I can’t take credit for the observation that young, fashionable men have started carrying crossbody bags. That honor goes to one Max Stein of Brigade Talent, who you may have spotted from time to time on Man Repeller’s Instagram Stories. (He works out of our office.)
He slacked me this gemstone of a news bite on what I thought was going to be a relatively low-key Wednesday afternoon, but I quickly realized the naïveté of that assumption when I started sniffing through the evidence.
Quick disclaimer that I naturally spent the first five minutes of looking at this photo trying to figure out why he cropped out his entire head. Bad hair day? Polyjuice Potion mishap? Post-detective work, my eyes traveled yonder to the primary focus of this investigation: his crossbody bag.
Please note, as I did, that Anwar is wearing it in full crossbody mode. By that I mean he has slung it directly across his chest, from opposite shoulder to hip, thusly embracing the full hands-free, non-shoulder-slipping utilitarian capabilities a crossbody bag has to offer.
Please note, also, the bag’s bright blue hue and tell-tale Goyard pattern. It is surely an “it” crossbody bag if there ever was one, which brings me to my revelation: In this photo, Anwar is clearly embracing the 360-degree crossbody bag experience, from functionality to aesthetic.
His commitment to wearing said bag not just as a vessel for stuff but rather as a bonafide badge of honor signals that wearing it was not simply a grab-and-go WTVR type of decision but rather a deliberate, stylistic choice — and that indicates the possibility of a trend on the verge of a comeback. (Not that crossbody bags ever fully “left,” but based on my personal recollection, their heyday occurred from 2012 to 2014, and we haven’t quite reached the same fervor since).
I know what you’re thinking: Can men bring back a trend for women?
It’s a fair question. I would say the answer is “rarely.” The one significant example that comes to mind is [drumroll please]…
Rounded top hats.
Pharrell, a noted fashionable man, started wearing this hat style in 2014. Per Grazia, his was a remake of Vivienne Westwood’s 1980s Buffalo hat, and hers was inspired by “Peruvian women wearing bowler hats.” He had them in several shades and wore them all over the place, from the Grammys to the red carpet to the video for his song “Marilyn Monroe” to errand-running.
Lo and behold, look what showed up on the runway for Marc Jacobs Fall/Winter 2017:
And A.W.A.K.E. Spring/Summer 2018:
Maybe it’s a reach. Maybe we’ll see a panoply of crossbody bags at women’s fashion week in 2020.
If that does happen, I told you so.
Feature photo by Jason Merritt via Getty Images.