Over the past year, the archetypal fanny pack wearer shifted in my mind from someone wearing it as an ironic accessory at an ‘80s-themed party to the stone-cold silhouette of a Howard Street shopper. With the news of fanny packs dominating the accessories market this year, I can now rest easy that I haven’t, in fact, been in New York for too long. Quartz reported that fanny packs accounted for almost 25% of the US accessories industry’s growth this year.
After the fanny pack’s surge in popularity in the ‘80s, they became mostly a joke—something that no one except maybe your great aunt on vacation wore. But over the last year, they were given a high-fashion rebrand, called instead “belt bags” or “waist bags,” and redesigned for either athletic efficiency, in the case of, say, this Champion bag or a chicly nostalgic homage, with the Gucci logo belt bag.
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Russian tourist souvenirs. Putin tourist tee and swarovski fanny pack. This exclusive drop for KM20 Moscow is a reflection of my first trip to Russia as a tourist in May 2017 when I kicked off my global retail tour. Both items will be available tomorrow at @kuznetskymost20 and Friday 3/16 on www.heronpreston.com
“Changing consumer behaviors, such as travel and the pursuit of convenience, are changing the way consumers everywhere think about the accessories they need,” NPD trend analyst Beth Goldstein said in a press release.
So much of our fashion right now is predicated on total efficiency. Athleisure means comfort and ease, with few unnecessary details incorporated. People don’t want to be held down by something in their hands or swinging from their shoulders. They’re also, apparently, the fastest-growing accessory for men, which makes sense considering the number of luxury streetwear designers currently marketing them.
Also, as noted by several adoring fans, fanny packs are great bags to party with—you don’t have to worry about hunting down your bag after a few drinks, screaming frantically at everyone around to help find your purse when you’re actually sitting on it, making everyone kind of hate you the rest of the night.
So, it would seem, the fanny pack is a win-win situation for all: stylishly androgynous, hands-free, a brazen style statement. And besides, 2018 was a battlezone—going into 2019, who has time to be encumbered by a purse?