The Fanny Pack Is Taking The Fashion World By Storm

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When one thinks of chic, the last thing that comes to mind is probably the fanny pack (Better recognized as the “bum bag” in the UK). The accessory has often been the subject of much derision; many times being viewed as tasteless and somewhat weird. It would probably fit moreso on the hips of a tourist keeping their hands free at an amusement park than on a runway during fashion week.

However, this once fashion faux-pas is now seeing a rise in popularity; particularly from those circles that once shunned it.

Various high end fashion brands, such as Nike or Alexander Wang, have attempted to rebrand the bag; referring to it as a “waist bag”, “belt bag”, or “hip bag.” According to the NPD Group, a market research firm, within the past year alone, sales of the fanny pack have grown more than 10% and have reached $100 million in total revenue.

Retail technology firm Edited has commented on the recent rise of the accessory, stating “The industry has been buzzy about fanny packs/bum bag for a few seasons, but Q2 [2018] should be known as the quarter when it finally became a hit. New arrivals lifted 120% and sellouts grew 359% compared to Q2 2017.”

The bags have indeed been revamped, seeing a level of beauty and style that they previously had never been associated with. Whether it’s Gucci’s leather metalassé-stitch belt-bag or Louis Vuitton’s monogrammed bum bag, the fanny pack is having a moment like no other in the world of high fashion. What’s more is that the accessory is being priced anywhere from $25 to $1,500.

The bag is not only becoming popular with one gender, as it has made appearances in menswear and womenswear collections, though when it comes to menswear, the bag is styled to be worn across the chest or over the shoulder. Marshal Cohen, an analyst at NPD Group, says “Fanny packs, or ‘waist bag’ as we now call them, are the fastest growing segment in the men’s accessory market.”

Many attribute the rise of this bag to the recent popularity of streetwear, and in many ways that is perhaps true. The somewhat sportive accessory does have a place with the more laid-back and experimental context of street style. However, the fashion world does have a habit of taking things that were once considered unfashionable and unattractive and turning them into trends. One only has to think of examples such as the “dad shoe” for evidence.

However, this may be the first times that something like the fanny pack has gained such attention and acclaim. If anything, it seems to be a testament to just how even the most unexpected things can be transformed in such an industry.

Proud Latina Feminist. My likes include strong coffee, watching the previews that come on before the movie, and things that come in pretty packages. I've been a bibliophile and fashion lover since well before I could read or tie my own shoes.

    • Maya Asregadoo

      I suppose that fanny packs are more secure than purses, but I still think they’re ugly. I’ve embraced many strange trends, but this is one that’s just too strange for me.

    • Kimi Mier

      Personally, I’m thrilled that fanny packs are gaining popularity. They’re just so practical and you don’t have to worry about them falling off your shoulder or bouncing around like a purse does.

    • Corrada Spatola

      I understand that the 90’s are back along with fanny packs but I was honestly never a fan of the trend.

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