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FW22 Bags: Key Materials & Details

The Patterned Textile Bag

Upcycling Styles

A very strong trend for the whole bag category is to find sustainable solutions for materials. There are two main schools of thought: that of eco-sustainable materials, obtained by recycling waste materials, such as pineapple leaves (pinatex), apple or grape skins, or fish skin derived from food waste. Otherwise, research materials start with the use of natural materials such as mushrooms. The trend isn't about moving away from real leather, but from all synthetic, highly polluting substitutes.

On the other hand, the upcycling trend also affects handbags, offering this season the use of discarded materials, old stock, not only leather but also fabrics. RTW's own fabric scraps have been processed to be used to create bags or parts of bags. The matching of the bag pattern in a total look is another emerging trend. Jacquard fabric handbags gave us a first sign of strength in the FW21 shows, but the patchwork aesthetic has now contaminated not only Instagram, but has also arrived unexpectedly in the luxury goods. Certainly, these are foundational trends, but they have now become indispensable for every type of bag and for all markets, driven and supported by consumers and above all by the new generations.

The Padded Bag

Working chiaroscuros

The influence of minimalism and design simplicity have invaded the basics, leaving new interpretations of materials to give new 3D effects, new captivating chiaroscuros, created by quilting, gathers and pleats.

The quilted bag, which has always been a great classic, certainly remains an iconic piece to invest in. The novelty lies in slightly exaggerating the padding or playing with new quilting designs. Quilted bags have shown a growth of 37% for FW21, and is predicted to stay stable for FW22. Don't forget that for this kind of product, the new recycled nylons lend themselves to designing young, colourful versions with an attractive entry price.

Classic workings such as pleats and gathers are enriching and renewing classic shapes. This trend has already shown a certain magnitude and spread in the market, but still remains very high in the popularity of trendy single-product brands. For FW22, work on variations of these winning styles and basic techniques, which will continue to have a strong commercial impact.

Furry cuddling Styles

Even the bags get caught up in the desire for softness and a cuddly feeling. Day or evening, fluffy materials such as fur and feathers will remain in vogue for FW22. For FW21, the highlight of the trend will be the full fur bag, which with a growth rate of +525%, shows that it will still have big potential for the following seasons. For FW22, successful bags will have fur details too. Placed to frame the bag, to adorn the handles or the shoulder strap, furry details wil match the look with furry collars, cuffs or hats. Use different kind or fur, from long and hairy yeti styles to shearling inside-out effects, to colorful feathers, to update your everyday proposals, as well as those for special occasions.

Scrunchy Strap

Chunky Chains

Strong signs of a new focus on bag handles have already been seen on socials and in retail with a 320% increase over last year. Whereas a few years ago the trend was for embellished and removable shoulder straps, today we are in a more frivolous and feminine universe. Scrunchy handles were spotted earlier this year by our Instagram Trend Tracker and are now proving to be spreading and influencing even the biggest brands. Inspired by the 2000s, this trend will remain with a discreet magnitude, but to highlight a bag that is feminine, trendy and doesn't want to go unnoticed.

Speaking of handles, chains remain a highly visible trend for FW22, thanks to their commercial success, even if on a downwards curve. However, before the curtain comes down, chains become hyper-visible: metallic and shiny like jewels, synthetic or with ceramic or glazed finishes, they are imposing and decorative.

Sustainability First

In this season of dualities that oscillate between reassuring classics and exuberant novelties, the bag materials and details for FW22 reflect these extremes. Nevertheless, a common thread unites all the ingredients under one key word: sustainability.
This past year has been rich in research and development of alternative, less polluting, certified and sustainable materials. This is now an unavoidable trend. But the research goes further, and turns to finding a solution to reduce waste in the fashion industry. A new DIY aesthetic this year has prompted the patchwork spirit to invade Instagram profiles and influence the consumer’s aesthetic. This upcycling trend continues to pervade collections, which are designed to include material optimisation with even more mainstream results.
The research to obtain soft, supple effects with a casual and refined look is definitely important for FW22. New interpetations of matelassé, weaving and even pleating and gathering processes are giving chiaroscuro effects that elevate bags to sculptural objects.
On the other hand, airy and soft materials such as furs and feathers accessorise the looks.
As for the details, the trend of hardware as chains is always very strong in adoption and on social does not seem to wane. Fashion shows confirm it as an important trend, but a declining one.
To replace metal handles, new scrunchy shoulder straps are beginning to show signs. Where emerging brands are daring more with volume and materials, big brands are also introducing this detail for FW21.