Tiny, stylish sachets prove it: The smaller the bag, the greater the impact.
The micro, mini or nano bag, as it is variously known, may not hold a lot of essentials, but it packs a lot of punch.
What do these toylike carryalls contain? A credit card, a cellphone, a set of keys — and little more.
“I leave that at home in a jar,” says Marina Larroude, the fashion director of Teen Vogue.
Loose quarters and dimes are, to her thinking, the burdensome relics of a bygone age, as superfluous as the conventional wallets and coin purses made to hold them.
Micro bags, some scarcely larger than a kiwi, date back at least to the Fendi runway more than a year ago. At the time, editors cooed; celebrity bloggers like Chiara Ferragni of The Blonde Salad flaunted their own versions during fashion weeks in Paris and Milan. And the charmlike bags gained traction, exerting an outsize pull on women’s purse strings.
“There’s a growing market for small purses and cross-body bags,” says Courtney Ignelzi, the trend editor of Accessories Magazine, “and a huge potential.”
Ignelzi cited a 2015 study by the NPD Group, which tracks consumer spending, showing a sales jump of 4 percent over 2014 in small accessories (including nano bags), indicating, she says, that the micro is “a driving force within the accessories market.”
Then there is its emotional appeal. The smaller the bag, the greater the impact. In fact, these tiny satchels seem to function as unexpected power statements, suggesting that the wearer is too proud, too rich or far too influential to carry anything larger than a cigarette pack.
“All through my life, I’ve seen Carine Roitfeld and Anna Wintour arrive at fashion shows and never carry a bag,” Larroude says.
Toting one’s bag, she implied, is an inelegant task best left to one’s driver or factotum.
She herself is partial to tiny bags from Chanel, Jason Wu or Roger Vivier. Suspended from a strap and slung across her torso, they leave her hands, and spirit, free.
And leave others to admire their looks — many of the most covetable styles are miniaturized replicas of certified hits like the Chloé Drew or the Mark Cross Grace.
“The micro bag, it’s a little accent, almost like jewelry at this point,” says Kate Fleming, a handbag designer whose clients include Tory Burch and Nicola Formichetti. “You can always fold in some cash and a credit card — that’s really all you need.”
Fleming makes sure, just the same, that her scaled-down designs come with an outside pocket for extras.
“Though getting in a lipstick might be a challenge,” she says.
Not that it matters. With just the hint of a smirk in her voice, she adds, “You can always have your boyfriend carry that.”