From the Spring/Summer 2003 Luella Bartley-designed Mulberry bag named after Gisele to Proenza Schouler's 'anti-It Bag' PS1, the tan bag has weathered the ebb and flow of trends. Now, for SS18, it's back and more desirable than ever.
Sure, for the past several seasons bold, bright bags have ruled, with '90s monogramming enjoying a particular renaissance right now, but that only amplifies the appeal of the tan bag. In its neutrality – of both colour and material – it makes a great bedfellow for nearly every item in your wardrobe, and in eluding garish prints or outlandish finishes, it avoids becoming dated. What with fashion's current maximalist aesthetic, perhaps we're all craving the quiet stability of a tan number.
"This season it’s all about tan bags; we saw them everywhere from the likes of Gucci to Chloé, and we’re already seeing this shade filter through into AW18," Hollie Harding, accessories buyer at Browns, says. "Neutral colours such as tan are a really great base to have in your wardrobe and in my opinion are poised to replace the classic black bag for SS18."
Givenchy was among the brands that revived the classic handbag for SS18 with its micro belt bag with central buckle. Altuzarra's braided handle and tasselled tan bag brought a touch of the Wild West to its show, while J.W.Anderson debuted the most luxurious mixed-leather bag with gold finishings.
Off the catwalk, who should we be watching for the best pieces this season? "Loewe is definitely one of my go-to brands for the perfect tan bag and this season they’ve introduced several new styles, including a beautiful woven leather tote in addition to their classic puzzle and hammock-style bag," explains Harding. "Alongside Loewe, both Staud and Wandler have absolutely nailed the tan bag and are definitely brands to invest in now. The Staud ‘Moreau’ bucket bag and Wandler’s ‘Hortensia’ bag both have a great price point and are key shapes for the season."
Much like leopard print and denim, a timeless tan bag can be reimagined in countless ways, and is therefore one of the smartest buys you can make. Click through to find our pick of the season, from designer to high street.