If 2020 was the year that turned closets into cemeteries for all the outfits that coulda-woulda-shoulda been, 2021 will see those untouched ensembles resurrected as artifacts from The Before: sparkly relics to be admired, not worn — at least not yet. And with the fashion biggies, you know, Vuitton, Gucci, Loewe, "etc," (that was a v subtle Off White nod) blessing our screen-fatigued eyes with a slew of new handbag-shaped masterpieces, it seems the closet-cum-museum situation might catch on for the long term.
If you hear the word purse and immediately think dust receptacle, it's time to ditch your 2020 goggles for good. Now that the-year-that-shall-no-longer-be-named is officially behind us, the future of fashion is filled with swoon-scrolling, not doom-scrolling. The latest trend with nearly every major luxury house is limited and collector's-edition artist collabs (oh hello, Keith Haring, Ken Price, and Urs Fischer), delightfully unexpected partnerships (looking at you, Longchamp x Pokémon), and exclusive Lunar New Year capsules (Prada, Fendi, Dior). It's enough to transport the mind straight into sartorial fantasy land. Let's hang here for a bit.
If you're not buying what we're selling here, then consider what J.W. Anderson's latest capsule has to say: "The secret of life is in art." This famous quote featured on all sorts of tops and totes is more than just the wise words of Oscar Wilde — it's a reminder of the power of design to bring us joy, to instill hope, and to make us want to sling an incredible bag over our shoulders and head out into the world armed with the passion of a thousand literary geniuses. Ahead, we've rounded up the top collector-style bag capsules this season that are just waiting to be ogled, be it on your shelf or on your screen.
Amidst all the buzz surrounding its unlikely (but groovy!) North Face collaboration — there were sleeping bags! and tents! — the ever-whimsical Gucci introduced its manga-inspired Doraemon capsule collection in celebration of Lunar New Year. The cat-like character has been sent from the 22nd century not only to help a young boy named Nobita (as the story goes), but to grace the exteriors of an exclusive range of covetable bucket bags, totes, and more that are peak Gucci goodness.
Doraemon x Gucci Small Bucket Bag, $, available at Gucci
Designer Jonathan Anderson has always admired Oscar Wilde for more than just his literary prowess. The outspoken writer was a rebel of his times who subverted the status quo, so Anderson launched this capsule collection to harness that audacious spirit. This tote, along with every other piece in the collection, is emblazoned with Wilde words (see what we did there?) that serve as a mantra for Anderson's approach to design and to life.
JW Anderson Oscar Wilde Capsule: Belt Tote, $, available at JW Anderson
For a purse that tells a story, look no further than the vibrant designs from Loewe's Ken Price Collection. The American artist drew inspiration everywhere from Mexican folk art to surf culture to sunny landscapes — all of which come to life as pieces of the luxury label's signature Puzzle Bag.
Loewe Ken Price Collection Puzzle Easter Island Small Bag, $, available at 24 Sevres
In the glorious world of fashion, there are statement bags, and then there are bags that literally make a statement. No one knows this better than Virgil Abloh, who made his mark on the industry in the shape of aggressive logos and chunky words in quotation marks. In the latest from his Special Items category, Abloh has introduced the Jitney Bag with a slew of fresh phrases like "Not For Sale" and "Rent Money."
Off White 2.8 Jitney Quote Bag, $, available at Off White
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