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Why your childhood bead bags might be fashion’s new darling

/ 08:43 PM October 08, 2018

Around two summers ago, wicker bags started to become the It-accessory to carry around. What was once found only in the souvenir section, on moms’ arms when at the wet market, and strictly for the beach became a runway and Instagram #ootd staple.

We’re nearing the end of 2018 and the wicker bag is still on-trend, with fast-fashion brands producing new iterations every season. But, beware, as bead bags might just be taking their place.

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Shrimps Antonia Bag

Call it part of the continuing fascination we have over 1990s childhood memories. I recall how bead bags can be bought at the school bazaar, available in every size possible, usually among the arts and crafts booths. I had a mini one that served as a coin purse. There were even DIY kits available to make one for home economics class and also as a stocking filler for your younger siblings. It was a type of bag that went with your Sunday’s best and I remember how it was quite child-friendly as it was spill-proof. Moms and daughters would also wear matching sets of said bag. And that’s the reason why I can say that the bead bag did have its heyday back then but wasn’t exactly the chosen accessory of the cool kids.

Mango bead bag

If there’s one thing we’ve learned about fashion, nothing truly stays in the storage for too long. What was once deemed kitsch is now lauded as a must-have accessory for its novelty. Recently, one particular bead bag stood out among the rest. British brand Shrimps presented the Antonia bag as was part of their A/W 2017 collection. But it was this year, specifically, this past June and July, did publications Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar call it the “influencer bag for spring/summer 2018.”

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Influencers like Courtney Trope, Megan Ellaby, Estée Lalonde were caught showing off their bead bags along Elle UK and Man Repeller contributing editor Pandora Sykes. Just like chokers, deep brown lipstick, and even barrettes, the bead bag is getting on the love we’ve been giving the nostalgia train. It’s gaining traction as a quick search at Farfetch and Matches Fashion will yield bead bags from labels like Ganni, Delduca, Staud and Sensi Studio for their latest collections.

Working almost like a perfect example of fashion’s trickle down theory, the bead bag is now available at the fast-fashion shelves. A few imitations of the Antonia have been spotted. You’ll note that the trend is going strong when today’s favored bag silhouettes can be now bought in bead form. Peep Zara’s take on the bucket bag, done fully in beads and Topshop’s take on the tote in. You guessed it, beads.

As more brands present their own take on the bead bag, only the changing fashion seasons can tell if it will be as ubiquitous as the wicker bag is now. Or if it will  just be a micro-trend in our continuing fascination over childhood memorabilia. JB

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TAGS: 1990s, Bags, bead bags, beads, Nostalgia
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