Maybe you’ve noticed all the hype lately. In boutiques and on the runway, brands have been highlighting some major throwbacks. While entirely new styles abound, we’ve been seeing more and more of a retro business model, where brands are revisiting and revamping older styles—essentially, making the old relevant again (and we’re not talking vintage this time).
Regardless of how you feel about this trend—genius? not enough creativity?—it’s clear that it’s making a big splash in the world of designer fashion. So let’s look at some of the hottest “reissue” bags and compare them to the newer styles offered by the same brands. Then, we’ll let you make the ultimate decision on old versus new.
Old: Dior Saddle Bag
This throwback has taken the bag world by storm. Shaped like a horse saddle, the iconic Dior Saddle Bag has made a complete comeback. First introduced at the turn of the millennium, it was a staple of the 00s (Sex and the City, anyone?). Maria Grazia Chiuri, creative director of Dior, noticed the increasing popularity of vintage Saddle Bags and reintroduced it this year. Though popular, it’s inspired a polarizing, love-it-or-hate-it reaction.
New: Dior J’Adior
Ah, a Dior bag that perhaps couldn’t be more different from the Saddle Bag. This one’s all 2010s-chic, with a streamlined design and a healthy does of logomania. Though released last year, we’d say it’s still the hottest new style Dior has to offer. Like the Saddle Bag, the reception has also been mixed.
Old: Hermès Herbag
If you expected to see Birkins, Kellys, and Constances on the Hermès runway this fashion week, you were out of luck. The upshot? A complete celebration of the Herbag (sometimes seen as the Kelly’s little cousin), a bag that’s been around for some time but has never received quite as much attention as it is now.
This isn’t technically a reissue, but it is a clear example of a brand revisiting and promoting an older design, ultimately breathing new life into it.
New: Hermès 24/24
Hermès doesn’t often come out with new bag styles, but the 24/24 is the hit of the year. Resembling a slouchy Kelly, this shoulder bag has quickly become an alternative to the B/K/C trifecta.
Old: Prada Nylon Backpack
Prada’s revisiting of its classic nylon backpack, reminiscent of the 90s and early 00s, was one of the brand’s savviest business moves of recent years. Featured by the Kardashians—and now by fashionistas all over IG—this throwback is entirely different from the brand’s new designs and yet inspires just as much of a following.
Also, let’s not forget this classic scene from the 1999 film 10 Things I Hate About You:
“There’s a difference between like and love. Because, I like my Skechers, but I love my Prada backpack.”
“But I love my Skechers.”
“That’s because you don’t have a Prada backpack.”
New: Prada Diagramme Shoulder Bag
We haven’t seen many bold new Prada designs recently, but the quilted Diagramme—perhaps seen as Prada’s answer to the Chanel Classic Flap and Gucci Marmont—is a relatively new design that’s been buoying the brand in recent months.
Would you rather have the Diagramme or the nylon backpack?
Old: Chanel 2.55 Flap
First designed by Coco Chanel in 1955, the iconic handbag was reissued by Karl Largerfeld in 2005 to celebrate its 50th anniversary.
We know, of course, that this one isn’t a recent reissue, but it seemed a little silly to talk about reissues without mentioning the most famous—and successful—one of all. While this trend may be particularly popular right now, the 2.55 Flap reminds us that designers have been revisiting old bags for decades.
New: Chanel 31
And finally, the newest Chanel design: the 31 bag. Used both as a tote and, once folded over, a clutch, the 31 bag is a new shapeshifting design that incorporates classic Chanel quilting and large bag designs reminiscent of the 1970s. Pretty far in style from the 2.55 flap, we have to say, but still quintessential Chanel.
Setting vintage aside, are you an “old” or “new” kind of fashionista? Are you instinctually drawn to the classic and throwback styles, or is it newly-designed trends that catchy our eye? Tell us your preferences below!
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