A Year in Retrospect: Bag Trends of 2019

The bag industry is facing a huge disruption: independent brands. Yuzefi and Jacquemus are just some of the latest brands to dominate the market - and luxury bag sales have taken a hit. This report is a retrospective view of the bag industry across all segments, uncovering key trends in luxury and fast fashion, as well as in independent brands.

Written by Ashley LooiFebruary 10, 2020


The revenue for the Bags and Accessories market is forecasted to be USD 142 million in 2020, with a compound annual growth rate of 10.8% over the next 5 years. Moreover, it was found that teens spent an average of USD 90 on bags in 2019.

There has been a major shift in consumer demand, whereby consumers are searching for more than just a bag – they want solutions. Consumers are putting high expectations on the function and versatility of the products they purchase.

Luxury bag sales have declined, indicating the end of the ‘It’ bag and the rise of internet trends introduced by social media. Independent brands with social media presence have become popular among Instagram-savvy consumers, taking away market share from the luxury market. Additionally, the rise of the luxury resale market has made an impact on the luxury segment. Luxury resale companies like Rebag and the RealReal allow consumers to purchase authentic second-hand designer bags at more affordable prices.

In this report, we analyse the premium, luxury and fast fashion segments of the women’s bag industry, along with independent brands like Jacquemus and Yuzefi to identify key trends and spot opportunities.

More than 34,000 data points were screened from January to December 2019 across US and UK markets.


All data used in this report comes from products retailing online as tracked by Omnilytics, unless otherwise mentioned.

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Luxury & Premium: Overview

Overall Performance

Balenciaga championed the luxury segment with a total sell-out rate of 89% despite having the least newness at 77%. The under-performer in the luxury segment was Versace. Even with high newness and aggressive discounting, the brand failed to drive high sell-out.

Both Rebecca Minkoff and Kate Spade New York had the highest total sell-out rates in the premium segment. Their success was achieved through above average discounting to compensate for low newness. Coach also achieved an above average total sell-out rate but did so by having 93% of new-in products.

Top 3 Categories with the Most Newness (Luxury)

  1. Shoulder Bags
  2. Wallets & Cardholders
  3. Tote Bags

Top 3 Categories with the Most Newness (Premium)

  1. Shoulder Bags
  2. Cross Body Bags
  3. Tote Bags


The luxury segment puts a larger focus on Wallets & Cardholders compared to the premium segment. Shoulder Bags account for 24% of the new-in assortment for both segments. A majority of the contribution for Shoulder Bags came from Prada and Michael Michael Kors.

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Luxury & Premium: Key Styles

The key styles spotted in the luxury and premium segments were chunky chains, animal prints and drawstring bags.

Chunky Chains

Carrying over from Fall/Winter 2018 is the chunky chain trend. The style was still popular in Shoulder Bags, Cross Body Bags and Mini Bags with 3,200 new-in products.

Animal Prints

Another spill-over style from Fall/Winter 2018, more than 300 new-in SKUs featured croc-effect, snakeskin, python and leopard prints. The print with the highest newness was croc-effect, accounting for 40% of animal prints. The croc-effect was mostly seen in Cross Body Bags. The most popular colours for the style were black and brown for core colours and red for fashion colours.

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Fast Fashion: Overview

Overall Performance

River Island had the highest total sell-out rate of 90%, which reigned the fast fashion segment with above average newness and below average discounting in spite of its high median price. Fashion Nova and H&M also fared well by achieving above average total sell-out rate, despite having below average discounting and newness.

Even though Dorothy Perkins had the most newness and aggressive discounting, the brand had the lowest total sell-out rate. This indicates that Dorothy Perkins was not meeting customer expectations as its low priced positioning did not encourage sales.

Top 3 Categories with Most Newness

  1. Cross Body Bags
  2. Shoulder Bags
  3. Tote Bags

Shoulder Bags had a smaller new-in contribution in the fast fashion segment where Cross Body Bags topped. The bulk of Cross Body Bags came from Charles & Keith, Zara, Fashion Nova and River Island. Zara had a high concentration of new-in for Shoulder Bags, which contributed to more than 30% of the category.

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Fast Fashion: Key Styles

The prominent styles in the fast fashion segment were similar to the luxury and premium segments with chunky chains and animal prints. However, buckles were also a key style within the segment.

Chunky Chains

Chunky chains comprised 25% of the new-in assortment. Predominantly in the Cross Body Bags, Shoulder Bags and Clutches categories, the style was more overstated in the fast fashion segment compared to the luxury and premium segments.

Animal Prints

Animal prints accounted for 1,300 new-in SKUs – 14% of the new-in assortment. The fast fashion segment mirrored the luxury and premium segments whereby croc-effect was the animal print with the highest newness. It was seen most in Cross Body Bags and Top Handles.

Statement Buckles

Although the statement buckle trend only made up 2% of the entire assortment, the style managed to achieve 82% sell-out. Statement buckles were most prominent in the Cross Body Bags and Shoulder Bags categories.

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Meet the Author

Ashley Looi

Ashley Looi combines her major in econometrics with her interest in fashion to help brands and retailers uncover actionable insights. She currently produces in-depth reports on the fashion industry and its changing retail scene across the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Southeast Asia.

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