Backpack, knapsack, rucksack… whatever you call it, these bags are ever-popular. While perhaps typically seen as a utilitarian style worn by schoolchildren, backpacks have a long history in high fashion. Delve into the archives of Chanel, Prada and Louis Vuitton, just to name a few, you’ll find that some of their best vintage and current beauties are backpacks. Clearly knowing a good thing, nearly every top luxury brand includes some form of back-carried bag.
Fashion is moving away from the teeny tiny bags which have dominated the runways in recent years and instead towards bigger and more functional styles. The allure of the backpack is stronger than ever this season. Combine that with the re-emergence of day trips, due to many lockdown restrictions being lifted, and backpacks should be a must for your spring/summer wish list this year.
Here are the styles we are eyeing!
Originally released in 1994, the now iconic Louis Vuitton Montsouris Backpack is the perfect chic carry-all … but for your back! The bucket shape of the bag is akin to the LV classic the Noé and the bags are secured with the same drawstring closure. The Montsouris style has the archetypal Vintage Vuitton look which is always in high demand. The bag was initially released in classic LV Monogram with a cowhide leather trim which patinas over time but was re-launched last year in Monogram Empreinte leather. The updated version of the Montsouris is also available in the classic Monogram with a classic tan or black leather trim. The backpack sports two slim leather straps, a leather top handle and a front pop out pocket.
The Montsouris comes in three sizes – PM, MM and GM. We think that the Noé style shape of the bag is better suited to the larger sizes.
Louis Vuitton Palm Springs Mini
How could we leave this mini treasure off of the list? The Palm Springs Mini Backpack is immensely popular and remains a staple for influencers. Its petite size means it can be worn traditionally as a backpack or a crossbody bag. Two adjustable and removable straps facilitate either carry option. The style is available in Monogram and Monogram Reverse canvas, both with a black leather trim.
Versatility is the name of the game for The Palm Springs Mini and makes it a stand out among other designer backpack offerings. The design is perfect for day trips this summer when you want all the practicality of a backpack while having a crossbody option.
Prada Nylon Backpack
When Italian luxury fashion house Prada launched a nylon backpack in 1985, the fashion crowd was aghast. Nylon was a utilitarian material typically incorporated in military uniforms. At the time, the using nylon for a high fashion bag was, to say the least, unorthodox. However, by the ‘90s, the Prada Nylon Backpack had gained international fame and clout. It became one of the most unlikely ‘It’ bags of all time. Beloved for practicality and uniqueness, as well as its hands-free and care-free look, it was the bag for supermodels and regular folks alike!
The backpack is available today in Prada’s new Re-Nylon, a sustainable take on the house’s classic material. Furthermore, Prada’s nylon bags from the ‘90s and ‘00s are experiencing a new renaissance, discovered by a new generation. Since the Prada Nylon Backpack is a certified classic AND an ‘It’ bag, what better backpack to invest in this summer?
Chanel Quilted CC Chain Backpack
Like the LV Montsouris Backpack, this Chanel backpack has a bucket bag-like shape and drawstring closure. It also features a pop out front pocket. Sporting signature Chanel features like the leather woven chain, interlocking CC logo and diamond stitched quilting, the backpack reeks of classic Chanel styling. The bag hangs loosely from both shoulders to create an ultra relaxed look.
There have been several iterations of this particular Chanel backpack style over the decades. However, one of our favorites is this style from the house’s Resort 2020 collection designed by Virginie Viard.
Gucci 1955 Horsebit Backpack
Another backpack with a bucket bag shape and drawstring closure (are you seeing a pattern emerging) is the Gucci 1955 Horsebit Backpack. Featuring the house’s classic Ophidia Monogram print and the famous Gucci horsebit buckle, which is found on everything from the house’s shoes to loafers, this backpack is a classic Gucci piece. It sports a flap with a buckle closure which, despite not making for easy access to the inside of the backpack, adds to the overall vintage look of the bag.
Hermès Kelly Ado Backpack
By far the most expensive on this list is the Hermès Kelly Ado Backpack. This super rare backpack was famously worn by Kylie Jenner’s daughter Stormi for her first day of school (we can’t relate). The body of the backpack is akin to the body of the classic Kelly bag and it features two simple leather straps which go over your shoulders. The style is sleek and elegant however due to the Kelly’s design, it doesn’t offer as much space inside as you’d expect from a backpack.
Fendi Mini FF Backpack
Made from lamb leather embossed with Fendi’s famous FF logo, this teeny backpack features chain and leather straps. Our favorite way to wear – slung over one shoulder for an effortlessly chic look. The mini size and functional design make it the perfect vacation companion.
Which backpack from our picks is your favorite? Will any make it onto your spring/summer wishlist? Let us know.