
sales, or even sell directly to grey market players themselves to boost
their sales revenues, with known Chinese grey market partners even
coming to view product in their Paris and Milan showrooms, usually the
preserve of an exclusive coterie of buyers and editors. One senior
fashion insider close to several of the biggest global luxury houses
described it as a “tap” that brands open or close, depending on their
sales targets.

Few luxury brands will discuss the practice, though most participate in some form including Gucci, Prada, Dior, Louis Vuitton and Valentino, several sources confirmed. All of these brands declined to comment for this article.

Few luxury brands will discuss the practice, though most participate in some form.

“Brands tolerate grey market activity for the sake of making their
short-term results better — never mind the long-term damage,” says Luca
Solca, head of luxury goods at Exane BNP Paribas, referring to the
impact on carefully cultivated luxury brands of having their products
appear in sales channels that are less exclusive than official
retailers. The grey market accounts for 5 to 10 percent of sales, Solca
estimates.

“This is a huge issue,” says Simon Lock, chief executive of online wholesale platform Ordre, which sells luxury labels from Stella McCartney to Charles Jeffrey’s
Loverboy to a range of boutiques and department stores worldwide. “It
appears what happens is retailers will often over order on a wholesale
basis and then resell at a small margin to an agent often in China or
elsewhere. This agent will then open a legitimate online channel to
generate direct-to-consumer sales or pretend they are an authorised
distributor and sell to unsuspecting boutiques often selling the product
at a substantial discount,” Lock explains. This in turn “undermines any
product that is positioned at recommended retail [prices] through an
authentic channel be it online or bricks or mortar.”

Much of the “parallel” market for luxury goods stems from boutiques
in Italy, where smaller, independent stores dominate, as well as other
markets in Europe home to luxury brands and the US, according to Mario
Ortelli, managing partner of luxury advisors Ortelli & Co.
“Traditionally the Italian and European stores, priced in euro, have the
lowest prices, and Italy in comparison to other markets in Europe, is
the one with the highest number of wholesale accounts, so this is a
source for the grey markets. Then the other source is the US because
traditionally the American brands, like Ralph Lauren and Coach, have got lower prices in the domestic market.”

The brands most at risk are those that are most in demand, especially
when it comes to their iconic, high-value, perennial products like Chanel’s 2.55 handbag, Burberry’s classic trench coat or Moncler’s
puffer jackets, says Ortelli. Those products offer better margins and
less risk for unauthorised retailers. Comparatively a €300 Balenciaga
T-shirt that’s only in season for four months offers a shorter life
cycle and lower margins, so is less appealing. Also, if a designer exits
a brand, say Givenchy or Burberry, and the brand has unsold stock as
they shift into its new designer’s collection, they may sell that
product in bulk to alternative channels like outlets and it can more
easily end up on the grey market, adds Ortelli. One fashion insider who
spoke on condition of anonymity said handbags and accessories are top of
the list for grey market vendors, alongside “hot” items like Balenciaga
sneakers and anything from Gucci.

Retailers will often over order on a wholesale basis and then resell at a small margin to an agent often in China.

So, what should luxury brands do about it?

Vetement’s Gvasalia says it’s a question of supply. Instead of
over-producing goods that end up on the grey market, Vetements strictly
limits supply to wholesale accounts to help retain desirability, he told
the Financial Times. But selling less, albeit at full price, runs
counter to the shareholder model of chasing sales growth.

Chanel, which is privately owned and sells its clothing and handbags
exclusively via its own stores, took a different approach by harmonising
prices globally in 2015 to avoid grey market sales by daigou
or personal shoppers who buy goods on commission overseas to take
advantage of tax reductions, but also better serve domestic customers in
China and reduce reliance on European tourism.

“We were trendsetters in this matter and definitely believe that it
was the right decision taken with a long-term vision: the resale market
has decreased, the traffic in our boutiques is clearly more balanced and
it has given us the opportunity to better serve our clients,” says Bruno Pavlovsky,
Chanel’s president of fashion. “It also helped to fight against
parallel resale markets, which benefited from these price differentials
and jeopardised the business, the image and the exclusivity of Chanel.”

It’s not a position that can as easily be taken by all, particularly
smaller brands that rely heavily on wholesale. Arguably, some boutiques
in certain markets are also better at selling some items than the brands
themselves. There are also tax differences across geographies and
fluctuating foreign exchange rates that can substantially impact on
price adjustments and be costly for smaller players.

How much a brand tolerates the grey market is the big question.

If a luxury brand has, for example, a large outlet presence, coupled
with reasonably sized parallel imports, its luxury status could easily
be diluted. Yet, for highly in-demand brands, others argue some degree
of paralleling is ok because the value of the brand is so high that a
few leaks will not dent its desirability. Insiders say it varies
depending on the chief executive, but it’s a decision taken at that
level of management.

The tension for brands is keeping up the luxury reputation and prestige of the brand.

“You perfectly know, there are some boutiques taking excessive orders
and some brands used to tolerate [this], but nowadays when a brand has
strong momentum they are not willing to,” says Ortelli.

Legally, brands have some rights to stop the grey market depending on
where the product ends up and how it is sold, according to Julia
Dickenson, a senior associate at law firm Baker McKenzie, who works with
luxury brands. For example, if a product is sold to a luxury boutique
in Italy and ends up in a local factory outlet at half price, the brand
can claim the conditions in which it is sold damages its reputation and
can try to prevent it being sold under EU trademark law.

One common way luxury brands protect themselves is to set up
“selective distribution systems,” where in their contracts with
distributors they set out how product must be sold, like imagery,
location of stores in high-profile shopping streets, the number of staff
in store and the training they receive. In 2016, Bulgari won a case in
the Court of Catania, Italy, forcing an unauthorised dealer to stop
selling its jewellery obtained from the grey market because the store
did not meet the quality standards imposed by Bulgari on its
distributors, thus harming its reputation.

Given grey market resellers are often based in Europe, why are luxury
brands not taking more retailers to court for selling to the grey
market?

“Absolutely conversations are taking place regularly between brands
and distributors when they know leaks are taking place. Very few will
actually make it to court because the brand can more simply stop the
leak by engagement with the distributor and, as a final resort, by
terminating their distribution contract,” says Dickenson. “These
conversations can be difficult, particularly if the relationship with
the distributor is a long-standing one, or the distributor is otherwise
very important to the brand.” Brands will often start with a warning and
move to restricting the volume of product a store receives before
taking further action, she explains.

“The tension for brands is keeping up the luxury reputation and
prestige of the brand,” says Dickenson, “in the face of the desire to
sell more products.”

Logomania is an obsession with no end in sight.

Logomania is an obsession with no end in sight.

What Gives the Logo Its Legs? Here’s why.

 

Ms. Silvarolli, a stylist and designer, was swathed from her chin to her calves in the company’s signature double FF logo. Her turnout was excessive, she knew.

“As recently as a year ago, you didn’t wear logos,” she said. “You had to be discreet.”

But a glance at the crowd at Fendi’s Madison Avenue flagship — matrons, films stars and assorted style-world moguls tricked out in Fendi logo regalia — persuaded her otherwise. “Nowadays everything is allowed,” Ms. Silvarolli said. “Nothing is too much.”

Fendi is among the latest in a raft of luxury labels to advance the proposition that too much is never enough. Emboldened by the success of logo-ridden skate wear brands like Palace and Supreme, high-end labels including Prada, Balenciaga, Valentino and Chanel have joined the stampede, their monograms stamped on everything from hats to hosiery and, with a nod to the 1990s, the elastic bands of men’s skivvies.

Chanel, spring 2019.Valerio Mezzanotti for The New York Times

Chanel, spring 2019.Valerio Mezzanotti for The New York Times

It’s the trend that keeps going and going. This fall, fans of the hypebeast culture can choose from logo-embellished Balenciaga pullovers and embroidered Gucci slippers at Barneys New York, Off-White sweatshirts and camouflage jackets at Saks Fifth Avenue, and Vetements parkas at 10 Corso Como, the newly alighted Milanese purveyor of cooler-than-thou luxury wares in Lower Manhattan.

Even mass market chains are championing the movement, like Zara, whose stores and website are awash in logo coats, shawls and frocks. So pervasive is fashion’s logo fixation that it vies with, and even outpaces, that of previous, more overtly ostentatious eras.

Logomania’s checkered past dates from the ’60s and ’70s, buoyed in those decades by an outpouring of licensed wares: Courrèges double C’s and Bill Blass back-to-back B’s affixed to sunglasses, satchels and all manner of unlikely tchotchkes. Logos flourished again in the late ’80s and ’90s as strident, some say garish, symbols of wealth — and the brash insignia of the hip-hop generation — and then faded.

Valentino, spring 2019.Valerio Mezzanotti for The New York Times

Valentino, spring 2019.Valerio Mezzanotti for The New York Times

They bounced back in the 2000s, only to make a shamefaced retreat in the wake of the 2008 stock market collapse, too showy to display on the streets.

The rise of athletic sportswear and the mainstreaming of once marginal street wear labels have given the trend its latest push, propelling it to the catwalks, where it has thrived intermittently for a number of years. Still, given their erratic up and down trajectory, logos by now should again be heading for the tacky airport shop or the outlet mall.

So it seems perverse that fashion’s love affair with splashy status badges shows no signs of cooling. Logos raced like a contagion through the spring 2019 collections, breaking out on camp shirts and chain belts at Chanel, on hosiery and sneakers at Prada, on epaulets at Balenciaga and spreading over entire ensembles at Gucci, the luxury house that has been widely credited with lending this trend its impetus.

“Right now,” said Anna Ross, the associate women’s wear editor at WGSN, a trend forecasting service, “there seems to be no expiration date.”

So what gives logos their staying power?

For starters, the look is being reimagined in a way that speaks expressly to the young. “Chanel, Fendi and others have obviously seen a huge amount of social currency in appealing to a millennials and Generation Z,” Ms. Ross said. Those bands of streetwise consumers flaunt initialed T-shirts, boots, sneakers, belts and totes with a dash of irony.

“For a brand, this may not be the most subtle marketing strategy,” she added, “but companies see that it’s working.”

Fendi, taking a page from street wear, plans to drop limited-edition logo-stamped products at regular intervals. “We like the idea of limited editions,” said Silvia Venturini Fendi, the creative director of accessories and men’s wear at the label. “Younger consumers like that you can get the item, then its gone, making way for something new. For us, it’s a way of not being predictable.”

Prada, spring 2019.Valerio Mezzanotti for The New York Times

Prada, spring 2019.Valerio Mezzanotti for The New York Times

A similar wisdom impelled Burberry last month to introduce a monogram collection, fresh renditions of its T-shirts stamped with the interlocking TB’s (the initials of Thomas Burberry, the company’s founder), a move conceived to invoke the company’s decades-long heritage. Variations of the monogram shirt will be released each month on the company’s social media and mobile apps.

For some brands, glutting the marketplace with highly visible logo products acts as a kind of safety net, helping sustain the bottom line, said Roma Cohen, an owner of Alchemist, an outpost of cutting-edge fashions in Miami Beach. Such signature wares, he noted, are often funneled into the gray market.

Mr. Cohen was using an industry term for goods sold by luxury brands to retailers that resell them to other stores or agents not necessarily approved by the brand. Unlike counterfeit goods, these products are legitimate, proliferating in locales as far-flung as China, Italy, Turkey and Tunisia.

In Milan, strollers show off a Gucci bag, left, and a Supreme x Louis Vuitton belt bag .Christian Vierig/Getty Images

In Milan, strollers show off a Gucci bag, left, and a Supreme x Louis Vuitton belt bag. Christian Vierig/Getty Images

Such hyper-saturation carries risks. “These rides are like a roller coaster,” Mr. Cohen said. “Relying on logos can take you to your peak right away. But it can also date you and leave you in the shadow of the next hot brand.”

For now, the trend retains its relevance, firmly rooted in its time. Social media is its driver, the logos resonating with those selfie addicts who like to flash their heavily monogrammed trophies on Snapchat and Instagram, their status readily identifiable on an image the size of a postage stamp.

But status is not the only draw. Younger people are adopting logos to signal their allegiance to a tribe or cause, said Milton Pedraza, the founder and chief executive of the Luxury Institute, a consulting firm in New York. Flashing Gucci double G’s can be read as a homage to the company, which has publicly championed gender fluidity and turned its back on fur.

In Milan, billboarding the Gucci logo with a multitone sweater and belt. Claudio Lavenia/Getty Images

In Milan, billboarding the Gucci logo with a multitone sweater and belt. Claudio Lavenia/Getty Images

“For youthful fans, the Gucci logo is a tag, a way of stating, ‘I am socially responsible,’” Mr. Pedraza said. “It gives you a very clear identity that goes beyond a fashion statement.”

No question, though: Logomania both mirrors and mocks a climate of creeping vulgarity, one wittily exploited by stars including Rihanna, who paraded a glittering papal costume at the Met’s Costume Institute gala in May, and by the producers of the “Real Housewives” franchise.

“It could be a Trump-era phenomenon,” said Paula Chamblin, an interior designer and fashion stylist who had dropped by the Fendi celebration last month wearing the company’s FF boots and bag.

Ms. Chamblin’s gear was by no means intended to signal “an in-your-face attitude,” she said. It was instead a cheerful nod to upbeat times and a robust economy, she said, a visual statement announcing, “I’m happy to be where I’m at.”

In Berlin, wrapped in a Gucci cardigan and toting a companion Chanel bag. Christian Vierig/Getty Images

In Berlin, wrapped in a Gucci cardigan and toting a companion Chanel bag. Christian Vierig/Getty Images

What sets logomania apart in this go-round is its function as a kind of social leveler, a trend accessible in one form or another to both Howard Street skateboarders and the Gucci-shod denizens of the Upper East Side. As ubiquitous on gilt chain belts and snakeskin bags as they are on hoodies, backpacks and their street-inflected kin, logos have a way of upending conventional notions of status, wealth and taste.

There is humor in the trend and a piquant irony, said Sharon Graubard, a partner in Mint Moda, a trend forecasting firm in New York. Devotees often flaunt initials with a wink, embracing status logos as yet another coy expression of the “so bad it’s good’ zest for ugly chic that gave rise in recent months to designer crocs and scrunchies.

One thing is certain: “This is not Melania with her perfect Gucci belt,” Ms. Graubard said. “In the end, it’s subversive, you know.”

The article appeared originally in the nytimes.com.

The First Female President Will Not Carry a Handbag

The First Female President Will Not Carry a Handbag

What would the first female president wear?

As Angela Merkel, erstwhile model of a modern female leader, prepares to step downas head of her party in Germany, and a wave of potential presidential candidatesemerges in the United States, like Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand, the question is worth considering. It speaks to what female leadership might look like in a new era, one less defined by trouser suits and bright fruit-bowl colors; one tailored for a different majority.

We may well have the answer in a few years, but for those who don’t want to wait, there is always “House of Cards.” The show has put a lot of thought into this.

Season 6 — a.k.a., the final season, and the one without Kevin Spaceyas President Francis Underwood (he has been killed off, after Mr. Spacey was fired in the wake of sexual abuse allegations) — dropped on Friday with Claire Underwood (Robin Wright), the former vice president, in the Oval Office. The show is as dark and twisted as ever, both in terms of plot and the corrupting psychology of power, but it’s also a pretty convincing take on how the first Madam President might present herself.

Imagine the classic corporate suit and tie spliced with the style of a World War II Women’s Army Corps member, and topped by a dash of

“We obviously didn’t have a female president as a model, but I revisited the male American presidents of the past to look at their daily wear, their travel wear, and then thought about how that might translate to Claire,” said Kemal Harris, who is responsible for Ms. Wright’s wardrobe. (Jessica Wenger is the show’s head costume designer.)

It began with colors: the blue that dominated ties in the Clinton and Obama administrations, army green, black and gray. Also tailoring: In a symbol of control over her environment, everything Ms. Wright’s character wears has been exactingly seamed to fit.

And there are two unexpected accessories (along with her usual vertiginous black patent leather Louboutins). Or rather, one unexpected accessory (cuff links) and the unexpected absence of another: the handbag.

“Many presidents wear cuff links from the White House Gift Shop, so I wanted to get a pair for Claire,” Ms. Harris said. She contacted the gift shop (which was once run by the Secret Service but is now a separate for-profit business no longer affiliated with the executive branch) to ask if it had any samples that had never been used.

The gift shop’s director, Anthony Giannini, sent her a pair of prototypes given to him by a Secret Service agent, now retired, who had acquired them under Ronald Reagan. Never produced, they are slightly smaller than usual, more recessed and “elegant” and, according to Mr. Giannini, “the only ones of their kind.”

As a result, Ms. Wright wears a lot of shirts and dresses with French cuffs, the better to show them off.

“But you never see a male president with a briefcase or a wallet,” Ms. Harris said. “So even though I had a lot of designers reaching out to me to offer their new bags, I thought: ‘Claire is not carrying a bag. She has people for that. She’s president.’”

Indeed, for the first time in the series, fashion labels play a relatively small role in Ms. Wright’s wardrobe. (In the past they made up two-thirds of her clothes, with one-third designed especially for her.) The problem, Ms. Harris said, is that “a lot of stuff you see on the runway now is street wear, and it just didn’t translate.” She ended up making about 80 percent of Ms. Wright’s wardrobe herself, she said, with the tailor LaVonne Richards.

(Given the number of women currently running for office, that’s a significant lesson — and one that fashion itself might do well to note.)

The few brand names that do show up are Chloé (“They do the perfect boot-cut trousers,” Ms. Harris said), Equipment (a button-down shirt) and, notably, Celine (a black satin trench from a recent Phoebe Philo collection that Claire wears as a kind of Ninja cover-up when she is spending time outside the White House).

“I bought it at Bergdorf and then had it streamlined because I knew it would transform her character,” Ms. Harris said. “It should be in a museum now.”

Unfortunately, political hopefuls looking to borrow Claire Underwood’s style probably can’t get that coat anymore, Philo-philes having gone into hoarder mode when the designer left the label earlier this year. And Ms. Harris said that the chances she would commercialize her efforts, step into the fashion gap and create a Claire Underwood-inspired product line à la “Kingsman” suits, were small to none.

Which is too bad, because what she came up with is interesting, in an understated, provocative way: a focus on high-neck, long-sleeve silhouettes, body aware but severe, often with epaulets or belts to evoke the military.

It’s not the classic power suit by any definition — the look is both too austere and too feminine for that — but label-less and logo-less as the wardrobe is, it is at once deceptively accessible and replete with the power of refusal.

That’s not a bad message, really, for someone with a nuclear football. The article appeared originally in thenytimes.com.

How to Create the Next Birkin

How to Create the Next Birkin

Bags by Hermès, Louis Vuitton and Chanel | Source: What Goes Around Comes Around

PRADA Light’s Out

PRADA Light’s Out

See Prada’s All-Black Handbag Capsule Collection

Prices start at $2,490 for the most work-friendly tote and top out at $7,150 for an embellished, croc-trimmed, ladylike shoulder style. While the bags are a big purchase, if you’re in the market for a classic black power bag, you can’t go wrong with Prada. Scroll ahead to see them all.

Prada leather bag, $2,490 Photo: Courtesy of Prada

Prada Cahier bag, $2,950 Photo: Courtesy of Prada

Prada Galleria bag, $2,990 Photo: Courtesy of Prada

Prada Elektra clutch, $7,500 Photo: Courtesy of Prada

Prada Elektra handbag, $7,150 Photo: Courtesy of Prada

Prada Monochrome bag, $2,650 Photo: Courtesy of Prada

Prada Lights Out capsule, available starting October 4th at 724 Fifth Ave.

What Is the Status Fanny Pack?

What Is the Status Fanny Pack?

We can mark the fanny’s transition into a legitimately fashionable accessory to around the same time we decided to start calling them waist bags. Or shoulder bags, which is where we’ve actually started wearing them. Or bum packs, which is what British people have used all along. Basically anything besides fanny. And once the fanny was no longer the fanny, a whole new world opened up. The bag, always about convenience above all, became cool. Or at least it shed its image as being wrapped around some ’80s-era Jazzercise-er with ankle weights and parachute pants.

That’s in no small part thanks to Huling herself, who designed her own fanny — she called it the Lexington Bum Pack — with leather left over from the cows that supply Marlow and Sons, Diner, Romans, and the other Brooklyn restaurants owned by Andrew Tarlowe, her husband. Huling herself wore it cross-body when she released the bag in 2014, popularizing the fanny’s whole new look. That bum pack made its way to Greta Gerwig. It was also picked up and sold at Madewell. “They always sold out,” Huling remembers. She closed down Marlow Goods in March to focus on other projects, but “every single time I see a lady who bought one, they still have it on.”

Greta Gerwig in the Lexington Bum Pack. 

At around the same time, in the same city, but in an entirely alternate universe, hypebeasts were picking up on the perfect way a bum pack allows its wearer to conveniently carry all of their goods, while displaying brand allegiances right across the chest. Places + Faces, a photography duo turned merch-and-fashion label, was one of the first to incorporate them into the world of streetwear in 2016. A year later, Virgil Abloh wore a cross-body Prada fanny packover a tuxedo to receive his GQ Australia Man of the Year award. Supreme’s picked up steam, too, culminating in a fanny pack on the Louis Vuitton runway. Gucci brought them back in a big way. And eventually, devoted lifelong fanny wearer Judnick Mayard wrote an article for Ssensecalling Off-White’s take “a $760 baguette of clout,” with clout essentially translating to status.

The fanny’s clout changes according to the group wearing it. Whereas the status clogis likely the same for all clog-wearers, the status fanny, and the clout it emits, shifts between Grailed-obsessedhypebeasts, Brooklyn moms, runners, and anyone else who might strap one on. So below, we’ve organized the status fannys by tribe.

The Brooklyn Mom

Agnes Baddoo Belt SacAgnes Baddoo Belt Sac

Now that the iconic Lexington Bum Pack is sold out, only to live on forever as highly covetable dead stock, where is a Brooklyn mom into sustainable leather to get her bag? Huling points us to Agnes Baddoo, who’s making similarly structured fanny’s out in L.A. “She sells a lot at the Echo Park Craft Fair,” Huling says.

The “It” Bag Collector

GG Marmont Matelassé Leather Belt Bag
GG Marmont Matelassé Leather Belt Bag

For the woman who had the Proenza PS1, the Céline Luggage tote, and the Balenciaga City bag, there is the Gucci Marmont fanny. The “It” bag of the fanny renaissance — the one you’ll find in street-style photos outside of fashion weeks around the world. “Where I came from in leather goods, it was all about function, not making a statement or communication about how much is in my bank account,” Huling says. “But if I were to just lose my mind and be a completely diff person, I love allthe Gucci ones.”

The Athleisure Fanny

Sacoche
Sacoche

Huling calls Pilgrim Surf’s Sacoche (descriptor courtesy of the retailer) really “techno and sporty,” and if she were to buy a new bag right now, it would be this one because it’s both lo-fi and functional. It’s almost the athleisure version of the Lexington Bum Pack.

