The cross-body bag: a trend that is still going strong

If you call yourself a fashion expert but don't own a single cross-body bag in your wardrobe, can you even claim to be one? On a serious note, if you told us that you don't own any, we might not even believe you here at Vintega... The cross-body bag is a must-have for every fashionista: since it was first introduced in the 20th century, designers have revisited this format and enhanced it so that it remains a fashion statement throughout the decades... In 2021, the cross-body handbag is more than ever on trend! In this article, we analyze the reasons for its success and the unique appeal of this type of model.

A bit of history

When it comes to innovating and making a difference in women's daily lives, Chanel and Hermès are the absolute champions! This is especially true when considering shoulder bags. The first Fashion House to take the plunge was Hermès, which tried its luck in 1935 with a model featuring a longer strap, known as the "bag with straps" (“sac à courroies” in French). Perhaps too modern for its time, this luxury handbag failed to win over the women. But only for the time being...!

In the meantime, Coco Chanel and her wish to bring change to women's wardrobes entered the fray. Why bother with a clutch that you have to carry in your hand or a small handbag on your forearm if you can find a practical and elegant alternative? The designer took inspiration from men's military bags to create a fashion accessory for women that would be as functional as a satchel. This is how the Chanel 2.55 saw the light of day: a chain bag that can be worn on the shoulder. 

Once more, fashion showed that it was more than just an aesthetic fad: thanks to the freedom of movement it offered (and still does!), the shoulder bag truly created a new kind of empowerment for women. It is one thing to feel pretty and stylish, but it is even better if it can be done in a comfortable way. For women, it meant no more bags that slipped out of their hands or turned their arms into a coat rack! You should really be grateful for the invention of the cross-body bag: now you can carry your stuff around with you while drinking your cappuccino with one hand and taking a selfie with the other!

It wasn't the end of the story for Hermes. The House's strap bag made a comeback a year after the Chanel 2.55, and what a comeback! Grace of Monaco wore it during a public outing, and used it to conceal the first signs of her pregnancy. The Fashion House renamed this Hermès handbag the "Kelly", which proved to be a huge success. With both a classic handle and a shoulder strap, this model is still one of the best-selling women's bags in the world!

The most iconic cross-body bags

If Chanel was a trailblazer in the fashion industry with the 2.55 cross-body bag and its revisited version, the Timeless, the other luxury leather goods companies quickly jumped on the bandwagon!

So what makes the shoulder bag so popular? It comes in all shapes and sizes and complements any style to perfection. The Gucci Marmont, one of the trendiest shoulder bags of the moment, is a great example of this: worn across the body on a loose white blouse, its chain adds a stylish note to the outfit.

Another successful shoulder bag model: the Givenchy Antigona. With its two handles and removable strap, this leather tote bag owes its popularity to its minimalist style. Since it was launched in 2011, its clean lines have won over celebrities, from Nicole Richie to Hailey Baldwin. 

Another it-bag you might like is the Chloé Drew. From its original oval shape to its rectangular buckle, not to mention the rings on top: every detail of this bag is iconic! 

As a sign of the current craze for cross-body bags, a number of Fashion Houses have recently launched revisited versions of some of their great classics now available with a strap. This is particularly true of Louis Vuitton, whose famous models like the Alma and Speedy are sold with a removable shoulder strap since 2011. 

Find these models and many others among the selection of second-hand bags available on Vintega!

Some shoulder bags spotted in recent shows

Who said the shoulder bag was boring? Not us, that's for sure! Thanks to its strap, this type of model can be worn in many different ways. From the looks spotted during the recent haute couture shows, it is clear the cross-body bag is a timeless accessory that still has a bright future ahead of it! Whether it's a vintage-looking satchel from the Chloé or Prada Fall 2020 Fashion Week or a beaded bucket bag from the Chanel Spring 2021 collection, our dreams are filled with trendy bags!

Until you can invest in one of the luxury bags you saw on the runways this season, be sure to check out Vintega's second-hand bag online store!

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