TREND-SPLAINING

Why a Basket Bag Is the Only New Accessory You Need this Summer

Jane Birkin’s favorite summer style is back–with a twist.


Photo by Adam Katz Sinding.

Jane Birkin may be most famously associated with one particular, the extremely covetable Hermes bag, but it is another one of the style icon’s totes of choice that is making major waves in the fashion world this season: the basket bag.

In the ’70s, Birkin was photographed all around Paris, toting her woven basket, paired with perfectly slouchy jeans, a classic t-shirt, and, of course, rumpled bedhead that many mere mortals have tried, and failed, to recreate. The bag itself was structured, open at the top, and, frankly, barely different than a typical basket that your mother might have used to store discarded magazines in your childhood home.

This season’s iterations of the trend have captured the essence of Birkin’s look—summery, carefree, playful—and adopted it to 2017’s style standards: a bit smaller, a bit more whimsical, and altogether more practical.

Follow Pippa Middleton and Alexa Chung’s Lead and Carry a Wicker Purse this Summer

Kirsten Dunst is seen at Hotel Martinez during the annual 69th Cannes Film Festival on May 11, 2016.

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Alexa Chung attends the Emilia Wickstead show during the London Fashion Week February 2017 collections on February 18, 2017.

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Lily Aldridge is spotted out and about carrying a Prada bag in 2017.

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Harley Viera Newton carries a bag of her own design, also wearing a dress of her own.

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Jessica Hart attends OCRF’s 15th Annual Super Saturday at Nova’s Ark Project on July 28, 2012 in Water Mill, New York.

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Dita Von Teese arrives at Nice airport during the 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival on May 18, 2013.

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: Pippa Middleton is seen on the Upper East Side of Manhattan on September 5, 2012

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Crystal Meers attends as Jenni Kayne + Loeffler Randall celebrate Pop-Up at AOC Wine Bar on March 14, 2017

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Nina Agdal attends the 2016 Sports Illustrated Summer of Swim Fan Festival & Concert at the Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk on August 28, 2016.

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Kilo Kish at the NYLON Young Hollywood Party at AVENUE Los Angeles on May 2, 2017

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Arguably the most popular take on the trend, and the pièce de résistance of this renaissance, is Cult Gaia’s Ark bag, a structured, half-moon shaped bag that has quickly become a must-have with the Instagram set. The Los Angeles-based brand struck gold with the silhouette, done in bamboo, which has already been carried by celebrities such as Jessica Alba. The brand is now offering the piece in several variations beyond the natural original, including several acrylic versions, and even a tortoise shell take. To capture the wood aesthetic of the original, Cult Gaia is also offering two new shapes in the material: the Lilleth, a handmade, duffel-bag shaped piece that is completely collapsable, and the Babe, a woven straw purse in the shape of a pig.

Cult Gaia is not the only brand to offer chic iterations of the trend, however. Mark Cross has several styles of bags done in rattan, a woven palm, including it’s ever popular Box bag and a special collaboration with Harley Viera Newton, which pairs a classic shape done primarily in the natural material with pebble grain leather in assorted colors. Edie Parker’s Brett Heyman has also branched out—no pun intended—from her popular acrylic minaudières with the Jane, a shoulder bad inspired by Birkin, while Brazillian designer Marcia Kemp of Nannacay has created an endless array of whimsical hand-woven bags, incorporating fun details such as neon coloring and pom-pom tassels. Even major fashion houses like Prada and Balenciaga have gotten on the trend, proving this summer is truly all about the woven bag.

These Are the 24 Hottest Summer Bags to Buy Now

The latest bag from Loewe features beadwork by the Samburu women of Northern Kenya and all proceeds from the bag will go to the Elephant Crisis Fund. Loewe, tan elephant mini embellished bag, $1,650, loewe.com{: rel=nofollow}.

This straw tote stands out with the classic Gucci red and green stripes, it is also a great size for carrying all you need for a day in the sun. Gucci, woven straw tote, $1,290, neimanmarcus.com{: rel=nofollow}.

