In the era of 4.0, where fashion knows no boundaries, “It Bags” are now not only endorsed by famous “It Girls” but also gaining popularity with stylish “It Boys.”
“Some women will leave a lasting impression on a man’s memory as they walk down the street,” Rudyard Kipling wrote in the short story “Mrs Bathurst” (1904). This is one of the earliest references to what would define an “It Girl.” The concept became widely popularized with silent films, adapted from Elinor Glyn’s novel “It” (1927). “With a quality of the mind as well as physical allure that can only be called It, you will conquer all men if you are a woman and all women if you are a man. It can be a quality of the spirit as well as the physical attraction,” Elinor Glyn shared in her novel. Later on, the “It Girl” became a cultural phenomenon. We know who the It Girls are: Edie Sedgwick, Alexa Chung, Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy, Chlöe Sevigny, Paris Hilton, Julia Fox, Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner, Zendaya, Jennie Kim, and many others. Recently, The Cut highlighted 150 influential women in New York alone, exploring how they shape art and culture.
The “It Girl” has been defined and shaped over decades, evolving with the rapid changes in women’s roles in each era. The “It Girl” isn’t necessarily a cultural authority but someone who uses their unique perspective to create cultural relevance, earning respect and a desire to become them from society. They are women who help us understand the society, community, and culture of specific eras. For example, how would we understand the ’50s without Marilyn Monroe? Who would be the most authentic reflection of the counterculture trends of the ’90s like Chloë Sevigny? Whether it’s Naomi Campbell, Paris Hilton, or Edie Sedgwick, an “It Girl” truly acts as a “mirror” for the place she inhabits. These girls both reflect the culture around them and change it themselves.
The “It Girl” has been a constant presence throughout the different stages of history and cultural milestones, fearless of any challenges to her status. Their sphere of influence covers every aspect and place they appear, from life, beauty, health to fashion. If you are a true fashion enthusiast, you’ll recognize that the popularity of a trend or any fashion item on the trend carousel is deeply connected to a particular “It Girl.” Bella Hadid brings back the bayonetta sunglasses, Hailey Bieber introduces makeup styles named after fruits, Kendall Jenner revives the “pantless” trend, and there’s much more. The iconic bags in the fashion world also owe a part of their success to these “It Girls.” From the iconic Hermès bag associated with Jane Birkin to Kendall Jenner’s Gucci Horsebit chain clutch, the world of It-girls and It-bags is intricately intertwined. With their unique allure and profound influence on the community, these famous women help turn the bags from renowned brands into sought-after treasures for women everywhere.
From the past to the present, handbags were often seen as an exclusive “beloved” accessory for women. It wasn’t until fashion became more freely accessible and boundary-less as it is today that handbags were understood in the literal sense—a fashion accessory completing the overall look, endorsed passionately by enthusiasts regardless of gender or age. The emergence of “It Boys” in the new era has proven this.
Similar to the “It Girl,” the “It Boy” also possesses a similar charm and influence. The New York Times labeled designer Eli Russell Linnetz as the “reluctant It Boy of fashion.” Other recent figures bestowed with this unofficial title include the obvious and the unconventional: Harry Styles, Lil Nas X, V and Jimin from the BTS idol group, Choi Yeunjen from TXT, Hyunjin from Stray Kids, Timothée Chalamet, Luka Sabbat, Pedro Pascal, and more—all recognized as individuals with significant influence. The @itboytrends account on Instagram and Twitter has been documenting the styles of those considered It Boys since 2017, including Troye Sivan, Penn Badgeley, Jacob Elordi, Bad Bunny, Manu Rios, and others. Alongside images of men wearing luxurious fashion at Fashion Weeks or those sporting the most stylish outfits at music festivals, Tauan Gomes, the creator of this account, shares, “Today, an It Boy is someone with influence and, moreover, he is not afraid to change himself, experimenting with many different versions. They are people you look at and have to admire. They are a reliable source for the fashion and lifestyle of many young people.”
