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When asked to think of a summer bag, perhaps the first to come to mind is a picnic basket-style bag that screams “I’ve been on holiday at the beach.” But even if you haven’t and even if it isn’t Spring/Summer season, the woven basket bag is a designer and high street staple that can be worn year-round any year.
While you might think the straw basket bag is a brand new trend, it certainly isn’t and has been around much longer than you think. While woven bags have certainly had a moment in the fashion spotlight for the past few years, it has a much richer history than what you see on the surface and is undeniably a timeless summer-inspired signature accessory.
So no matter what the season, feel free to set your usual leather bag aside for something a little more unique and just as timeless.
It may surprise you that the basket bags we’re seeing today as celebrity style staples and in designer shop windows utilise basketry techniques dating back thousands of years ago, with the art of weaving bags made of natural materials and dried grass stretching all the way back to ancient Egypt and many parts of Asia.
Despite the bag having been around for so long, it really picked up in modern fashion back in the 1950s, with the straw tote bag becoming a staple in summer holiday fashion for the elite as it signified the ability to vacation abroad, and was also sported by style icons like Audrey Hepburn.
But the straw tote bag truly picked up steam in the 1960s and 1970s when singer and model Jane Birkin, now also known as the namesake for the iconic Hermès Birkin bag, would wear a picnic basket as an accessory around Europe. And thus, the modern-day woven bag trend was born.
Today, this bag trend has taken over the internet and has become a global must-have, with millions of people awaiting the arrival of raffia straw bags in the Spring/Summer catalogue of nearly every designer fashion brand.
Online fashion platform Lyst has found that the words “straw,” “raffia,” and “wicker” are being searched 56% more every year, sales for the woven bag have increased on Matchesfashion.com, and on Pinterest, there was a 573% increase in 2017 alone in pins for raffia straw woven bags.
However, while the straw bag trend has certainly become a popular motif in fashion, it definitely has not become a fad, as we get to see fashion brands put a new twist on the classic every season.
The Loewe basket bag made with toquilla straw with leather details has become a favourite among fashionistas and beach-goers alike thanks to its practical yet eye-catching and feminine shape.
Serpui turned the classic woven bag into something much more striking, using colourfully dyed straw often embellished with fun tropical and beach motifs for evening bags.
Saint Laurent has a series of straw bags with leather straps perfect for the summer. Ulla Johnson’s Tautou silhouette has its own cult following, being the most viewed woven bag on Lyst.
With all of this and more, it’s become clear that the basket bag has been here, and is absolutely here to stay. So if you’ve been on the fence about getting one, then this is your sign to finally get the bag you’ve been eyeing.
While straw bags have definitely made a comeback in a big way these past few years, it definitely isn’t something new, having been around for centuries.
But even so, the silhouette has been revived time and time again thanks to innovative designers constantly pushing the envelope and the fashion icons that support and wear them. With all the different styles out there right now, there’s no doubt that you’ll find the perfect woven bag for you.
With so many different bag styles out there now and with ever-changing trends, there definitely isn’t just a single one that is at the top of everyone’s list. In terms of timelessness, however, the woven bag is one that will not go out of fashion no matter what, and every designer brand you can think of has created its own rendition of the style.
In the age of the smartphone, everyone has been carrying less and less, and therefore handbags have also been getting smaller. Baguette bags have been making a comeback in a huge way, and you can definitely find a woven one just by a quick search online.