Trendspotting: The Manbag
I’m pushing a trend that I spotted in New York City during Fashion Week: it’s the manbag. Its penetration into men’s fashion was initially a little disturbing. I found myself paying more attention to the men’s bags than the women’s.
The Goyard tote was popular with the fashion industry crowd. A tall and brave man sitting across from me at Phi was carrying a clutch. Everyday guys on the street weren’t carrying clutches but carried stylish bags in all shapes and sizes. The manbag is a big part of NYC streetstyle.
The manbag trend isn’t about the “It” bag and the ridiculous cyclical nature of the current model of selling women’s handbags. Utility is not compromised for stylish looks. Laptops, blackberries, cellphones, digital cameras, portable video game systems and mp3 players are just some examples of the gadgets the modern lifestyle has made ubiquitous. Pockets won’t cut it anymore.
Two Toronto based designers Krane (www.kranedesign.com) and Retrodelic (www.retrodelic.com) offer quality bags that are functional and very stylish. Krane Designs started in 2002 by Ken Chow. His style is utilitarian with military accents. Oil canvas and leather details are staples of a Krane bag. Ken has a small collection of coats that follow the same theme as the bags.
Ken Williams, designer for Retrodelic, is inspired by classic bags of the 40s and 50s to which he adds a modern silhouette. Luxury leathers in black, brown and tan are the principal materials for Retrodelic bags. The classically inspired styles make the bags perfect for work and casual use.
Both designers offer various styles of bags like the duffle, laptop, overnighter, messenger and briefcase in various sizes.
Retrodelic bags are available online at www.retrodelic.com.
Krane is available at Delphic (706 Queen Street W.) and Klaus (300 King Street E.) in Toronto.