Backpacks are not just for kids and the fashion world knows it.
If you are like many people I know, (and like me,) we grab a bag that fits over our shoulder and run around toting a lot of extra weight all day long.
Jamaica Hospital in New York City addressed the health implications of the heavy shoulder bag in a recent newsletter, citing results of a heavy shoulder bag can lead to neck pain, headaches, backaches and overall muscle tightness, depending on the heaviness of the shoulder bag. They go on to explain that a backpack allows for a more even weight distribution to carry evenly across your back rather than just one side.
I don’t care how gorgeous your bag is; if you are in pain, the fun in fashion is gone.
It is a good thing that the fashion world has addressed the ergonomics of accessories by offering backpacks: season after season.
Do you remember the PRADA nylon backpack?
Of course you do!
When I worked at the Corporate Office of PRADA USA back in the early “new millennium” I think we all had one (I still have mine.) An iconic spin on the backpack, created in 1984 by Miuccia Prada, this bag went to market in 1985. In 2015 Vogue recognized the PRADA backpack as an inductee into the “It Bag Hall of Fame.” The design and influence of Miuccia Prada put the sleepy luggage brand known as PRADA on the map, and this piece was definitely a part of that journey. Fast forward to 2017, and the variations of this bag are still in the luxury market place, still carrying a hefty price tag, and often, sold out.
FYI, the large PRADA Vela nylon backpack with two pockets is currently sold out at Neiman Marcus, but if it were in stock, the price for ownership is $950.
You may be looking for a piece in the backpack genre that is a bit more avant garde. PRADA is not disappointing us this season, as the Nylon Robot Backpack in Black/Multi is the same nylon that we know and love adorned with luxe saffiano leather that makes up the robot motif. Not only is it spectacular in detail and hardware accents, but it is also bound to win the affections of small children everywhere.
I could not help but notice when “back-to-school” shopping for my son that the Monster motif is everywhere in boys clothing. All you have to do is go to J.Crew’s Crewcuts and you will see every take imaginable on integrating monster angry eyes on to articles of clothing from sweaters to socks to lunch boxes. “Max the Monster” is his name, and according to the folks at J.Crew, he started in the fashion world as a pair of eyeballs designed on a pair of children’s socks. He made his way in to stores in 2015 and is still quite a popular guy, as noted on the J.Crew blog, “We liked the idea of having a little friend on your shirt.”
In fairness, he is very cute.
Imagine my surprise when a very Max-like pair of eyeballs were staring back at me on a Fendi backpack.
Those are the moments as a parent when you think, “Wow! I really need to rest more.” but then you realize that what you are seeing is not some wine-on-top-of-exhaustion-induced mirage. You remember that the fashion world is a small place, and you can not help but find the crazy monster for you, the grown up, intriguing. The men’s Monster Faux Mohawk Backpack in Black/Multi is $5,150.
Fendi, a leader in creativity since 1925, has given us ladies, the Mini Monster Faux Mohawk Backpack in Black/Multi for $2,450. The eyes are leather, the fur is fox and the trim is snakeskin.
Maybe a little fancier than the kids clothes…
Gucci is in on the fun too. The limited addition “Magic Lanterns” collection does include a multi color brocade backpack trimmed in blue, red and white. In lieu of a monster, Gucci opted for a feline head above the buckle closure. Made in Italy, this backpack is lined in satin and available for $1,890.
For the second time, Louis Vuitton commissioned renowned British artists Jake & Dinos Chapman to work on a wildlife theme for the men’s Spring Summer 2017 Fashion Show. Their unique artistic signature is illustrated by original designs of these animals: Lion, Giraffe, Zebra, Rhinoceros and Elephant.
The price is available on application but as a guide, the ‘regular’ Steamer Monogrammed backpack is $2,780. You can add a premium for the fancy artwork……
In short, whether motivated by comfort or style, or optimally, a combination of both, the backpack is back on the scene in full force. While this style never goes away completely, new iterations of an old classic are out in the luxury market, for you to wear and enjoy.
Angela Ranieri joins us as Contributing Editor with an extensive background in Fashion, Beauty and Digital Media. She has worked with PRADA USA Corp., Jurlique, Amore Pacific and the New York Daily News in management capacities including Marketing, Client Relations, Employee Relations and Training Management. She has authored and published the column, “Ask Angela,” featured on the Amore Pacific USA website. Her beauty advice has been featured in Shape and Fitness Magazines and CBS News.
She is a graduate of Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Science in Communications and Writing. Angela also has an MBA in Marketing and Entrepreneurship from Northeastern University. While at Northeastern, her Market Research on the Electric Car was published for University use.
Angela is currently creator of Circuit Cosmetics, a Brand Ambassador for luxury beauty line, Patchology, an On Air Guest for QVC and blogger for www.thelaughinmommy.blogspot.com.
In her spare time you can find Angela running, spinning, practicing yoga or getting beautified. She resides on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with her Husband, Son, and Chihuahuas.