history of the bag



The bag is now an icon in the fashion world: the accessory that no woman can do without, which over the past fifty years has taken on a role of real status symbol, style sign that reflects the personality of a woman and the self-image she wants to show the world.

However, before becoming an essential accessory for every woman, the idea of bag has had various changes…

How did the bag come about?

Despite the few documents of the case, it is thought that the origins of the bag, from the Greek “byrsa” (leather), date back to those of the appearance of money: the first ancestors of it were just small bags, made of leather by workers of the time, usually tied to clothes.

During the fourteenth and seventeenth centuries there were changes made by the introduction of the pockets of men’s clothing. This invention changed the habits of man, who stopped using the bag.

Women in this period began to travel, thanks to the spread of transport, and this gave rise to the need for luggage with more feminine and refined finishes and details.

The bag went from being a purely professional and male accessory, to being an accessory in common use.

In this period, the bag began to assume an aesthetic value and no longer just practical!


Throughout the period of the First World War, the search for aesthetics was lost a bit (obviously); the bags were used to move around, so they were very capacious and made of sturdy leather.

With the end of the war, also to leave behind the horrors experienced, there was a great propensity and attention to worldly life and fashion.

Women began a slow process of emancipation: they began to work outside the house, to go dancing in the evening and to occupy spaces previously reserved for men.

This period brought back the use of the bag as a chic and essential accessory.

history bag


There was the birth of the clutch: square and rectangular in shape with or without shoulder straps (made of various materials) were very well suited to accompany the ladies in their outings and were combined with the new clothes tighter and shortened to the knee.

By now, the bag had become an essential accessory to complete the feminine outfit, it was no longer a simple container but became part of the image of an elegant and refined woman.


Today the bag is now a stable icon of the fashion world. 

The sixties were the emblem of the novelty: rigid and structured bags were introduced such as trunks and briefcases or practical bags with many pockets, zippers or bellows to wear even over the shoulder.

Various materials were experimented to build bags such as plastic, straw… but, even with the passing of the years, the only true timeless must remains the genuine leather bag: high quality accessory that guarantees a long life.

The master craftsmen who have made the history of the bag still keep the secrets of leather processing, committed to preserving and handing down an ancient and precious knowledge.

At Florence Leather Market every leather item is carefully hand-crafted by Florentine artisans so as to guarantee high quality Made in Italy products at an affordable price.

All the products on sale are constantly revised and updated to follow international trends!

Visit our website and discover the wide selection of leather items suitable for any occasion such as travel bags, messenger bags, clutch bags, hand or shoulder bags and all other accessories to complete every look.