Look no further than your nearest Uniqlo to find the season’s most sought-after accessory. Meet the Round Mini Shoulder Bag: the water-repellent top-zip polyester purse unexpectedly racking up millions of views on TikTok. The best part? It comes in eight colors and costs a mere $19.90, making it one of the most accessible It bags in history.
Style forecaster Mandy Lee, known as @oldloserinbrooklyn to her 440K followers on TikTok, was “delighted” to see the bag climb to the top of fashion tech company Lyst’s quarterly ranking of the hottest products. To her, the bag encapsulates a broader skew toward simple and affordable style in light of a looming recession. Last quarter, nearly every top-ranking product on the list was some kind of statement piece.
“This stark contrast is just another reminder that we are entering a season of uniformity in the trend cycle, and more simple, pared-down, and affordable pieces are being coveted over more ostentatious and expensive pieces,” Lee explained in a TikTok analysis video. “These are all tell-tale signs of economic uncertainty, which impact the fashion cycle and trends so, so much.”
Devoid of obvious branding and embellishment, the bag has a mass appeal that speaks to the potency of the quiet-luxury or stealth-wealth trend: a style sensibility that communicates value by way of subtlety and simplicity over fads and flashy logos. Gwyneth Paltrow, with her tendency toward classic, tailored silhouettes in neutral colors and quality textiles, perfectly embodies this kind of dressing. But you don’t need to wear designer clothing in order to get the look. In fact, the goal is to appear as though you’re not trying so hard. Case in point: The “if you know, you know” approach to dressing the cast of HBO’s Succession. Rarely is anything from Shiv Roy’s closet identifiably expensive, except to the most discerning eye.
The Uniqlo shoulder bag is blazing a trail for attainable fashion to have a major moment this year, and it won’t take long for other brands to take note. Elsewhere, New York Magazine recently reported on the rise of a durable $99 nylon ripstop convertible backpack from Patagonia as city-dwelling creatives’ favorite carry-all.
This story originally appeared in Glamour.
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