With fanny packs firmly holding a spot as people's stylish go-to item, knowing more about it is definitely a good thing.
Allegedly inspired by the Kangaroo, an Australian widow named Melba Stone (probably) invented the bumbag in 1962. It’s not quite clear if Melba is real or fictitious. But it’s still worth mentioning. Here are some other interesting tidbits about this trending accessory.
It’s called a bum bag in Britain because ‘fanny’ means something else not suitable for children. They’re also called moon bags, belt bags, belted satchels, hip packs, waist packs, stomach bags, waist wallets, belly bags, chaos pouches, buffalo pouches, hip sacks, butt packs, and fanny belts. It doesn’t really matter, it’s all the same thing.
The item first appeared in the stone and medieval ages as leather pouches to stash objects and hold tools before the advent of pockets. Women wore chatelaine purses in the Victorian times and Middle Ages, the Scots wore ‘sporrans’ which was a small bag over their kilts. Fast-forward to 1991 when tourists found the mummified body of Otzi the Iceman. He carried small tools in his bag and this proved that approximately 5000 years ago belt bags were a thing.
Around the 1960’s and 70’s They were popularised by outdoorsmen like European skiers and adventure hikers. Predominantly a utilitarian piece of hiking gear it was only later that it would transition from necessary climbing equipment to 'tourist mom' accessory.
The eighties saw the accessory enter into mainstream fashion going well with spandex and mom jeans. This was the bag’s golden age to be sure. In 1988 Ad Week named them the hottest product of the year.
The trend pretty much became ironic post 1980 becoming a favourite item of stars like Dwayne Johnson and Jared Leto. Big fashion brands like Chanel breathed new life into it by placing Supermodels like Claudia Schiffer in one of their ads in 1992. Vogue, Characters from Seinfeld and Carrie Bradshaw were also fans of the bag in the nineties.
Synonomous with festival goers, 2016 and fall 2017 saw the it bag once again return as the natural accomplice to predominant trends like ‘athleisure’ and the resurgence of 1980’s aesthetics. We have the rise of streetwear to thank for this one. Prada, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Telfar, Nike, Alexander Wang, Rich Mnisi and other influential brands have since made the fanny pack a runway staple.