The Guy Who Needs to Be First

P+F Waist Bag
P+F Waist Bag

Back in 2016, Places + Faces, the photo project turned clothing brand, zine maker, and party thrower, released a waist bag with their logo and were the first to reintroduce fanny’s into the world of hype and hip-hop. Wearing this bag projects an in-depth insider knowledge far beyond the clout of an Off-White grosgrain belt. The bags aren’t for sale right now, but they can be purchased on resale websites like Grailed.

The Clout Chaser

Off-White Black Tape Hip Belt Pouch
Off-White Black Tape Hip Belt Pouch

It might not project a secret insider knowledge, but no status fanny list is complete without the Official Clout Pouch, Virgil Abloh’s Hip Belt Pouch. If you want people to know you’re serious about your fanny, this is the one to buy, which is why Judnick Mayard, writer, event producer, and wearer of fannys since 2013, wrote an ode to it on Ssense extolling its virtues.

The Hypebeast

Louis Vuitton x Supreme Bumbag Epi Red
Louis Vuitton x Supreme Bumbag Epi Red

The most exclusive fanny pack of them all went down the Louis Vuitton runway earlier this year. It’s also worth noting that Louis Vuitton has been big in the fanny game for a while now, specifically with rectangular cross-body bags, which look like they’ll fit just a cell phone, called Danube bags. “Never forget that Louis was the original,” Mayard reminded me. Those aren’t traditional fanny’s, but now that everyone’s wearing bags across their shoulders, these have been lumped into the same category. The classic has the all-over Louis Vuitton logo, but there are also newer styles in brighter colors, and of course, a Supreme collaboration version.

The Utility Seaker

Vinyl Fanny Pack
Vinyl Fanny Pack

Over the past five years Mayard has experimented with most of the fanny’s out there, and stands behind American Apparel’s. “They’re the best. The lightest. They carry the most. They make the most sense. They’re small, but this is as much space as a fanny pack is supposed to have,” she says. “It’s not even a competition.” The new American Apparel is only selling them in vinyl right now, which is trendy in its own way, but the classic nylon version is available secondhandand will likely come back in stock as the company continues to update its accessories offerings.

The Early Aughts Throwback

Vintage North Face Lumbar Fanny Pack
Vintage North Face Lumbar Fanny Pack

“Also, North Face made a fanny that was the shit in 2012,” Mayard remembers. It was a cross-shoulder utility bag that was meant for hikingand outdoor activities, but “all the kids in New York wore it to school because you could fold a notebook and put it inside. It was a much less invasive book-bag.”

The Sneakerhead

Nike Benassi JDI Fanny PackNike Benassi JDI Fanny Pack

Recognizing the power of the fanny this summer, Nike released a slide with an attached fanny pack.

The article appeared first in nymag.com.

Chinese Lanterns, Filled with Sunlight, Fish and Hope.

Chinese Lanterns, Filled with Sunlight, Fish and Hope.

In the classic short film “The Red Balloon,” a boy living in a colorless part of Paris befriends a bright red balloon, which follows him to school, waits by his door, provides the warm companionship that is otherwise absent from his life.

When the street photographer James Prochnik started taking pictures in Chinatown, he found echoes of the movie in the ubiquitous red shopping bags that filled the neighborhood. At the right hour, when the sun was low in the sky, the bags appeared lit from within, an array of Chinese lanterns glowing benevolently in the crowded streets.

In other neighborhoods, including Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, where Mr. Prochnik lives, shopping bags come in all colors — nothing to shoot there. But in Chinatown, where the red symbolizes good luck, red trumps all other shades. Some bags carried produce from street markets; some carried nothing but air, buoyed aloft on steamy updrafts.

Mr. Prochnik, 52, saw the bags as symbols of continuity and identity in a city where ethnic enclaves are everywhere threatened by gentrification. And the bags themselves are threatened by proposed legislation to ban them or impose surchargeson each bag.

“They’re a symbol of the resourcefulness and hardworking nature of the Chinese community in New York,” he said.

