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SS 2021: Accessoires Report

Aesthetic meets Purpose

This SS21 season has proposed a creative assortment of accessories with a focus on comfort and purpose. From reworked heritage to creative novelties, bags and shoes are following the shifts in peoples’ lifestyles. While we can spot some must-have pieces, it is mainly the creative interpretation of current sentiments and macro-trends, which is creating the stand-out accessories for the next season. 

We can sense a general appreciation for simplicity and functionality within the designs of accessories. This need for practicality is more specifically reflected within the current taste for recovery slides, puffy footwear and extra big bags. A less soft narrative is given to this utility concept via modular hardware accessories and large protective fisherman hats. 

At the same time, more aesthetically-driven pieces, like daring experimental sandals or geometric bags continue to push the boundaries of accessories design and expectation. A large number of bags and shoes with artisanal details or maximalist, indulgent beads and pearls continue to allow consumers to escape into virtual realities or nostalgic luxury dreams. In the end, accessories have always made people dream and buy into their fantasies. 

Our Accessories Report for SS21 is presenting the the main macro trends and links them to influences, shapes and materials to set your collection for the next Spring/Summer. Additionally, we also decipher the must-have items for the product categories Bags and Shoes separately at the end of the report. Take a look at our report and future-proof your next accessories collection! 

The Key Macrotrends


A value shift, accelerated by the current pandemic, has prioritized the conversation on sustainability and on the relationship between humans towards the planet and towards each other.  The translation of this spirit into accessories is made through textiles such as canvas, linen or other plant-based materials. Raw or fringed edges are the finishing of choice for this raw aesthetic and create a more purposeful and considered appeal of products. This narrative is depicted by Acne Studios, Jacquemus, The Row and Fendi, through their use of raw materials, neutral and un-dyed color palettes and the poetic and purposeful imperfection that comes with nature. 

Protected Warrior

This soft utility trend is the answer to practicality and reassurance longed for by consumers. The spirit of this macro-sentiment seems almost warrior-like, while celebrating the outdoors and aspiring a future, in which we protect nature and are being protected from nature. A major focus are detachable and adjustable hardware and the evolution of small mini-teeth bags from previous seeasons. Kenzo is leading this trend with protective hats, camping-inspired accessories, while Fendi and Marine Serre are also appropriating flasks and bottles into their looks. 

Artisanal Craft

A focus on expressional craft is combining the need for balance and creativity.  Celebrating ancient artistry and local communities, this trend aims to generate newness while expressing a more personal DIY-Aesthetic and appeal. Beads, braiding and crochet are used from oversized bags to seemingly one-of-a-kind sandals. Altuzarra’s crafted platform sandals, knitted XL-bags and Alberta Ferretti’s crochet and fringe details are perfect examples of this key trend. 

Form & Function

This digital and reality-fusing trend is the answer to our fluid lifestyles and the integration of technologies. Looking for innovation, form and function means the combination of activewear, workwear and leisurewear. The integration of virtual realities combined with a need for wellness,  comfort yet timeless design are the focal point for this trend. For shoes, we can see an activewear-inspired rise of recovery-slides and sneakers. Coperni and Stella McCartney have given a contemporary, high-end interpretation of their plateau flip-flops. Nylon is the top material to give your oversized bags or shoppers an activewear update. Use this trend to create hybrid pieces by designing accessories, that transition throughout the seasons and adapt to various occasions as well. 


The #cottagecore trend is bringing a dreamy yet practical element to the accessories for SS21. The idea of romantic countryside picnics introduces baskets and cutlery as useful updates to straw-items. Rain boots, Clogs and bucket hats also feed into this rustic ideal of gardening and self-sufficiency. The more practical side of this trend is counteracted with a nostalgic vision. Fendi proposed lace and openwork bags, while Maison Kitsuné is opting for head-scarfs with a strong vintage appeal.

Timeless Minimalism

The less but better attitude has also hit the accessories of SS21. A minimal and simple approach is elevated through luxurious qualities and a contemporary edge to classical pieces. In terms of products, we can follow two narratives within this trend: slouchy and soft luxury contrast sharp edges and sleek hardware elements. The new angular and geometric must-have bags, by Coperni or Givenchy,  fit perfect to this refined timeless aesthetic. Opt for soft leathers and neutral tones for your soft volume products, like the puffy Proenza Shouler slides. 

Dreamy Maximalist

During times of crisis dreams and fantasies seem to propose the perfect escapes. A highly maximalist adaption of optimistic vacation dreams and overcharged romanticism is on of those escapes. This eclectic fantasy is continuing to increase on the runways. Lace, pearls and crystals are the top materials to capture this joyful and indulgent consumer sentiment. Update your bestsellers with details or rework the new must-have pieces of the season with dreamy maximalism. Simone Rocha’s variety of maximalist pearl and seashell clutches is capturing this trend perfectly. Burberry proposes a more subtle version of a key-trend fishnet bag made from beads, while Molly Goddard is going all platform for her bold slides.

Key Pieces: Bags

The Angular Bag
The Big Bag
The Phonecase
The Utility Accessoire

Key Pieces: Shoes

The Platform
The Experimental Sandal
The Comfy Slide
The Pointy Toe

The Must-Haves for SS21

Livetrend has detected some key-pieces and shapes for the product groups bags and footwear. The hyper oversized bag is a continuous key-piece from FW, as are the small technical bags. Push the boundaries of those products, exaggerate the size of the big bags even more and combine various mini-bags with each other. Big novelties are angular experimental bags and modular accessories like drinking-bottles or camping-inspired gadgets. 

In terms of shoes, rebalance experimental sandals against comfortable and textured slip-ons and clogs. Flat shoes and plateau soles are the major trend across all categories of footwear, ranging from sandals to slides and boots. For heeled shoes, we can detect a focus on pointy shapes and barely-there heels. 

The color and material choice is key to make those pieces relevant for the next season. Have a look at our Top Fabrics and Top Colors report to get inspired. Make sure that you choose the right color palette and textiles to rework the new bestsellers and stay right on trend! 

25 October 2020