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.
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.