Apparently, age isn’t just a number anymore. It’s a letter. To be honest, I didn’t even know I was considered part of Gen Z until I started writing this article. All of these different labels—Gen X,Y, Z, Boomer, Millennial—are really just trendy ways of describing your age. But putting aside my age-labeling qualms, I figured it was time to start thinking about what our generation is wearing these days, particularly regarding our handbags.
On my walk to work, I passed through Soho and Nolita, two of the most overtly trendy neighborhoods attracting more than their fair share of skateboarding vloggers. Baguette bags, designer belt bags, mini bags, nylon backpacks, and saddlebags surrounded me. But while these bags had a modern look, the styles themselves were nothing new. And I realized that being a Gen Z is about bringing the past into the present.
I thought about one of my favorite handbags (a bluish-white monogrammed Yves Saint Laurent baguette bag from the 1950s that my grandmother passed down to me) and what it had lived through: In 1954, it was propped up on a wooden dresser in a Back Bay condo. In 1988, it was looped around my mom’s wrist on her way to a first date. And now, it’s in 2021 with me, walking the streets of the West Village.
Being a member of Gen Z means that we know how to revitalize a good trend. We hijack everything and use the past for inspiration. Take the baguette bag that flaunts the streets today, designed by Fendi and popularized in the 1990s. Look at the nylon backpack that was created by Miuccia Prada in 1984 to be the next It bag, or even the scrunchie bags, resurrecting the 1960s invention and fad of the scrunchie. All of our bags pay homage to the ones that made fashion history and our generation is remaking this with a distinctly 21st Century spin.
So, my age is the last letter in the alphabet. And just as Gen Z is about appreciating all of the bags and letters that came before us, it’s also up to us to restart the cycle. When I think about Gen Z’s trends now, I realize that at the core of it all is unity. We are the generation that unites all generations, and I’m pretty proud to be a part of it.
Keep scrolling to see all of the Gen Z handbag trends that are revitalizing fashion history's most wearable trends.