It's February 2019, at La Villette, Paris Fashion Week. Simon Porte Jacquemus, gifted in the art of excess, quickly creates a buzz:
- Have you seen that bag?
- It's so tiny, what could you possibly put in it?
- What a genius! The mini version is so beautiful, I love it so much!
The size of a Playmobil figure (we checked), the XXS format of the Mini Chiquito made its first foray into the big leagues, amusing and impressing us all.
Fast forward to Spring 2020, and the hands-free trend is now redefining the rules of the game. "Free your body and mind" became THE statement of young men and women keen to show off their Kara wallet-on-a-chain, whose chain is inspired by the oversized padlocks on their fixies. Emotional attachments and binding ties become a driving force for these proponents of change, determined to shake up the style codes, curves and lines. And hot on their heels, always on the lookout for the Next Big Thing, traditional luxury fashion houses quickly followed suit… Quite the transformation!
Truly one of the season's iconic pieces, the hands-free bag is perfect with any outfit, full of character and indifference, seducing daytime belles and night owls alike, and worn as a necklace or a crossbody style. At Marni, the two-tone or crocodile leather glasses case seems almost like a maxi bag next to the teeny-tiny Horseferry, Burberry's take on a card holder. And when Balenciaga managed to get men and women - without distinction - to shake off their chains (aside from the one that connects them to their iconic pouch that is), it's clear that the line between luxury fashion and societal demand for gender equality is becoming somewhat blurred.
The adorable doll-like format of the iconic Lee Radziwill from Tory Burch, teamed with denim and worn in a slightly offbeat style, both seduces and surprises with its smooth leather and elegant design. And while Danse Lente brings us its take on the cigarette box, full of the vintage charm we know and love, Jacquemus celebrates the sweet freshness of summer evenings in an openwork leather with a choice of zesty colours that pop.
Clearly, the hands-free trend is no accident. Through a clever game of sleight of hand that initially seemed tongue-in-cheek, it's now something of a Manifesto, all contained in a few centimetres of these new liberating bags. It's an inspiring invitation to take advantage of our freedom of movement, thought and action, to push the limits of our individuality, and to embrace what truly matters.