The new trend is a combination of feminine and masculine aesthetics, it's an androgynous style. This style opens up a world of fashion possibilities.
Not so long ago, handbags were designed to look delicate and feminine. All other qualities were secondary. The blurring of traditional gender norms, however, are (at long last) changing that.
Androgynous trends, which combine feminine and masculine aesthetics, are now giving us new, liberating looks that open up a world of fashion possibilities and give designers new, refreshing ways to create beautiful, functional handbags.
Just look at . They've always been a strictly feminine accessory. Lately, though, you'll see men carrying ("murses"), designer briefcases, or travel bags that rival women's accessories in terms of sheer elegance.
And while "manbags" are one of the most visible examples of crumbling male stereotypes in fashion, women are seeing just as many changes.
As women make strides in the workplace, they’ve begun to value functional, "neutral" handbags over embellished or delicate-looking ones. Minimalist and totes are gaining ground as they often behave like briefcases or sport duffels. These styles not only convey the determined message some want to send, they also compliment modern women's lifestyles and needs.
As roles continue to change, though, there are things to keep in mind to ensure your bag is serving your needs, while still looking great:
Your bag, whether medium or large, must be practical. A functional handbag not only can handle all the stuff you lug around, it should be comfortable and not hinder your natural movements. Being comfortable makes you look smart. Smart is professional. Smart is attractive.
Whatever style you choose, your bag should be easy to match with many outfits and be appropriate for many occasions: meetings, lunches, after-work drinks, and so on. (Check out some of our tips on choosing the right color and size handbag.) (Add links to previous posts.)
Functionality comes from great design and craftsmanship. Clean lines, perfect stitching, and quality material are the foundation of every great accessory. Never trade quality for a trend.
At, we’ve designed two handbags that fit the above criteria and that straddle that fun line between the feminine and masculine.
Briefcases have always lived firmly within the male domain. Not anymore. Women need a structured bag with simple geometry that can hold an iPad or small laptop as well as everything else. TIV is our idea of the perfect feminine briefcase. It’s rectangular and can hold most 13” laptops while remaining slim and compact. It can be worn over the shoulder like a satchel or as a crossbody. It strikes the perfect professional tone at a presentation or on a business trip.
Like briefcases, duffels have always been for the boys. Our VITA, however, has something to say about that. It’s actually a large, leather tote, but it's as close to a duffel as you can get without looking like you're heading to the gym. It's perfect for travel days - or just busy days - when you’re carrying additional gadgets or documents or need to bring along a pair of sneakers to do some walking.
You can carry it on the shoulder or as a crossbody. The great thing about VITA is that no matter how much you put in it, its shape is always well-defined. It opens wide for easy searching, yet it’s soft and semi-structured (because we think rigid handbags aren't as comfortable or functional).
One thing we don't obsess over at Nantiv, however, are gender norms in fashion.
Love and flow,