One key aspect of accessories that continue to carry more importance when it comes to overall individual style is the accompanying product of backpacks and bags. In our back-to-school street style report on backpacks, bags, and purses, we’ve carefully edited photos from a global perspective of top trends in new styles, brands, and looks within this growing aspect of the accessory marketplace to provide an insider perspective on where things are headed and just how certain backpacks or bags are becoming the defining aspect of certain fashion styles.

What’s interesting to note is that while backpacks, particularly Jansport, used to be the main carry-all among youth culture, there have been many changes in the last year as new styles, ideas, and DIY attitudes have added to provide a fresh mix to the genre. For example, as anime and Otaku culture, including the growing genre of manga comics continue to influence young people especially across North America and of course Japan, backpacks with animated characters are on the rise, as well as furry, fluffy animal backpacks. The cartoony, whimsical shapes and textures are a part of a movement in fashion influenced by Japanese anime. At several trade shows, for example, including the Anime Expo, furry rabbits, bears, and dogs were among the top preferred backpacks among guys and girls -particularly those dressed in Victorian Lolita styles. The animal backpacks have crossed-over, becoming a popular item on young people attending the Vans Warped Tour, Glastonbury, and other festivals.

Angled purses bought in vintage or thrift stores are another key aspect to the evolution of nu rave styles and 80’s, ’90’s appeal among a growing subculture of girls. We found many of these in metropolitan areas, often not bought new, but instead, saved from scouring vintage stores, particularly in London.

Other throwbacks on the cusp of spawning its own cult are fannypacks. All the rage on the festival circuit from Coachella in California to Europe, the return of fanny packs adds to the retro ’80’s era of wearing your pack as your belt accessory.

Big bags with pirate motifs, black, red, and white stripes and unique shapes such as faux guitars are also among new favorites, particularly those interested in a punk-chic look or ’70’s hippy styles. These bags are usually worn among those who’s styles are music-inspired -either punk rock or indie.

For guys, quick and simple drawstring backpacks in bright colors are becoming more popular. They are lightweight, unobtrusive, and yet provide a carry-all that brings a bit of color to styles -particularly in green, yellow, and red.

Bright colors in tiny patterns, such a LeSportSac backpacks, Hello Kitty bags and backpacks, and the growing favorite of Tokidoki bags also add a new splash to the traditional concept of lugging your stuff around in an unfashionable, mono-toned carry-all. These fun bags and backpacks are clearly a trend as seen across many different cultural hotspots and worn often on the most fashion-forward people.