Why Transparent Bags Happened

Have you seen spring/summer’s top accessory trend? If you haven’t that’s because it’s pretty transparent. Yes, see-through bags are back, and if you’re wondering when they were ever in, it’s a good thing you’re here.

From crocheted satchels to plexiglass with handles, these clear adornments can be found in the hands of both street style stars and produce shoppers alike.

While their presence hasn’t been conspicuous throughout history, they do in fact have a history, it just hasn’t been eloquently discussed in a blog post (hi). So, for a bit of backstory, here is the evolution of the transparent bag.

It wasn’t until the 1940s that bags and purses had established their purpose as an essential accessory. Purse styles and varieties exploded in the 50s, and naturally, certain designs served as status symbols.

In the late 1940s, various New York Fashion houses utilized lucite, a plastic-like substance that was developed mostly for military applications during World War ll. Adapted for jewelry, shoes, and eventually, purses, the seemingly utilitarian material created intricate and embellished geometric designs. In 1950, Miami Beach blossomed as a wealthy American destination, where lucite melded well with its luxurious and endless summer appeal.

Wilardy, a leading accessories retailer that mastered the use of lucite, was actually inspired by the luxury jewelry box. After materials like leather and metals were restricted by the U.S. government during the war, founder Will Hardy turned to the in-demand material for a slew of products. After designing a lucite jewelry box for buyers at Saks Fifth Avenue, they suggested adding a strap to miraculously transform it into the geometric, transparent purse similar to the ones that now hold our iPhones today.

So, why are see-through bags back? Especially when CVS receipts are longer than ever? Let’s dive in:

The Utilitarian Minimalist

transparent bag trend

Courtesy: Yahoo Finance

The minimalist wave has been flowing for about half a decade now and has even cozied up next to maximalist styles. Even when paired with a loud outfit, the see-through purse exceeds all minimalist expectations as it can look like literally nothing. Speaking of minimalism, there’s no greater inspiration for downsizing than having your most-used items on display. Purse trash is not an option here. Accessorizing a used straw wrapper into your #ootd is not chic unless you turn it into a bolo necktie.

Products are Accessories Now

transparent purse

Courtesy: Refinery29

In an Instagram-driven era, branding and packaging are vital. Alongside our OAUI hair oil and Glossier rose water spray is a slew of other trendy products that serve as the new Chanel #5’s. On the subway recently, I spotted an ad featuring a chic, orange matte label, approachable font, and a simplistic brand name called hims. The phallic cactus that appeared on the poster next to it cued an aha-moment where I realized I was staring at an erectile dysfunction elixir that I think I wanted? Basically, in an era of enhanced visuals, branding is key, and if we’re not promoting these products on our feed, the next best place is cozied up next to our phone, keys, and wallets in a transparent CÉLINE tote.

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