Fish-Shaped Purses Are About to Be Everywhere

Home Fashion Fish-Shaped Purses Are About to Be Everywhere
Fish-Shaped Purses Are About to Be Everywhere

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Bottega Veneta sent a model down the runway at Milan Fashion Week carrying a woven fish clutch, and the concept has been on my mind since. The Bottega version is orange, red, and black, each of the windows in the weave kind of making a scaly effect. Then I got served an ad for the red Staud fish bag. One plus one equalled two, two plus two equalled four, and before I knew it, I was down the rabbit hole. The 2024 fish purse trend had my attention.

With the TikTok of it all, there’s likely a pressure for fashion houses to respond to trends on the Internet in their designs, and some might argue that a fish-shaped bag is a silly trend not based in how real people dress. But it would be ahistorical to say that quirky statement pieces are something modern. In fact, there’s something extremely classic about fashion trends that play with expectation. The Dior Saddle bag wasn’t always the classic it is now. Designers like Betsey Johnson and Moschino have made names for the toy-like nature of their brands. In fact, you can literally find affordable vintage Betsey Johnson fish bags on eBay right now.

A model carries a woven leather fish clutch at the Bottega Veneta AW 2024 show in Milan.

JW Anderson, a trusted name in weird fashion, has been on the fish purse trend both in his eponymous brand and in his work as Creative Director of Loewe. (In addition to fish, he also is responsible for the Internet-famous Studio Ghibli collabs, so the fish bag doesn’t even feel that weird for him.)

When trends like this happen, it’s never in a vacuum. The fish trend makes sense given the fish’s recent stylishness. Over the course of the last few years, tinned fish went from budget lunch food to something of a luxury. Tinned fish turned into a visual representation of summering on the Mediterranean, picnics in the park, drinking wine, and slurping oysters. Lisa Says Gah! even gave tinned fish a moment in its very popular, best-selling “Italian Summer print. Now, multiple jewelry bloggers on TikTok are showing off their scores of solid gold vintage articulated fish charms. Plus, fish are pretty—they have iridescent scales and exist in every color under the rainbow, and we human beings love shiny things. In a sense, its about damn time the fish clutch arrived.

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