If you only buy one bag this summer, make it a straw bag. The trend started last year, and came back stronger than ever in 2019. Gucci is even featuring them at their Montauk pop-up next month. The bags come in all sizes and shapes, and in every price point. Designers have take the concept and made hundreds of variations on a theme. The bags are authentic and natural. Grass, banana leaves, raffia, rush, rattan, willow, cane, and palm are only some of the materials used to make straw bags. They are produced all around the world, hence the many different materials.The one from Gucci above is a softly woven pattern with a leather handle, and the GG logo.
Chanel has many different models, including a clever double bag. The outer bag is PVC, with a leather handle and bottom, with a knit raffia pouch with a logo chain drawstring. The contrast of plastic, leather and straw is amusing. The straw lunch bag worn cross-body is a more iconic Chanel look, but charming none the less.
In addition to the bag in the lead photo, Gucci works many different materials into bags, both casual and structured. The bags to the left are hand crocheted using different colors of raffia. The elegant bags on the right are extremely structured bags, with leather flaps, and chain logo hardware. These straw bags go to the office, indeed.
Valentino also makes straw bags. There two share a casual shape, but are very different. The macrame bag is made by knotting plant fibers. The macrame is framed in leather, and sports a large Valentino logo. If you want a more delicate tote, choose the tightly woven straw bag on the left. It's clean and decorated with a gold chain motif.
Looking for something slightly more casual? Rachel Comey's straw and leather bag is very citified. The leather is hand-laced onto the bag with straw threads. The Chloe basket straw bag looks great with the signature print fabric pouch worked into the leather closure. This bag says Chloe boho in a big way. Either of these bags would add a snappy cool-girl touch to your outfits.
Sacai, the label from the Japanese designer Chitose Abe, has just started producing bags. These straw bags are clean and cool, with the labels name embroidered on the side of the bag. Worked with leather these are very clean and summerfied city bags.
Straw bags have meant beach bags for decades. The new beach bags are often presented with cheeky quotes on the side. Your opinion is your weapon. Even the more classic beach bags get a design upgrade with rows of fringe to decorate them. And the smaller straw bags in the bright colors are even good for carrying around the city.
These straw bags are embroidered and embellished. They are slightly more structured and could hang out in the city as well as going to the beach. The green leaf embroidery is done in raffia as well, making the entire bag natural. The vintage inspired embroidery on the right is also done with raffia. The small round bag has beads worked into the straw.
There are summer straw bags all over the city at all price points. Just like the luxury market, there are a ton of great options available, A fisherman-like cross-body bag is simple and casual. A straw bag trimmed in white leather says summer loud and clear. These are go-to-work bags that can also go out to dinner.
A straw clutch bag is a fun way to wear straw bags. Neat, clean and discrete. Take a look at the table full of novelty straw bags. No two are alike. The mix of shapes and materials shows how versatile straw is as a creative medium. Since they are made in so many countries, with so many different techniques, the bags all have different personalities.
These straw bags are more formal. Pink straw bags are pretty, especially when framed in metal. And leather trimmed straw bags are given a lift by mixing in more colors and shapes. Constructed bags are an incoming trend that has staying power. When you add some straw into the mix, you give the bag a summer vibe.
There are so many different shapes and kinds of straw bags for sale in New York, Caning is used to make bags, and some designers add decorative self applique to the bags. Finding it hard to choose which one you might want? Well, at least the price point is lower than an all leather bag. Perhaps you can indulge yourself in a few of them?
Straw bags have been around forever. Chic vintage bags abound all over Manhattan and Brooklyn. 40's style bags look chic with leather trim. And the hats are amazing as well. A cool briefcase bag is an unusual shape and will look great with more minimal looks.
The vintage straw beach bag is a perennial favorite. These two have naif embroideries. The checked one to the rear adds texture with the interesting background. I love the ombre backpack trimmed with leather, Both bags are boho, and unlike any of the newer bags.
Straw bags can even be downright silly. This bucket bag trimmed in feathers will certainly stand out anywhere you choose to take it.
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Barbara Hodes is the owner of New York City Private Shopping Tour.