What it is:The satchel bag has been around for hundreds of years, yet its specific origins remain unknown. Linked to everything from Roman soldiers to Scottish monks, the piece has been regularly adapted and transformed to fit the time period it was found in. Now, however, its design is distinctive, more often than not defined by a strong structure to serve in its primary function of carrying books. The bag is typically box-like, in a rectangular shape with a flat bottom and complete with a flap that acts as a cover. Its closure usually involves a buckle or clasp, however this differs per design.
Why you’ll want it:If there was ever a bag type that would be considered a ‘classic staple’ it would be the satchel. Its consistent presence among the fashion crowd over the past decades has ensured it has a permanent place in collections, season after season, meaning that it is a safe-bet when looking to form an accessory offering that will deliver. This doesn’t mean that there is a need to stick to these standardised formats, however. As the years go on, designers and brands continue to experiment and update the bag, applying their own design codes to create revitalised versions and bring it up to date for the modern shopper.
Where we’ve seen it:Satchels have always been a distinct element to designer accessory collections, and for SS24 this continued to remain true. For this season, the piece came in an array of shapes and materials, exhibiting the design opportunities such a look can offer. At Fendi, for example, a crocodile skin-like texture refined the minimalist shape, similar to that at Louis Vuitton, where the item was casualised using buckles and a fabric strap. At Rhude and Dries Van Noten, the satchel was elevated with alternative fastenings; one with an enlarged flap, the other folding in on itself. Dior Men, however, stuck closely to the traditional silhouette, but added a branded clasp and subtle embellishments to bring depth and texture.
How to style it:The satchel is a versatile bag choice, and can be added to just about any outfit, providing functionality where needed. To really lean into its aesthetic, however, we can take inspiration from your local geography teacher – who is likely to be considered trendy now by the younger generation – utilising corduroy jeans, a v-neck sweater, button up shirt and oversized blazer to tap into the classic academia look. An alternative to this is adding the bag to a midi dress and knee-length boot combo, referencing another take on academia fashion popularised by Pinterest influencers. The satchel is a timeless piece, a staple in the accessory category that will always be favoured among consumers looking for a practical yet stylish handbag. With looks appealing to all genders, there are no limitations on how to apply such an item, giving it a broad audience and many possibilities.
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