The Updating survey revealed a powerful interest in gender-neutral inspirations for the S/S 21 season. This influence infuses silhouettes top to toe through a broad and seductive offer of unisex bags and shoes.
Playing with volumes and shapes, accessories shake off gender codes to meet a growing demand, and offer functional, high-performance and-ultra polished products.
Next summer’s bags are anything but shy in terms of volume, and are both defiantly pragmatic and boldly contradictory – with exaggeratedly large or small shapes.
In their mini versions, geometrical styles – trapeze, round, rectangular – create micro-pochettes to carry with you everywhere, the perfect accessory for dancing from party to party.
Worn around a belt or a collar – like a childlike cuddle toy we aren’t ready to give up – these bags can carry everything we need in our citified lives – telephones, e-cigs and more. They’re worked in rather matt, smooth or grained leathers, which subtly reveal bright, almost fluorescent colors or alternately in airy pastels. They’re the right partner for every party, lending just the right amount of coolness to every evening outfit, making sure you’ll never go unnoticed.
In city or beach versions for day, totes are always a hit. This season’s versions are puffy and soft, made from very fine, featherweight, high-performant leathers that are sturdy and even water-repellent, and embellished with sporty details such as perforations or geometric designs that accentuate their unisex look. They’re the essential accessory to wear with monochrome suits.
Moccasins with massive heels, square toes and heavy buckle-detailing round out the new gender-neutral suit looks with a dandy flair. Leathers are boldly textured: shrunken, embossed or hollowed, they’re a cross between vegetable bark and animal shells, for slightly ostentations interpretations that are always boldly confident.
Sneakers are still popular but newer versions veer more to heritage and are less design influenced. Plays on cut-outs reveal a subtle mix of materials – leather or nubuck – and tend to super modern and unisex color-block models.
For full summer, sporty sandals with notched soles feature multicolor crisscross straps, either in sporty versions for the beach or treading the city streets, to nicely offset a pink suit with shorts. A sunny yellow cloche hat with an outsized brim in water-repellent cotton is perfect to round out this sophisticated yet casual silhouette.
In more pared-down versions, neat and graphic double-strapped styles in leather with a subtly gummy look go well with gender-neutral suits with assertive performance features. Vegetal tanned leathers with their perfectly matt look and tech neoprene feel accentuate the amazing synergy between eco-friendliness and innovation.
In a beachier version, mules continue to be popular, and join in the general appeal of artisanal know-hows. Soles are adorned with braided plant materials – jute canvas, raffia – or new developments combining plant materials and leather for a truly casual chic. Braided leathers are having a moment too. The braiding can vary from thick, rounded straps boasting soft comfort, to more classic versions updated by fresh color schemes.
The winds of freedom are already sweeping across S/S 21. Bags and shoes are moving towards inclusiveness and breaking away from gendered codes to offer models that are both highly functional and desirable.