Are Puffy Bags the Next Big Bag Trend?


As the old cliche goes, two’s a coincidence but three is a trend. In the world of handbags, it takes a little more than that, but three bags of a particularly weird style is generally a good clue that designers are trying to make a look capital-H Happen. A couple weeks ago, I took note that Prada has some puffer coat-looking bags on the market while researching a story about the recent popularity of its nylon. Then last week, those Prada bags popped into my head when I noticed similarly puffy bags, both leather and nylon, in the Chanel Fall 2017 collection that just hit stores. Rounding out the trifecta earlier this week, Anya Hindmarch debuted a Spring 2018 collection at London Fashion Week that included many puffy bags. With all that in mind, now seemed like the time to mention it: are puffy bags about to be everywhere?

I feel like I’ve seen one or two more puffed-up purses in the past couple weeks, but I can’t remember who made them, and the description itself is nearly impossible to search for on a retail site or the internet at large. Also, because this maybe-trend is in its infancy, the bags aren’t simple to find by just scrolling through a retailer’s inventory. So there are a lot of questions here, but most of all: is this something anyone really wants?

Chanel has experimented with bags in the style of puffer coats at times before, most notably with the Coco Cocoon collection circa 2010. From a functional standpoint, the bags do have their advantages, especially for travel: they’re lightweight, frequently made of durable types of textile like nylon, and the puffy texture can help smooth out poking edges from things like laptops or hardback books in, say, an airplane carry-on. The look also feels vaguely sporty, which incorporates a huge fashion trend that designers have so far had trouble make work in the bag market.

The only problem, obviously, is I’m not sure puffy bags will work, either. It feels like a niche look at best, and something that might be particularly difficult to pull off in smaller bags. Despite that, it very much looks like a bunch of brands are likely gearing up to take a stab at it. Here are the three bags I’ve taken note of recently below, plus a cute and affordable option from MZ Wallace, who has been doing a quality job of making puffy look chic for years now.

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