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The spring/ summer 2021 bag trends will be much rejoicing for the luxury bag lover crowd! The pandemic has hurt the luxury business, but it hasn’t dampened the love or excitement that new purses spark in the hearts of fans.
The spring 2021 bags featured a mixture of the good old classic designs that have been in vogue for decades, along with some truly new and eccentric options for those who like to experiment.
We predict that egg-shaped bags will be the go-to evening choice, while crochet, woven, and netted bags will just be everywhere all the time! A certain crowd will love the utilitarian shoppers, phone bags, and bottle holders that suit a new lifestyle of short outdoor excursions when one would be remiss to overcarry.
Have a look, and see if you have any of your own favorite spring 2021 purse trends that you look forward to trying!
#1. Tiny Bags
It’s funny how tiny bags (coin purses, really) have become such a runway staple! They’re the perfect accompaniment to a single-compartment tote, but they’re also nice all on their own when all you need to carry is a folded-up face mask and a couple of bills.
There were a ton of different tiny bags at Chanel, from jewelry-esque pieces worn crossbody or like necklaces, to miniature handbags in classic Chanel styles. At Versace, tiny bags were an integral part of brightly color-blocked, multi-bag styling, acting as either punches of color to more sober bags or simply adding neon-bright contrast.
Jacquemus is the label credited with starting the mini bag craze a few seasons ago, and indeed, the airy collection included a few lovely little bags with handheld designs.
#2. Large and In Charge
While we don’t think designers expected us to go anywhere with most collections, the spring/ summer 2021 bag trends say otherwise. Massive oversized bags suggested travel, maximalism, and excess, perhaps as a fantasy.
The award for the biggest bag goes to Valentino, where we spotted an oversized, cushioned tote with a rounded shape and covered by the brand’s signature studs.
It’s one thing to have a big bag, but when it comes from an ostentatious house like Dolce & Gabbana, you know the design itself will also be extra loud. While the colors themselves weren’t too wild, the mixture of denim patches certainly made for a noticeable bag.
There were plenty of other examples of oversized bags in different designs and styles from Khaite, Givenchy, Acne Studios, and Etro.
#3. Zip-Top Bags
There is something a little more casual and masculine about top-zip bags, although, at the same time, the silhouette also reminds us at times of all sorts of utilitarian things like modern lunch bags or heavy-duty travel toiletry bags. This style appealed to luxury bag designers this season, and we got some dramatic options.
The Roger Vivier collection included a lovely lime green bag with a zip-top and a statement crystal buckle over the front, making for a luxurious design.
While the bag we saw at Dolce & Gabbana didn’t technically have a zip-top, we still believe it merits inclusion because its silhouette fit the bill. It has the same oval design, with a top lid and gold heart hardware over the closure.
Finally, to keep things a little simpler, a lovely green bag from Coach had this zip-top silhouette, although a few pockets were added at the front and sides for some easy storage of small items.
#4. Square or Geometric Bags
Mainstream bag shapes might be timeless, but there’s something fun about an unusually geometric bag. It’s more interesting than the typical flap bag but with a certain sophistication and maturity, as well.
We were most intrigued by the square bags at Jacquemus, which had an open top with a pouch inside. This perfectly combined the rustic Jacquemus vibes with an unusual square design.
Bags at Gabriela Hearst were just as square, but a little sleeker, with a folded-over closure at the top and attached rounded handles. They were made of clean, smooth leather, with smooth corners that kept things soft.
On the flatter and more angular side of things were totes at Givenchy, which had sharp, square edges and a steep, triangle-shaped indent at the top. We spotted a few more unusual geometric bag shapes at Tod’s and Loewe.
#5. Egg Bags
Egg-shaped bags don’t make sense day-to-day because they’re a little quirky and very romantic. However, they make for a memorable clutch that’ll get everyone talking and asking questions!
We first noticed these egg shapes at Simone Rocha, where the bags were made of a solid material with a pearlescent finish and were occasionally even covered in jeweled netting. There were more trend combos at Michael Kors, where the egg-shaped bags were woven out of a straw-like material, like odd egg-shaped baskets.
Finally, at Lanvin, the smooth, rounded bags were super chic and special, with gold chain handles and delicate fish chinoiserie motifs.
#6. Folded Totes
The way you carry your bag can say a lot more than the specific bag you carry. A folded tote expresses a cool, blasé attitude that really only works when that folded totes come from a luxury brand.
The Balmain bag, for instance, works beautifully. The unusual bags Balmain presented this season were covered in the brand’s signature letter monogram, with a sleek design that was folded over, like a hybrid between a tote and a flap bag clutch.
If you’re also into the oversized trend, Etro presented a massive tote covered in a gorgeous boho print that was soft and easy to fold for an under-arm carry. Finally, at Gabriela Hearst, the folded tote was a simple design made of black leather and carried easily by hand.
#7. Straw Picnic Purses
A straw purse always reminds us of old school picnic bags, even though, truthfully, we’ve never actually used a basket for a picnic in real life. However, the charm is all there, and it’s a perfect design for the spring 2021 handbag trends.
Tom Ford combined a sleek aesthetic with the woven straw design by having a more rustic base with a traditional leather flap over the top. The basket bags at Etro were constructed to be very solid, with cylindrical shapes that added a fun twist to the material.
