Tan canvas flap bags are among top preferences in a growing trend of backpacks and bags with heritage flair.

Backpacks in the traditional sense are getting a make-over these days as new “heritage” brands and streetwear are turning to creating their own versions of this key utilitarian accessory. No longer the territory of a monopolized few, the standard schoolyard Jansport, or even super-techy versions with built-in music listening device pockets and secret headphone holes, now an entirely diverse new range of brands are cleverly re-discovering and creating lines of backpacks, shoulder bags, computer bags, and male/female carry-alls that are moving on—with a reflection of the past.

Wool striped backpacks made with fabrics like Pendelton are on the rise.

Traipsing along with the Americana and heritage trends that continue to dominate streetwear, upper urbanwear, and designer contemporary are bags made with a camping vibe by including heritage fabrics such as workwear canvas, leather, wool, and brass, along with scholastic looks like varsity jackets in proud letterman-type blocked-color bags. This also includes, when possible, prominent stamps of Made in the USA or more locally, ‘Colorado” or “Maine.”

In addition, Native American patterns and a hippy sensibility of heavily knitted or woven wool bags are at the forefront of a growing trend within this subculture.

Here are some more of our top choices from the latest fashion trade shows and global fashion weeks of the season.

Distressed bags, like denim, are at a premium. Multiple stiches, patches add to the overall effect and invoke a sense of history or story to the utilitarian accessory.


Heavy wool flap bags with 2 buckles and prominent Made in the USA logos among important trends in bags.
Academic bags with varsity letters and bold colorblocks among growing trend in streetwear backpacks and bags.
Colorful mix of patterns, colors, including camo among the new range of backpacks intended for the outdoors, or urban outdoors.
Bold colors, simple styles, Made in Colorado statements.
Native American and South American print over the shoulder bags correspond with a nostalgic throwback to the 70s and indigenous designs and crafts.
More along the lines of mainstream backpacks, Skull Candy debuted their latest collection indicating that the designer headphone brand is making the transition into extending their accessories collections.