Words by Sophia Watson
Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away… bum bags were mega cool (well, kind of anyway). Then at some point in the mid-80s, an evil group of daggy dads and geriatric tourists stole them away from the fashion rebels, making them out of cheap waterproof neon fabric, and filling them with sunblock, city maps and Fisherman’s Friend mints. Now, a new generation of hopeful fashion radicals are taking back the bum bag (‘fanny pack’ if you’re nasty), reclaiming your butt’s fave accessory.
Ok ok, this isn’t farshun Star Wars… but the bum bag is definitely one of those on-the-cusp accessories we lost to the normie dark side long ago like hypercolour, aviators and visors – or so we thought!
Sure, there have been a few attempts niche by festival-going, Vetements-loving hipsters to bring the item back in vogue the last few years – even the likes of Gucci and Nike did their darndest trying to reinvent the bum bag as cute little ‘pouches’. But it’s never been quite enough to shake its image as fashion’s antichrist (tied of course with platform crocs... eeew).
It seems however, against all odds, that fashion has revived the bum bag, parading them down the Spring #fashionweek18 runways and casually spotting them on off-duty models to defiantly rebel against the item’s polyester and neoprene rep.
Here, fashion’s renaissance peeps like Gucci’s Alessandro Michele, Balenciaga’s Demna Gvasalia and Marc Jacobs’ Marc Jacobs are taking bum bags from total taboo to triumphant.
If you’ve been following this season’s runways, you’ll have noticed the bum bag popping up in the collections of Gucci, Balenciaga, Chanel, Zimmerman, Stella McCartney Alexander Wang, Prada, Supreme, Valentino – just to name a few! From ultra-nineties nylon iterations to tiny belt bags, the bum bag was a total smash hit on the Spring 2018 runways, re-emerging from the trend grave in endless shapes and forms.
Landing the It-model stamp of approval, Bella Hadid and new-kid-on-the-block Kaia Gerber (daughter of model royalty Cindy Crawford) were seen around the New York and Milan runway traps showing off the updated way to wear their new leather-and-chain Alexander Wang fanny packs: by draping it across your chest like a cross body bag.
On the other hand, Bella’s model sisters Kendall Jenner and Karlie Kloss were repping a more traditional vibe, slinging their super cute quilted S/S18 Gucci and Chanel bum bags around their waists as thin, hipp-hugging belts on their low-rider jeans – so early 2000s, and loving it.
#FROW celeb guests A$AP Rocky and Chance the Rapper however, went full-vintage to their old-school roots, rocking the Balenciaga throwback the nylon-style bum bag complete with 90s-vibe bright colour realness.
But if you want to avoid looking like 67-year old tourist, you’re going to need to approach with caution...
Keeping your bum bag raw and simple is the key, and while it’s super fun to have some nylon, sequined, neon, quilted and chained options in the rotation, we all need that little black dress bag in our collection to rely on.
Wear it like Kendall, Bella or A$AP: The leather bag is removable from the belt and includes a long strap to give you the option to wear it as a side bag.