There is no doubt that many men associated with the title “It Boy” possess a distinctive style, an irresistible allure, and an indescribable charm that turns heads whenever they hit the streets. According to this explanation, today’s It Boys must be individuals like actor Alton Mason—a dancer turned model, or skateboarder turned model Evan Mock, a Gossip Girl star, a street style favorite during fashion week. It could be Fai Khadra, rumored to be Kendall Jenner’s ex-boyfriend. Or “Model of the Year” 2015 Jordan Barrett, honored by Vogue last year as one of the “faces of the LGBTQ+ revolution.” Or footballer turned TikTok sensation, the charming Gen Z guy—Noah Beck. Or Paul Hameline—an artist, a “fashion poet,” and a former film star in Gaspár Noe’s Lux Æterna (2019).
Today’s “It Boys” are free to express their true selves and exhibit the courage to reveal who they really are. As fashion becomes more open, their stories are not constrained by any rules. They break unwritten rules, challenge traditional masculine images in the fashion industry, and experiment with new things just to prove who they are. It’s not just dresses or high heels; there was a time when carrying a crossbody bag or a clutch could be controversial for a man. But nowadays, the situation has shifted, and “It Bags” are passionately endorsed by a multitude of male celebrities.
From Jacob Elordi’s Chanel crossbody bag to Kit Connor’s Bumper Bag from JW Anderson, they have elevated their outfits with dream-worthy fashion bags. Jacob Elordi is currently enjoying a flourishing career in cinema. In the fashion world, the actor has gained attention for his gender-fluid outfits, especially when he scores absolute points with luxurious small bags traditionally reserved for women, such as the Burberry crossbody bag, Andiamo and Cassette bags from Bottega Veneta. More recently, he became a fashion talking point when he sported a small, quilted Chanel shoulder bag during the press tour for the movie “Priscilla” in Venice, as well as the yellow Millionaire Speedy bag from Louis Vuitton’s Pharrell Williams’ debut spring collection 2024. In a recent interview with GQ, Elordi shared that his passion for bags comes from his upbringing in Australia: “Where I’m from, we have a culture of wearing shoulder bags, hip bags. When leaving home, I need to bring certain things with me whenever I feel bored, like a book, a notebook, a roll of film, a camera, a pen, and a bag is essential.”
A$AP Rocky has long been famous for his distinctive street style and an extensive collection of fashion bags. Recently, the rapper caught the attention of street-style photographers carrying a Gucci Mickey Mouse crossbody bag, a Bottega Veneta Andiamo, a Goyard tote, and a black Hermès Kelly adorned with gold-plated metal details, among others. Gatwa, a Rwandan-Scottish actor, is also a fashion figure with bold choices, including a cut-out Valentino shirt, cowboy hats, and pleated Thom Browne dresses. His daring fashion transformations always become the center of attention, especially when paired with standout bags. He has previously received fashion praise for his appearances with bags from brands such as Prada, Loewe, and Jacquemus. Similarly, young actor Kit Connor, another fashion enthusiast, has made waves by carrying a JW Anderson Bumper bag or a Dior Men’s Saddle bag. Harry Styles is another “It Boy” with a penchant for bags, owning a range of Gucci bags. Singer Troye Sivan is no exception – he attended the Met Gala 2021 with a Luar Ana bag.
Fashion icons like David Beckham, Pharrell, and Marc Jacobs, who have laid a solid foundation for menswear fashion over the years, also embrace luxury bags in their wardrobes. Beckham, known for gifting his wife Victoria countless Hermès Birkin bags, has added a few Birkin bags to his own collection. Before becoming the Artistic Director of Louis Vuitton menswear, Pharrell also played a crucial role in boosting men’s confidence in carrying bags. Renowned designer Marc Jacobs, often referred to as the “king of American fashion,” has showcased his love for Hermès bags in the past, but more recently, he has also favored bags from Chanel, Fendi, and Louis Vuitton.