“I support the environmental concerns for banishing them, but it’ll be a loss.”

In the more recent movie “American Beauty,” a character videotapes a white plastic bag swirling in a winter breeze, and says, “This incredibly benevolent force wanted me to know that there was no reason to be afraid, ever.”

Mr. Prochnik found a similar message in the bags of Chinatown: that good luck can be summoned; that gentrification can be suspended; that Chinatown can remain Chinatown, even as the rest of the city transforms around it.

“The color almost manifests that belief in good luck, happiness and wealth,” he said. “They take on a magical quality.”

And after they have served their function of ferrying Chinese broccoli or cheap mangoes, Mr. Prochnik sometimes uses them to filter the light of his camera flash. Because good luck is something we should never squander or discard.

John Leland, a Metro reporter, joined The Times in 2000. His most recent book is “Happiness Is a Choice You Make: Lessons From a Year Among the Oldest Old,” based on a Times series. @johnleland

The article appeared first in nytimes.com.

Three Bags Are Better Than One

Three Bags Are Better Than One

Rihanna nails fashion’s most functional look.

The singer was seen at Paris fashion week with three Louis Vuitton bags. She’s not alone – at Fendi, Acne Studios and Stefan Cooke, multi-bagging was all over the catwalk

A fashion show can last anything between eight and 13 minutes. And yet at Thursday’s Louis Vuitton show, in the damp heat of Paris, Rihanna attended with enough bags for a weekend minibreak.

Her three came from the spring 2019 Louis Vuitton collection designed by its new artistic director, Virgil Abloh, and, in descending order of usefulness, were named: the Keepall duffle bag, the Danube bag worn as a belt bag, and finally, the Petite Boite Chapeau, which probably didn’t contain un petit chapeau, or much else for that matter.

As ever, Rihanna was in step with what was happening on other catwalks. At Acne Studios, models carried bags attached to other bags, while at Fendi, they appeared, Buckaroo-style, laden with bumbags, clutches and totes. British designer Stefan Cooke went a bit more conceptual, sending out bags with images of bags affixed to them. Sonia Rykiel apparently placed oranges in theirits bags to weigh them down on the catwalk. Rihanna’s duffel bag appeared to be carrying a T-shirt.

In fashion, multi-bagging is more about maths. If, like Vuitton, you have 56 looks but even more bags, then some models will need to carry two. Leather goods are the most lucrative part of the luxury goods market (more than 80% of Louis Vuitton’s revenue comes from accessories), with handbags the gateway drug – it’s what flags up your allegiance to a brand, while getting you hooked. What’s more, tiny bags such as the three-inch high Jacquemus Chiquito, are on-trend. So if you have one, you probably need a second for your actual stuff.

The sight of Rihanna multi-bagging might be familiar to the many women who admit to carrying a tote bag for spare shoes, a smaller bag for accessible items such as a phone and wallet, and a third bag for their food shopping because it’s 2018 and we’ve finally got our heads round the problem with plastic bags. In which case, think of Rihanna’s bags less as bags and more as a filing system.

The article appeared in theguardian.com

GUCCI Ophidia Small Camera Crossbody Bag

GUCCI Ophidia Small Camera Crossbody Bag

Gucci’s elegant Ophidia design is reworked in petite proportions with this camera bag silhouette. Crafted in Italy from the label’s iconic GG Supreme fabric, the compact style is complete with brown leather trim, signature .

Mica Gianelli Flaunts Saint Laurent

Mica Gianelli Flaunts Saint Laurent


“Today I was having one of those ‘wear as much of one designer as you can without looking tacky’ kinda moment. I went monogram mad! Designer of choice: Saint Laurent. Is it too much? To some – maybe. For moi? Never! The more, the merrier I say. Stack ’em up, stack ’em up girl! So long as it’s all executed carefully and tastefully, of course. The key to keepin’ it classy is to stick to chic, classic yet statement pieces that help to create a seemingly effortless but luxurious look. “