big bags are coming on strong

The summer is awash with amazingly stylish tote bag designs, from Max Mara’s luxurious fur and animal-print bags to Armani’s newest totes in sleek neutrals and Emilio Pucci’s artful floral-print bags. Considered more than mere accessories these days, tote bags showcase some of the most extraordinary patterns presently trending in the fashion world. Jenny Straub, marketing and product development coordinator for Vitronic Promotional Group, cites color blocking as a highly significant tote trend. “If you follow fashion, you know that color blocking is everywhere and predicted to remain strong into fall,” she says. “With its clean lines and pops of color, this trend is fairly simple to incorporate as a tote bag design.” The aesthetic is part of a continued movement toward bold and bright patterns. “Color choice has quickly become an extension of a customer’s personality and branding,” says Sharon Tennyson, owner of LBD Promos. Design trends don’t just apply to pattern. Size matters too. “We’re still seeing small totes, but big bags are coming on strong,” says Tennyson. Functionality is important as well, and clients in different markets have specific needs that can be met by customizing bags with extra pockets and durable materials. Tennyson stresses the importance of keeping up on current fashion trends and applying them to one’s inventory: “Stay unique and distribute oversized bags with retail-oriented and fashion forward style options. Take a client’s personality into consideration and enhance it using color, size and pattern.” Her suggestions for the kinds of extra features end-users want include built-in coolers, lots of pockets, waterproof linings, shoulder straps, patterns, zipper pulls, and more.