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Fashion is one way to measure where we are as a society, and if the last few seasons have proven anything it’s that function is at the forefront of everyone’s mind. The signs are all there–what with the influx in denim at couture houses like Schiaparelli and the likes of Giambatista Valli making embroidered utility jackets. But one of the most blatant signifiers is all the baggage we’ve seen on the runways, specifically the two bag trend.

“Having easy access to a lot of your possessions is practical and allows you to readily adapt to many situations or be on the move at a moment’s notice,” says psychologist Shakaila Forbes-Bell on the science behind carrying a bunch of bags. “Studies suggest that in times of crisis, consumers seek simplicity and adopt a sociological approach to shopping which favors pragmatism over materialism.”

Recent rumblings of the two bag trend began with the models at Miu Miu’s spring 2024 show clutching slightly disheveled totes that were decorated with tschotskes, unzipped, and noticeably stuffed with smaller bags (along with logo-clad sweaters and shoes) in a way that alludes to the wearer’s busy lifestyle. Per the collection notes, the brand put an emphasis on function and individuality, encouraging its audience to imagine how the leather carryall would fit into their own lives.

For fall 2024, the overflowing tote was replaced by two or three bags intertwined and clipped together—all different by design for an artful juxtaposition. Coach painted a detailed picture of the quintessential city-dweller, sending large patina satchels adorned with quilted ‘Tabby’ bags, Yankees caps, and other NYC-related keychains down the runway. In Milan, Bottega Veneta’s Matthieu Blazy paired Intrecciato leather pouches with netted woven totes, and Fendi stacked clutches in varying sizes, colors, and textures on top of each other for added dimension. Prada offered up a more subtle take by attaching contrasting hardshell card cases to the outside of its belted tote, as an added compartment.

But heritage brands aren’t the only labels pushing the trend. At newcomer Jane Wade’s sophomore runway show, a model carried two different types of cargo bags (one in each hand). Certified It-girl brand, 16Arlington showed contrasting furry and croc-effect bags alongside intarsia-knit sweaters with portraits of whippets in London. While out of Tokyo, by way of Paris, Undercover presented a more realistic depiction that includes multiple shopping totes carrying everyday essentials like a bouquet of flowers and a bottle of wine.

Carrying two bags is just as popular off the runway. My editor and Vogue’s digital style director Leah Faye Cooper is a fan of the trend, though she admits to worrying that it would read “silly” at first. “I love mini bags but I also love being able to carry all of my things,” she says. “Sometimes I’ll layer two small logo-emblazoned bags: a Mini Gucci Dionysus for my phone and cards, and a Nano Fendi Baguette charm for my keys.” Heat’s Content Director and ultimate girl-on-the-go Jordan Grant also likes customizing her bags with charms and keychains. “Personalizing is similar to the feeling of finding a one-of-a-kind vintage piece that you’ll hold on to and be proud of,” she says. This includes everything from mini key ring pochettes and baguettes for additional storage to meaningful bracelets from your travels. “Have fun with it,” Grant says.

When it comes to the type of handbags needed to recreate the styling trick at home, there’s really no right or wrong answer. But if you’re not sure where to begin, Editorial Fashion Specialist for Saks Fifth Avenue Jeffery Roy Jr. tells me that contrast is key and that the artful shapes like Loewe’s medium ‘Squeeze’ makes a great accompaniment for any structured bag. He personally carries the flame-red Ferragamo ‘Wanda’ alongside a cheekily-embroidered L.L. Bean tote. Longchamp’s netted Le Pliage Filet bag is a great alternative to the classic canvas carryall; just add your favorite micro pouches that are a little less practical, for more fun. Freja’s assortment of thoughtfully-designed bags, the ‘Chrystie’ in particular, are modern staples that can also work as a foundation to build off of, if you want an accessible leather option. Happy doubling up!

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