Handbag History: The Evolution Of Style From The 1970s Till Now

Handbags have long been a fashion staple in every woman’s wardrobe. Not only is a handbag incredibly useful for transporting everything you need day-to-day but it’s also the perfect way to dress up or add a visual boost to your style. From a vintage Celine Bag to trendy shoulder bags in a range of materials, to tote bags, cross, satchels, clutches, bucket, and messenger bags, there really is no shortage of handbags you can choose from to complete your look nowadays.

Handbag History: The Evolution Of Style From The 1970s Till Now

Handbags have been seen in a variety of ancient texts and imagery, even being depicted in some hieroglyphics from ancient Egypt. While the handbag has gone through countless evolutions and changes over centuries to become the fashion staple that it is today, the style changes over the last number of decades are what is arguably most intriguing, as the modern handbag we know so well evolved to retain its crown as the must-have accessory.

Let’s take a look at how handbag style has evolved since the 1970s to become what we know today.

Seventies Handbag Styles

In 1972, Coach announced its classic saddle bag handbag collection. This handbag alone helped leather to become the huge trend that it was throughout the 1970s. Handbags in the seventies were typically leather. However, in 1974, LeSportsac released a range of nylon bags which became very popular and were the must-have item fashion accessory for a number of years.

The Eighties Birkin Bag

The large, deep Birkin Bag, made famous by English songwriter, actress, and former model Jane Birken, was a huge hit in the eighties. Offering a handbag that screamed style but offered incredible practicality with its spaciousness, celebrities and anyone else with the cash was running for these bags which are now collector’s items, selling for more than $100,000!

Gimmicky Or Glamourous Nineties

The TV Show, Sex And The City was a huge success in the nineties. The appearance of the Baguette style bag created by Fendi did wonders for this particular bag style instantly solidifying its place in handbag history. As well as high-fashion glamorous handbags, however, the nineties was also a time for crazy, kitsch designs that included inflatable handbags, bags with holograms, and transparent bags, all of which were popular.

Hip And Trendy Noughties

During the noughties, activewear made a big comeback with TV stars like the Kardashians helping the trend to catch on. Trendy tracksuits gave birth to trendy cloth purses to match the look. These colourful and funky designs came in a range of styles, colors, patterns, and materials with everything from casual day-to-day styles to premium offerings such as the iconic Dior saddle bag or the Chloé Paddington with its distinguishable padlock proudly adorning the front of this popular style.

Nowadays, You Can Have It All And Choose Any Style That You Like

Regardless of your look, style, or budget, nowadays there is no end to the handbag choices available to you. The growth of e-commerce in the last number of years has allowed consumers to purchase handbags brand new or pre-loved with a staggering selection to choose from. Whether you want a glamourous, sophisticated, modern, bohemian, trendy, athletic, gothic, or any other type of look, you can find a handbag to meet your needs.

What’s more, with an increasing number of Australian consumers focused on where the products they buy are being made, more producers are offering vegan-friendly, sustainable, and environmentally-friendly materials for fashionistas to choose from. Take inspiration from the eras that have gone before and choose a handbag that will compliment your look and style and help you to feel great.