History and development of the waist bag, an always fashionable accessory.


Loved, hated, surpassed and then resurrected. The waist bag is one of those accessories that makes people talk about itself as it clearly divides its audience. There is, in fact, who finds it indispensable and decidedly cool and who, on the contrary, hates it considering it uncomfortable and aesthetically not pleasant. This bag with a curious name, however, has a history of all respect and its origin is to be traced in the early era when our ancestors, before leaving for hunting, asked their ladies to apply pockets to their belts. The goal was certainly not to be fashionable but simply to be able to carry with greater simplicity all the tools, such as knives, sticks or blades, which could be needed to hunt animals.

The origins of the waist bag

But where does the name waist bag come from? The waist bag, par excellence, is the kangaroo sac, a real container that in nature serves the marsupials to insert and carry with them their offspring.

In short, the kangaroo pouch could be defined, without any difficulty, as the first form of bag that existed in the world and the only one that exists in nature. Taking a step forward, we note that the waist bag was also present among Native Americans who used buffalo leather versions and preferred it to the traditional pockets sewn on clothes.

Even, observing what the art offers us, a waist bag is algo present in a painting of 1416 by the brothers Limbourg where it is taken a noble in the act of hiding, in his own waist bag, how furtively stolen during a banquet luculliano, in a medieval court festival. 

But that’s not all. This bag with a particular shape soon arrives in Scotland where it will be used as an elegant accessory until you reach the formal and official clothing of the Scottish clans. The latter, however, preferred, given the rigid temperatures, wear the pouches in a version embellished with thick fur.

In 1991, in Italy, near the Venoste Alps, there was the discovery, by two Austrian tourists, of a mummy accompanied by a waist bag, called then the man of the Similaun, dating back to 3300 a.c.

For us inhabitants of the “Bel Paese” marsupio was and marsupio is but over the years many others have been the names given to the famous bag: in America it was called “Fanny pack” while in England it was the “bum bag”.

The first uses of the waist bag

Like all accessories, its function, initially, was purely practical and ignored any minimal fashion accent.

In the 80s, in fact, it was used by the working class as a stock exchange for work tools. At first the waist bag was placed under the back but, after repeated episodes of thefts, it was decided to start wearing it on the front. It was, therefore, an instrument of work, which was mainly used by those who worked in the factory. 

The first person who broke this habit, deciding to use the waist bag as a simple accessory, was the famous Bruce Springsteen. That moment represents a great debut for the pouch that from the dusty factories came to be exhibited all over the world, during the crowded international concerts of the American star. 

These are the same years in which, moreover, the pouch is consecrated as an exceptional accessory of the world’s rappers. In the 90’s, however, the waist bag was noticed by the athletes who began to use it during their marathons or, even more simply, runs to the park. There are many images of boys and girls of those years who, during their sports performances, show off more and more colorful pouches.

Of the same historical period, in fact, are also the photographs that appeared on all the magazines and that had as protagonists names like Bill Clinton and Lady Diana in the company, of course, of their waist bags. After those years, however, it seemed that the “marsupial” period had fallen. The silence, in fact, fell on the waist bag for about twenty years before his unexpected return to the work of the largest fashion houses such as Chanel, Saint Laurent, Prada and Balenciaga.

The waist bag today

Today the waist bag is back in the limelight, although in small size and often worn on the chest or, if it is not long, leaning on the shoulder as taught by the fashion icons Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and ASAP Rocky but also the sisters Hadid and Kardashian. I mean, it’s official, the ’90s fanny pack is back to shine on catwalks all over the world.

The famous bag was proposed in red paint, matt leather but also black nylon with comfortable and numerous pockets without neglecting the classic sporty version in bright and bright colors until you get a more aggressive reinterpretation with flat studs and metal chains.

In short, accomplices of big brands like Louis Vuitton and Gucci, different types of waist bags have started to invade the catwalks of numerous fashion shows, immediately enjoying great success. Not only nostalgic but also very young have immediately married the combinations proposed by fashion, bringing the pouch to be one of the indisputable top fashion trends. Whether it is an extremely casual, elegant or sporty look, the fanny pack seems to always be able to find the right place, even and, above all, when you decide to play with colors or, simply, to break with a light note on an evergreen like the total black. La conferma che le mode sono come i grandi amori, possono fare dei giri immensi ma poi ritornano. Sempre.