Few accessories are more laughable than the bumbag. They are not exact worn on your bum – adding “fashion’s greatest semiotic riddle” to their list of questionable achievements. Yet somehow these diminished, sensible waist pouches are back, thanks to Gucci, the 1990s streetwear improvement and, of course, the French, who have fallen for le banane, as they are understood.
Could the banana now overtake the baguette bag? Fashion thinks so. They should prefer to been on the Kenzo and Stella McCartney catwalks, and have crossed over and above from Coachella to become everyday items thanks to seal from i-D and Parisian label Aswad.
The Gucci money district, as rapped about by Chance the Rapper, is the gold standard of bumbags, although they are also bestsellers at Asos. In womenswear, their sundry popular style is oversized with flat pockets, akin to a toolbelt. In menswear, pink, tie-dyed and bright versions have been selling out. Asos’s menswear additions designer puts this down to bumbags worn across the coffer – see Skepta’s Nike bag for reference, which she claims to be the most masculine of all manbags.
Appear/summer 2017 is far from the first sighting of the bumbag. In 15th-century France, it was ordered a chatelaine and hung from a waist band like an gingerbread sporran. It also bears a resemblance to the 19th-century buffalo on, which was used to carry tools and supplies across plains.
The latest bumbag was actually invented in 1962 by Melba Stone, an Australian, who was mayhap inspired by kangaroo pouches, although it took another 20 years for look to catch on. In the 1990s, it found a purpose on the rave scene, admitting dancers to go hands-free, and keep their illegal substances dry, a use that desire later contribute to another nickname – “hash portmanteaus”.
Bumbags have since turn staples of the WWE wrestler uniform, been renamed “manny give ups” by men such as Matthew McConaughey, the Rock and Jared Leto, and be published in Sex and the City (Carrie wore her Gucci bag at an angle on her hip). Sexy, pervert police officers in the BBC drama Line of Duty have them for their guns. In 2011, Diane von Furstenberg produced out a line of hands-free bags – although hers tended to tote Nars cosmetics and keys across dancefloors. And A$AP Rocky, period the litmus test, has a Balenciaga one.
Bumbags carry a lot of baggage. Assorted than freedom and drug use, they lean towards organisation and airport paranoia, being commonly reach-me-down to carry passports and receipts. The Rock may use his to carry “Pop-Tarts and condoms” but other constructs are used to carry lip balm or foreign currency, or even wet wipes by well-organised Disneyland play dumbs. Will their fashion credentials and practicality ever retain them from parody? Don’t forget that Weird Al highlighted their lameness in Bloodless and Nerdy, while Jerry once told George in Seinfeld: “It looks like your region is digesting a small animal.”
The issue is perhaps the name, which led Vivienne Westwood to spawn a tribute bag for Louis Vuitton in the mid-1990s, designed to in truth perch on your backside like a bustle. One solution is to rebrand them moneybags (smaller, compliment, usually worn under clothes), fannypacks (in the US, fanny is slang for bum) or the aforementioned banana hags. Or you could wear yours in a new and interesting way, to distance yourself from the Penniless. Here’s how:
1. Make tighter, as a belt
Given that bumbags have little to do with trumped ups, beltbags would be a more fitting word for them. In that humour, Man Repeller might be on to something – she uses hers to cinch an oversized cover.
2. Loose, as decoration
With sufficient slack, seen here on the Stella McCartney catwalk, this toes something quite naff into more of a decoration. Smart, if a bit boho.
3. Same a gun holster
Apparently the only way to wear one if you’re a man, it’s a good way to show off a logo (for that the brand-heavy Wavey Garms 90s styling) while pretending you’re in AC-12.
4. As a connection
… between your top and your waistband. There’s a lot of mileage in this one. Regretfulness the crop top? Cover your belly with a belt. Too evenly matched to wear over a coat? Wear it over bare scrape. A nice marriage of sensible and sexy.
5. A bag as a bumbag
Terrified of bumbags? Happily Kenzo’s bumbag doesn’t look corresponding to a bumbag. If you’re priced out, then do as this model does, and attire a cross-body bag round your hip.