Afashion show can last anything between eight and 13 minutes. And yet at Thursday’s Louis Vuitton show, in the damp heat of Paris, Rihanna attended with enough bags for a weekend minibreak.
Her three came from the spring 2019 Louis Vuitton collection designed by its new artistic director, Virgil Abloh, and, in descending order of usefulness, were named: the Keepall duffle bag, the Danube bag worn as a belt bag, and finally, the Petite Boite Chapeau, which probably didn’t contain un petitchapeau, or much else for that matter.
As ever, Rihanna was in step with what was happening on other catwalks. At Acne Studios, models carried bags attached to other bags, while at Fendi, they appeared, Buckaroo-style, laden with bumbags, clutches and totes. British designer Stefan Cooke went a bit more conceptual, sending out bags with images of bags affixed to them. Sonia Rykiel apparently placed oranges in theirits bags to weigh them down on the catwalk. Rihanna’s duffel bag appeared to be carrying a T-shirt.
In fashion, multi-bagging is more about maths. If, like Vuitton, you have 56 looks but even more bags, then some models will need to carry two. Leather goods are the most lucrative part of the luxury goods market (more than 80% of Louis Vuitton’s revenue comes from accessories), with handbags the gateway drug – it’s what flags up your allegiance to a brand, while getting you hooked. What’s more, tiny bags such as the three-inch high Jacquemus Chiquito, are on-trend. So if you have one, you probably need a second for your actual stuff.
The sight of Rihanna multi-bagging might be familiar to the many women who admit to carrying a tote bag for spare shoes, a smaller bag for accessible items such as a phone and wallet, and a third bag for their food shopping because it’s 2018 and we’ve finally got our heads round the problem with plastic bags. In which case, think of Rihanna’s bags less as bags and more as a filing system.