If you’ve ever accused someone in your life of being so embarrassing for wearing a fanny pack, you probably owe that person an apology. The year’s most popular accessory is a fanny pack — or a “waist bag,” if you’re feeling sophisticated — and New Yorkers are giving the look another chance, in ways you might not expect.
The trend solidified last year in the menswear world, stemming from some star-crossed amalgamation of normcore, dadcore, gorpcore, and Shiacore. It then appeared on the runways, with brands like Coach, Prada, Off-White, and Gucci all giving it the high-fashion “nerd” treatment. Next, it was adopted by celebrities like Kendall Jenner and Jared Leto, as well as by street-style stars the world over.
Finally, somewhere down the line, someone figured out that fanny packs could also be worn as shoulder bags, rather than just waist bags. Most likely, it was a real-life, actual skater or biker who needed easy and comfortable access to their things while on the go. Someone cool in Japan or New York then saw it and copied them, only to discover it was great for raves, music festivals, shopping, or whatever cool people need both hands to do. And eventually, it went from a high-fashion “look” back to its streetwear roots, with Supreme, Nike, and North Face being the brands of choice once more.
Before long, though, A$AP Rocky was doing it, models were doing it, and sure enough, a Supreme x Louis Vuitton red fanny pack walked the runway in Paris as a shoulder bag this winter. The metamorphosis of your parents’ favorite accessory was complete; fanny packs were officially cool.
“Technically, it’s not a ‘fanny pack,’” said Nicholas Campbell, a 23-year-old stylist spotted wearing one on the streets of New York this summer. “It’s a shoulder bag.”
Whatever you want to call it, though, it’s a trend. And New Yorkers can’t get enough of it, as it fits with their transient lifestyle and no-fuss attitude.
Stay tuned for Leonardo DiCaprio’s belt bag next season.