How fashion accessories are finding a new role in the age of social media

According to



January 11, 2023

Should your handbag be practical or Instagrammable? It seems that social media users have decided so much that brands are now launching increasingly unusual, eccentric and even completely novel accessories. From pigeon bags to pink flamingo stilettos and a dollhouse style bag, fashion accessories are undergoing an aesthetic revolution to become social media stars.

How Instagram-friendly is your purse? The age of social media has subtly changed our relationship with fashion, favoring creations that were once considered unusual, strange or completely out of place. And they are much more suitable for social media than a trip to the supermarket or a day at the office. This obviously hasn’t escaped the attention of brands, who are now scrambling to come up with the craziest – and most Instagrammable – accessories to help their customers get loads of views and likes.

At a time when fashion trends — and microtrends — come and go at lightning speed on social media, accessories are meant to stand out from the crowd with an unusual aesthetic. And it’s a win-win concept for brands and consumers, the former betting on viral hits to fuel desire and the latter reaping the views and likes generated by said object of their own desire. While fashion seems to be more comfortable and functional than ever, accessories are emerging as a way to fulfill the more whimsical desires of younger generations. Shoes, jewellery, headwear and handbags as such have never been more firmly in the spotlight than at the start of this year.

All about the buzz

Fashion accessories, which are less ephemeral than fashion clothes, now appear to be a safer investment for consumers. The success of the sneaker is testament to this, as within a few years these shoes have become objects of collection and speculation. Similarly, on social media it is not uncommon to see an outfit consisting of fashionable clothes complemented by a luxury bag, shoes or jewelry, showing a definite craze for these things that have the power to change the look.

Such is the success of fashion accessories that eight of the top 10 most popular items on global fashion search platform Lyst in the third quarter of 2022 were shoes, handbags, belts, glasses and the like. In the face of this madness, brands are stepping up their creativity to offer pieces that are each more unusual than the next. It’s true that as chic as it is, a classic handbag won’t get you noticed on social media unless you’re the only one in the world who owns it… But we can’t all be Kim Kardashian, so you have to go all out to stand out. An observation that elevated the ugly, cheesy and extravagant to the top of fashion trends in 2022.

Thom Browne dog bag – Thom Browne

As seen in recent months, handbags have become the first victims of this trend. There was a pigeon bag from JW Anderson, adopted by none other than Sarah Jessica Parker herself, a dog-shaped bag from Thom Browne, not to mention bags, each more eccentric than the next, from Balenciaga, one of the fashion houses that certainly got it. all about social networks. Headed by Demna Gvasalia, the label has been busy launching a range of quirky bags, from a speaker bag to a drawstring trash bag, a sleeve bag and a bag shaped like a potato chip bag. They all come with exorbitant price tags, it goes without saying, and are systematically praised by fashionistas.

The Age of Eccentricity

Now, designers seem to be going to the extreme and presenting accessories crazier than ever before. Handbags and shoes remain popular pieces for unusual creations, as shown by Louis Vuitton’s dollhouse bag, Moschino’s inflatable bubble bag and stiletto flamingos, Acne Studios’ studded bags, Vivienne Westwood’s oversized platforms or fully embellished lace-up sandals. with feathers by Rick Owens, all presented at the spring-summer 2023 shows. But now the phenomenon is expanding into headwear and jewelry, with over-the-top, flamboyant, sometimes faded creations that are increasingly Instagrammable.

All of these designs won’t take long to go viral on social media, but let’s face it, they’re neither practical, comfortable, nor particularly useful in everyday life. Riding the subway at rush hour with a portable dollhouse or on XXL platforms is not the best way to start the day… As a result, an unprecedented phenomenon has grown in recent months: the emergence of microtrends that have gone viral online, but which in no one carries the facts. These unusual accessories are advertised on the Internet, but they have no use in the real world or appear to be practically useless. It’s almost like a kind of meta-version before the meta-version that ends up showing the true potential of these parallel worlds… for the fashion industry anyway.

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