Handbags for men all the rage

Fashion conscious Swedish men won't be seen dead without their handbags this season.

Handbags for men all the rage
Photo: Rick Aiello

Sales of the accessories are currently causing a trend sensation, with discerning males from Stockholm to Gothenburg ditching their briefcases in favour of stylish man bags.

While exact sales figures remain elusive, boutique owners and distributors both agree that handbags for men are the new black.

Björn Borg Bags, for example, has doubled its sales of gentlemen’s bags in the space of a year. The company has also broadened its range to meet the growth in demand.

“We can see that bags as accessories are becoming part of men’s fashion,” said spokeswoman Alexandra Adler.

Prestigious department store Nordiska Kompaniet (NK) is also stocking up on bags for gents this autumn.

“There used to be a lot of briefcases for men who need to carry folders or laptops but now there are more shoulder bags. We have also got in somewhat smaller bags. These are maybe intended not so much for work but for everyday use,” said shop assistant Niko Järvikari.

While young women are turning to hunting in ever greater numbers, young men have so far proved to be the keenest customers.

But does the trend signal any sort of change in the masculine mindset? Hillevi Ganetz, a lecturer in gender studies at Uppsala University, thinks not.

“This really doesn’t signify any sort of symbolic shift with regard to masculinity – it’s about selling more things to men. There is a huge market to be tapped into when it comes to clothing, make-up and shoes,” she said.