MeIn fashion, desirable accessories are nothing new. See the Fendi baguette, the ’00s It bag, or the latest craze for chunky dad sneakers. But as social media influences style, it’s shoes, bags and hats that are in the spotlight more than ever. This is the age of viral accessories.
JW Anderson’s Dove Bag (Clutch, a resin model of a bird) is a popular example. The brand’s site has a waiting list and was the most viewed item in August. It has since been carried by Sarah Jessica Parker on the set of And Just Like That and by Sam Smith at London Fashion Week.
Balenciaga is another brand that has created accessories for the social media age. That ad recently went viral for the wrong reasons: it showed kids in BDSM costumes holding teddy bear handbags. These include a bag that looks like it but costs £1,290, and a take on the famous Ikea fracta that costs £1,365 compared to Ikea’s 40p original.
But viral accessories aren’t limited to designer fashion. Other items that have seen an online frenzy this year, primarily through TikTok, included a £90 Birkenstock Boston Mule and a £14.90 Uniqlo crossbody bag.
A video containing #uniqlobag received 35.2 million views on TikTok and inspired a similar design by fast fashion brand Shein. Demand for Boston this year was so high that resellers were selling them at inflated prices. £271) for a consumer who purchased a pair.
In its Q3 2022 report, fashion search engine Lyst noted that 8 of the 10 most popular items are accessories, from Miu Miu ballet flats to Birkenstock Boston, where searches surged 1,100%. did. It is set to continue. In the spring-summer 2023 catwalk collection, bags such as the crystal teddy bear his bag (Gucci) and the dollhouse (Louis Vuitton) are already attracting attention, and elbow-length gloves are likely to become a trend.
Libby Page, Market Director for Net-a-Porter, said: “During the fall/winter season alone, she significantly increased her range of bags, shoes and accessories by 65% due to high customer demand.”
Resale app Depop reports that 80% of shoppers say social media is a source of inspiration. “The cost of living crisis is impacting shopping habits across the country, leaving many of us with less disposable income to spend on restocking our wardrobes.
Designer accessories are a smart choice. They are cheaper and more affordable as an entry to luxury brands. It’s also a way to show off your fashion prowess, even if the outfit you’re wearing is discreet: “More and more shoppers are trying out trends through accessories before buying expensive wardrobe essentials,” she says. he says Panzoni. The vintage Fendi baguette bag is particularly popular, with searches up 2,600% over his this year.
Biz Sherbert, culture editor at The Digital Fairy brand consultancy, says an accessories-first approach makes sense in the age of social media. “They can act like props in your photo,” she says. [when seen] online. “
Part of the success of these accessories may be that they have a cartoonish quality. This works well for the very online purpose of visual culture: memes.In 2020, it is estimated that at least 1 million were shared on Instagram every day. They’re a way of showing that we’re in the jokes and news cycle. Fashion has long been part of meme culture. From Kim Kardashian’s Met her gala dress to Rihanna’s Dior arrival at her show, everything has become her one.
Wearing accessories seen in or asking for memes is perhaps the next step in this connection. You can form an identity,” says Sharbert.
Hey Reilly has an Instagram account dedicated to creating fashion memes and is aware of the influence meme culture has on accessories. “This accessory trend was born from a meme, [and there is also] No fishing is subtle enough to be a meme. Digital disruptors and insta-creatives are seeing designers shrinking or oversizing the latest celebrity trends to offer oversized coats and shoes, or very small handbags,” he says.
This style of cannibalism will only increase. Even if the focus of social media has moved away from Instagram, statement accessories remain powerful. “[That’s especially true] It’s like BeReal,” says Shebert, whose “anti-Instagram” app encourages users to post photos wherever they are once a day. “The photos are weird and blurry. No one knows what kind of clothes they’re wearing, but the peculiar accessories stand out.”
Riley quips about the trend, suggesting that accessories designed for memes “take the key stab out of the idea.” He points to his Instagram post of French Girlfriend Sticks by Silvia Fendi as a nod to the brand’s famous baguette his bag. “It’s fashion, [social media] eat yourself,” he says. Balenciaga’s teddy bear ad, designed to be shared online, also suggests that the brand’s quest to secure a viral accessory moment can sometimes go too far.