Made in Italy, Antonello Tedde bags are carefully crafted through an eco-conscious process, down to the chosen Italian wool and recycled cotton. Antonello Tedde, medium cotton tote, $595, Saks Fifth Avenue{: rel=nofollow}.

Dating back to the 1950s, the wicker market bag is making its comeback in this new form of a modern tote. Palmgrens, tall rattan bag with tan leather, $510, theline.com{: rel=nofollow}.

This structured rattan crossbody screams summer with bold yellow accents. Mark Cross, rattan bag with removable shoulder strap, $2,595, saksfifthavenue.com{: rel=nofollow}.

Made from toquilla straw, this medium sized bucket bag is woven by skilled artisans in Ecuador to hold your precious cargo. Sensi Studio, tote bag in olive green, $210, modaoperandi.com{: rel=nofollow}.

The Soeur brand, meaning “sister” brings in feminine colors and sleek shapes to the classic summer toe. Soeur, woven raffia tote bag, $150, barneys.com{: rel=nofollow}.

Try on a tote with an artistic twist that is much more than just a beach bag. Paco Rabanne, straw tote bag, $1,390, barneys.com{: rel=nofollow}.

With the brand originating in Costa Rica, this Montunas bag incorporates a printed scarf strap inspired by the rainforest. Montunas, box shoulder bag, $495, barneys.com{: rel=nofollow}.

Available in dark navy and red leather, this bag is ideal for those seeking a little extra storage space. Trademark, leather basket tote, $478, bergdorfgoodman.com{: rel=nofollow}.

Handmade in Ghana, this straw bag with leather handles comes in a variety of shapes with different fabric options. Muuñ, mini straw bag, $208, muun.bigcartel.com{: rel=nofollow}.

Following to the woven trend of the summer season, this tote is the ultimate bag for everyday use. Loeffler Randall, woven leather tote, $495, bloomingdales.com.{: rel=nofollow}

Celebrating both the 80’s and the influence of street art in fashion, this limited edition Michael Kors bag is a unique crossbody available this summer. Michael Kors leather bag, $228, michaelkors.com.

As the natural leather of this hand woven bag changes over time, no two will be identical. Dragon Diffusion, woven leather basket bag, $538, lagarconne.com{: rel=nofollow}.

This small ring-handle tote is a must for a summer evening out. Carolina ring tote, $575, saksfifthavenue.com{: rel=nofollow}.

Structured with wicker and complete with leather detailing, this bag is handcrafted in the Philippines. Ulla Johnson, wicker basket bag, $295, mytheresa.com{: rel=nofollow}.

Known for colorful accessories, Betina De Luca bags capture South American summer flair. Betina De Luca, square beaded bag, $645, betinadeluca.com{: rel=nofollow}.

This practical belt bag keeps your personal items safe no matter where your travels take you. Prada black nylon belt bag, $600, mytheresa.com{: rel=nofollow}.

Launching this weekend and inspired by the fashion house’s first fragrance bottle, the heart bag revives this 90’s motif on soft calf leather. Escada leather bag, $895, escada.com.

The cross body bag is a great summer travel accessory and MCM offers this new leather messenger bag in aqua. MCM, crossbody messenger bag, $765, neimanmarcus.com{: rel=nofollow}.

Go handsfree with this fanny pack featuring the signature Coach logo-print. COACH 1941, canvas fanny pack, $295, neimanmarcus.com{: rel=nofollow}.

With a focus on timeless elegance, The Row has perfected this calf leather hobo bag to use for summers to come. The Row, leather hobo, $4,900, available for pre-order at neimanmarcus.com{: rel=nofollow}.

This wearable crossbody bag is specifically handwoven by female artisans in Rwanda using sustainably harvested sisal; each piece takes 3 days to make. Cesta Collective, woven crossbody bag, $350, cestacollective.com{: rel=nofollow}.

Prefer a backpack for your weekend getaway? This bag is ideal for packing while still looking chic. Rag & Bone, leather backpack, $650, neimanmarcus.com{: rel=nofollow}.

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