Is the craze for men’s bags going beyond sneakers?

On YouTube, there’s a whole subculture of sneakerheads showing off their impressive shoe collections. In a video from 2020, which has over a million views, a 17-year-old shows us his million-dollar collection, including a pair of air jordans signed by the basketball player Chris Paul. There is also a popular Complex series that goes shopping with sneaker fanatic celebrities like pete davidson and Bella Hadid (of which the latter once said, “If he’s successful in these…homeboy’s gonna, like, get it”). In the luxury menswear resale space, it’s clear that the appetite for unique sneaker collection persists. But it turns out that searches for rare men’s handbags are coming up more and more on his heels.

The democratization of men’s bags

There was a time when handbags were considered an accessory reserved for women. Remember this scene in The hangover when the crew laughs at Alanthe man’s handbag? “It’s called a satchel,” jokes Alan. But as the fashion industry (and consumers) have taken a more gender-neutral approach to design, skirts, heels and bags are (finally) increasingly becoming a unisex item. On Rebag– a popular designer bag resale site – men currently make up between a third and half of the customer base. “Our expanded assortment of luxury handbags by brands like Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Pradaand Chanel– especially cross-body bags, messenger bags, cross-body styles and sports bags – are popular among male consumers,” says Charles GorreCEO and Founder of Rebag.

Lil Nas XPhoto: Getty Images

Harry Styles Photo: Getty Images

Highly desirable collaborations

In the United States, the handbag clientele StockX– another popular online resale market – is now evenly split between men and women. rachel maker, StockX‘s director of accessories, says the growing interest in bags is no different from how men have obsessed over sneakers in the past. “Many of the factors that have influenced sneaker culture and made limited-edition sneakers so sought-after are also fueling the demand for men’s bags and accessories,” she says, adding that exclusive bags or unique designer collaborations in their kind have made bags all the more coveted. On StockXfor example, the Louis Vuitton x Supreme bags continue to be a top item and sales for Louis Vuitton accessories in general (including bags but not shoes) have grown nearly 90% over the past three years.

It’s no coincidence that catwalks and red carpets have been filled with chic men’s bags lately. As the number of men’s bag options has increased, the resale market has increased through a ripple effect (although that doesn’t mean men aren’t buying women’s styles as well). For this spring 2022 season alone, there were plenty of men’s bags to see. Jil Sander had large brown leather hobo bags on its runways, while Hermès showed off its classic Birkin tote and Dior proposed new versions of his signature Saddle shoulder bags. Styles are still decidedly masculine, although less traditional than a briefcase or backpack. On rehearsals, meanwhile, A-list celebrities like Jaden Smith, Harry Stylesand Lil Nas X are all out and proven bags are universal parts—fashions prefer a classic Gucci Jackie styling and Nas a bolder dog-shaped bag by Thom Browne.

Not enough to overshadow the sneaker craze

The sneaker craze is still going strong. According to top menswear buyers for Saks Fifth Avenue and Bergdorf Goodmanthe designer sneaker market is as hot and robust as ever – check out the new Gucci x Adidas sneakers, which are already on StockX. The new bag-collecting craze is more piggybacking than outright overtaking. “The men’s bag resale market doesn’t so much take over the sneaker resale market as it builds upon it,” says Makar. “There has been a shift among male sneaker fans. Instead of sneakers being the dominant spending category, accessories now compete with sneakers for share of the wallet.