WORDS BY JOSEPH FURNESS
The ever-changing nature of fashion is detrimental to both our bank accounts and the planet, but there are certain investment pieces you can rely on year after year – including the trusty straw bag.
Luxury designers like Prada and Saint Laurent have let global traditions inform their straw bag designs for years; they use the raw material to craft accessories that will last a lifetime. And although straw bags were once reserved for trips to the seaside, straw bags can now be spotted in the hands of tastemakers within urban areas.
Below, our in-house online merchandiser Grace Henfrey walks us through the evergreen trend, highlighting her favourite straw bags and what she plans to wear them with this summer.
What can you tell us about the rise of the straw bag?
Ever since 2019, I’ve seen the demand for straw bags dramatically accelerate. Before being adopted by high fashion, straw bags were a necessary and fundamental accessory used for carrying necessities such as food and water. Today, a straw bag is on every discerning dresser’s wishlist – that’s if they don’t already own one (or plenty).
This year, we’ve seen a lot more straw totes of all shapes and sizes come from superbrands and new generation designers. Best selling bags include the Prada Raffia tote bag and the Chloé Marcie beach bag – both sell out within minutes of being online. Recently, I was lucky enough to pick up the Chloé Marcie bag in green before it sold out. Oh, and I also managed to get my hands on a large straw tote from Isabel Marant (which, FYI, I can’t get enough of).
Would you consider a straw bag a timeless investment piece?
Yes, I would definitely consider a straw bag a timeless investment piece. In fact, I would consider straw bags as essential as a Chanel CC or YSL LouLou for summer. Straw bags have become a go-to investment piece for the fashion-focused due to their versatility – they’re no longer just for beach use. Personally, I use my straw bag for various occasions: I wear it in the city, going to the office and going for date nights.
Talk us through your favourite straw bags.
My all-time favourite straw bag is the Chloé Marcie tote bag: a bag we stock in various colourways and sizes, right here on FARFETCH. I purchased this bag at the beginning of summer, and it quickly became my go-to thanks to its firm structure and versatility. Over the last few weeks, I’ve found this bag extremely useful as it works with any outfit. Additionally, I’ve found the leather front pocket perfect for storing money and cards, so I’d say this bag is ideal for city dwellers.
The other straw bag I’m loving at the moment is the Inès Bressand N31 straw shoulder bag. I’m a huge fan of this brand – I appreciate how the designer manipulates materials and questions traditions to create beautiful sculptures. But the key reason why the brand is so special is that the bags are woven by women in Ghana. These skilled workers are part of a self-organised working system that allows them to combine weaving, farming and family work.
A straw bag that’s high up on my wishlist is the Dolce & Gabbana Kendra embellished tassel trim tote bag. The D&G bag is unique because it boasts an array of bright colours and is bedecked with various embellishments. I’d say it’s an accessory ideal for complementing dressy looks – I imagine it elevates any look you pair it with.
If none of these tickles your fancy, you may want to consider the Prada Raffia tote which seems to be extremely popular this season. In fact, it’s so sought after that it’s often out of stock on our website. Like the Chloé, the advantage of this straw bag is that it pretty much goes with any outfit; the other main advantage is that the long straps make it easy to carry around (making it a suitable option for everyday use).
What does a straw bag say about its wearer?
Here at FARFETCH, we have a straw bag to match many personas. For example, we have the Chloé Marcie bag, the Prada straw tote bag and the Saint Laurent Panier raffia tote bag for the classic customer; we have Ines Bressand straw bags (in a range of contemporary shapes) for the expressionist customer; and we have Dolce and Gabbana embroidered totes with romantic and boho detailing for the modern femme customer.
What SS21 pieces would you recommend pairing a straw bag with this summer?
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