There’s a scene in an episode from the popular sitcom Friends where the leading man, Joey, is derided for carrying a bag because, apparently, it is something women are more suited to owning. Bowing down to pressure (and gender norms), he gives it up, but cannot help exclaiming how comfortable and convenient the bag was and how gorgeous it looked.
Going by this scene, men’s bags are far from being popular. No matter how convenient and stylish the bags may look, it will be the last thing on their minds, unlike women, stereotypically speaking. But when you have brands like Prada, Givenchy, Bottega Veneta and Dolce & Gabbana vouching for the trendiness and ease of these bags, would it make a difference?
Let us see. Bags by Bottega Veneta comprise intricately crafted woven leather and come with a removable, adjustable shoulder strap and inside pockets – very proper to show off at the workplace. “Bottega Veneta's artistic taste is understated, though the craftsmanship is often extravagant and lavish. There is a global language of design and quality that is very well understood in India as it is in New York or Paris,” says Priyanka Chawla, style advisor at Darveys. Costing anywhere between 1.5 lakh-2.5 lakh, these bags are a great combination of luxury and comfort.
Then there are bags by Prada, whose price goes up to 2 lakh. Its core luxury features are its palladium finish hardware and titanium zippers. It also carries a metal logo on the outside, as well as quilted leather styling. Quaint and prim, the bags come with spacious compartments and make carrying things easy.
But if you want to go quirky, then Dolce & Gabbana is the one for you. It comes in floral, animal and D&G Family prints, but very befitting for travelling. Add to that leather handles, printed logo details, removable shoulder strap and a padlock closure, and you can have your D&G bag of choice for 1.5 lakh.
Givenchy, on the other hand, chooses to go modern and classy, with its marble prints, studs styling and embossed leather. If that doesn’t sway you already, it also has both internal and external pockets and double handles. Ranging up to 1.5 lakh, the bags come with a front logo, placed where everyone can see.
So, how is the market for luxury bags such as these here? Chawla says that the Indian consumer is pretty advanced and the luxury market pretty active. Chawla adss, “We believe that the customer's aesthetic insight is very strong here. This is also a time when there seems to be a very positive and global outlook with respect to fashion. And the brands we are talking about are extremely popular and are doing great in the luxury bags segment.”