The end of winter is in sight: Time to move through those oversized totes, dark prints, heavy fabrics, and lighten thing up. Here are five Spring & Summer 2020 Handbag Trends for boutique owners to buy into.
Woven straw and wicker bags may not be on the outs just yet—keep a style or two on hand for summer, at least—but the consumer craze has dwindled. Round Bali Bags, especially, have seen brighter days. In their place: Woven leather bags. Unlike their straw predecessor, these won't be mistaken for beach bags, so will stand a longer shelf life. Buy in neutral colors and you won't have to worry about still sitting on these at 75% off in September. Shoppers will be looking for this style in every size, from oversized totes to small clutches.
Not a groundbreaking style, but one that continues to come in and out of trend every few years, likely taking the place of round canteen bags this spring. We've already seen pretty traditional structured and slouch leather versions hit the market, as well as smaller clutches and unique materials like rattan (a good option if your customers are still craving straw bags for summer!).
The belt bag reemerged from the ‘90s and hit the runway a year or two ago, and while some high street brands and retailers caught on quickly, they didn't find their way into many mid-market boutiques. This spring and summer, we predict a higher demand as people realize this is not their mother's school field trip/Disney World/1980s fanny pack.
Test your customers' reactions by starting with a neutral version, like Kittsona's Happy Day Belt Bag, or Twig & Willow's Olive Belt Bag, and if your sell-through reports are showing those move at a strong margin, test bringing in different colors and fabrications, like velvet or raffia.
The structured bag movement trend kicked off with circle bags a couple years ago, but 2020 will be the year of Box Bags. Blame it on Midge Maisel: The popular show's frequent display of frame and other structured handbags has undoubtedly contributed to the chic comeback of a style reminiscent of the 1950s and 60s. In addition to classic leather Jackie Kennedy-approved pieces, boutiques with more of a coastal or boho can still capitalize on the trend with woven options.
PVC: Not just for your grandmother's couch. Like fanny packs, clear bags resurfaced from the dead on runways ~2018, but are just now being adopted by the masses. Southern boutiques especially, where gameday fashion is its own category, will see demand for transparent handbags, as stadiums crack down on personal bag regulations. Capri Designs, Jon Hart (spotted at Maude), and NuWomen (sold at Scout & Molly's Lexington) are three PVC bag vendors to look into.
Honorary Mention: Tiny Bags
Likely with thanks to Lizzo, mini purses have been the talk of the town this winter. Good impractical as hell, they aren't yet widely available among mid-market fashion brands, though certainly a style to keep an eye on as Fall and Winter 2020 approach, their their tiny size making for a great holiday party handbag option.
Photo source: Getty Images
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Topics: Retail Buying