We spotted more straw basket bags at Altuzarra, Celine, and Loewe.
#8. Woven and Crochet Bags
Crochet and woven bags fit well into the spring 2021 bag trends since they match very well with all of the cozy spring crochets and knits that we saw on the runways. It’s not the most typical texture for a handbag to have, especially when considering the designs it was combined with.
A great example of this is Fendi, where tightly woven bags showed up both as large, plush handbags and in the form of tiny coin purses. At Acne Studios, we spotted a lovely crochet reticule decorated with the lovely pearl accents that the brand utilized this season.
If you’re in the mood for something oversized, the Rebecca Taylor collection included large and pillowy crocheted bags with a wild fringe on top.
#9. Netted Handbags
What do you pair with a netted dress? A netted bag, of course! Netting easily made a crossover to the spring 2021 handbag trends.
The Burberry collection featured a few netted bags (along with a few netted garments), which fit in perfectly with the complex oceanic story of the collection. The bags were large shoppers made of a plastic-like material, with jeweled connectors.
At Valentino, a knotted leather technique made a big textural difference to a dark brown hobo-bag, adding a netted effect and slightly boho vibes. We spotted a few more netted bags across the various collections, including at Fendi, Tory Burch, Nanushka, and Christian Dior.
There was some literal pearl clutching in the spring 2021 bag trends, with pearls acting as the prettiest bag embellishment in the various collections.
Pearls have been a big accessory element at Simone Rocha for a while now, so stunning pearlescent bags were not too surprising! At Acne Studios, ropes of pearls hung from the bags as a small, dangling ornament, sometimes in combination with other chains or pendants.
The delicate bags at Chanel were also decorated with some lovely pearls. They especially stood out dotted over a black bucket bag, creating a lovely contrast.
#11. Scarf Bags
One of the most unique spring/ summer 2021 bag trends were scarf additions or decorations. They were added to bags in a few different ways, proving that this is a versatile creative touch. We’re sure that some of our savvier readers will also be able to DIY the look at home.
At Givenchy, a big scarf added a ton of drama as an embellishment to a small, pink handbag. The two seemed to be separate pieces, proving that this trend is truly accessible.
For the bags at Fendi, doily is probably a better description than a scarf. Delicate little WOCs were mysteriously draped with a partially-transparent doily, making for one of the season’s more memorable bag styles.
#12. Shopper Tote
At this point, nothing is more passé than a disposable plastic shopping bag. Most of us already have a lovely collection of shopper totes, but if yours are starting to look worn, you might be intrigued by some of the new additions amongst the spring 2021 handbags.
The shopper totes got a classy design at Christian Dior. They were made of the same durable patterned fabrics as the clothes in the collection, which gave them a slightly more bohemian feel despite the straight lines of the design.
A shopper tote at Fendi felt particularly playful. The large bag was made of a tightly-woven, rope-like fabric, so it looked a bit more industrial and utilitarian, save for the glamorous Fendi logo over the front. It was presented with a matching bottle holder and coin pouch.
Kenzo deserves a special shout-out for crafting the coolest undercover shopper bags. At first glance, the bags looked like small, sleek black purses, but the bottom could be unzipped to unfurl a massive fabric tote covered in a lovely floral print.
We also spotted soft, simple, and foldable fabric totes from Anna Sui and Libertine.
#13. Phone Bags
Whether it’s a question of security, ease of access, or a desire for minimalist single-purposed items, phone bags were an essential component of the spring 2021 bag trends.
For the sweet yet classic high-fashion crowd, a Chanel phone bag meant to be worn around the neck is an easy choice. In a bright white shade, with the CC logo in silver right over the front, it’s the kind of bag that replaces a statement necklace with ease.
If you’d rather stand out because of the design rather than the label, a neon yellow phone bag from Versace will do the trick. Fitted with a small handle at the top, it can be carried by hand or with a crossbody chain.
All the other major names in luxury bags also presented their own twist on the phone bags, including Balenciaga, Coach, and Fendi.
#14. Bottle Holders
Following in the footsteps of high-end shopping totes, bottle holders are also starting to become a runway staple. The summer 2021 bag trends included all kinds of fun and chic bottle holders to get excited about!
Marine Serre has made a name for herself with cool, eco-friendly designs, so bottle holders are a must in all of her collections. This season, it was all about tactical convenience with bottle holders attached to belts or strapped on to the side of the leg.
A sleek black bottle holder at Alyx had the same level of chicness as a handbag, and could easily substitute for one as an elegant accessory with different utility. Givenchy and Fendi also presented their own high-fashion takes on essential water bottles.
The luxurious, all-feather garments from fall did not make a resurgence in spring, but the spring/ summer 2021 bag trends did include the soft, natural, and expensive material.
At Dsquared2, we spotted a little black purse (perhaps a phone bag) with a kiss-clasp closure, looking darkly romantic and unique. Some of the handbags at Fendi basically looked like feather explosions, with a plush, voluminous design contrasting against very sober handles.
Finally, at Blumarine, feather bags were more of a small, punchy accessory in colorful shades and often paired with more restrained bag designs in multi-bag looks.
Photos via Vogue, Livingly