It was the last one of its kind when I spotted it on a shelf amongst a slew of multi colored handbags. I wonder why no one else had taken it?
That question aside, here’s a little confession: I have wanted a round jute bag ever since it made its way to my Instagram explore page in 2017 – when the trend of such bags had just started.
At the time of its advent, jute bags or basket bags were only available through high fashion retail sites such as Selfridges or Bloomingdales – or as I would put it: accessible only to those who stood on the higher side of the fashion food chain: popular fashion bloggers, fashion editors, fashion journalists etc.
Over the months, as the popularity of jute bags/basket bags grew, I watched them evolve in style and shape as these bags appeared on my Instagram feed in more places that I would have otherwise anticipated. As though, somehow, they had trickled down through the cracks of high fashion outlets and seeped their way to fast fashion access.
At that point I could veritably say, I wanted one too, more than ever.
When I returned back to Bombay, all the jute bags were either sold out or just too expensive, compared to the retail prices I was used to seeing in Europe. Also, I felt guilty about buying anything after shopping during my holiday.
By October though, the trend started to diminish slowly. These bags appeared sporadically on Instagram’s explore page until finally by December they stopped appearing altogether. Women now prefer to buy Maria Grazia Chiuri’s redesigned Dior Saddle bag.
I think that answers why no one else had taken the jute bag from Zara, because simply put: it wasn’t trending anymore.
With the creation of Instagram, we no longer have to rely on fashion magazines or high fashion websites to learn about the latest fashion. With Instagram’s mass accessibility, it not only gave birth to a whole new subsection of trendsetters more commonly known as fashion influencers, but it also gives us, as consumers a first hand insight to those trends, which invariably plays a crucial role in influencing our own fashion choices.
When I actually thought about it, the answer was a little more complex than what I had originally comprehended. On so many levels the answer is YES, yes it matters to buy something that has no room left in the ever-changing cycle of fashion.
But on a personal level the answer is No, no it shouldn’t matter at all.
Examining my relationship with fashion over the years made me realize one thing with certainty, that while fashion – like every other art form – requires external validation, the trick is not in necessarily in buying what is expensive or trending; it is in fact about buying what YOU truly like.
Because even though clothes and accessories are tools that enhance your personality, what ultimately defines it, starts and ends with your choices. Whether it is for your career, the books your read or even the way you dress.
What I always liked about these jute bags is their intricate design that borders over utilitarian. These bags are pretty and yet practical; handmade and yet sturdy.
And the best part is, I can literally combine it everything I own.
If you’d like to get your hands on a jute bag/basket bag, here are some links: