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The Backpack Revolution

Posted on 18 April 2016

Coming in a vast array of styles, shapes and colours, a compelling argument can be made that the backpack is the number one accessory of choice in the contemporary wardrobe.

The roots of the modern backpack can be traced back to the First World War and the 'M1910 Haversack'; a lumbering eyesore which was cumbersome, heavy and offered the soldier very little in terms of mobility.

It wasn't until the 1950s that this military-oriented blueprint became outdated, and the design focus switched to versatility and convenience. The Kelty backpack of 1952 introduced industry standard trademarks such as weather resistant fabrics and lightweight, compact shapes with easy-access zip compartments. Keltys’ backpack was a more effective travel companion than any that came before it and introduced a capable new travel accessory to ordinary civilians. Why should the wearer have to sacrifice user experience for the basic convenience of carrying a laptop and a change of footwear on their back?

This paradigm shift in design focus was a significant catalyst in the backpack's major popularity boost in the 1990s. It quickly established itself as the luggage accessory of choice. With such a gleaming public reception, designers sought to make the backpack a real fashion accessory with luxurious fabrics like leathers and silks as well as exotic graphic prints, stud embellishments and other unique characteristics.

Despite mainstream popularity gradually fading over the following years, the backpack’s current grand resurgence definitely cannot be ignored. The contemporary backpack is now more flexible than ever and can easily be adapted to suit almost any outfit, irrespective of style, age or daily routine. Your trusty backpack could rock just as hard on a finely tailored suit as it does on a casual weekend outfit. It really is a timeless accessory which exploits its versatile nature to practically sell itself.


 

Valentino Fantastic Animals Print Canvas Backpack

Valentino are undoubted pioneers and masters of their craft, a sentiment which is certainly reflected by their Fantastic Animals SS16 backpack. This particular accessory is the latest to showcase the exotic print, and sits proudly amongst its seasonal counterparts, which include a windbreaker, a necktie and swim shorts. The modern man's hectic lifestyle requires a travel accessory that can keep up with his ventures. Valentino’s backpack is a more than capable travel companion, featuring ample interior and exterior storage space with the addition of a detachable ID tag. Cutting-edge style is also at the forefront of the design with the Fantastic Animals print and iconic Rockstud embellishments accenting a backpack that’s as wild and exciting as the adventures you may take it on.


 

Versace Monochrome Watercolour Baroque Backpack

Versace are certainly amongst the fashion front runners when it comes to accessories and the Italian maison's brilliant luggage designs deserve a special mention. Our featured backpack makes an immediate impression in Versace's on-trend watercolour baroque print, which lends the accessory a subtle artistic nuance. We love how Versace have opted for an elegant monochromatic colour scheme, while Greek pattern interior printing and logo engraved zip pulls highlight the fashion house’s attention to finer detail. Finished with an iconic silver tone Medusa head emblem, this backpack effortlessly upgrades your outfit with an opulent twist.


 

Saint Laurent California Monogram Backpack with Stars

Saint Laurent's Toile Monogram print is now an undisputed favourite amongst Hedi Slimane's creative mainstays. So much so, that it has almost come to define the maison's luggage portfolio in recent seasons. The popular 'California' backpack, which showcases the fantastic monogram print, receives a makeover for the Spring / Summer 16 season. All-over star badge appliqués lend a rock-chic edge to this backpack, a fundamental underlying foundation for any Saint Laurent collection.


 

Balenciaga Black Leather & Canvas Traveller Backpack

Our featured Balenciaga backpack is a sophisticated affair; one that confidently oozes class without having to scream and shout about it. Cut from an all black cotton canvas fabric and featuring tonal Velcro loop panels, this elegant piece is Balenciaga through and through. Smooth leather trimmings and matte palladium metal hardware enhance the backpack's luxurious image.


 

Christian Louboutin Explorafunk Black Leather Backpack

'Explorafunk' is one of our instant favourites from the season. We would be disappointed if it isn’t featured, or at the very least re-imagined, in future Christian Louboutin collections. So what makes this particular accessory so awe-inspiring? Well, a wonderful sense of duality can be found within the name 'Explorafunk' itself. Features such as Christian Louboutin's signature spike embellishments and the iconic red sole base, an attribute usually associated with their footwear, provide the eclectic funk factor that defines the brand. Simultaneously, expanding zip side pockets, a robust rubber base and an overall generous size would make it a more than capable companion for any urban explorer.


 

Lanvin Black Grain Leather Backpack

Functionality was evidently at the forefront of Lucas Ossendrijver's vision when he set out to design his line of men's Spring/Summer 16 backpacks. Featuring a spacious interior, multiple exterior and interior pockets and even sleeves for your phone and laptop, this backpack effortlessly checks all the boxes and almost demands to be the linchpin of your outfit. Exhibited here in an exquisite, natural grain calfskin leather, Lanvin has once again produced a timeless classic and a modern wardrobe essential.

 

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