It’s tiny but impactful – it’s the mini bag

Jacquemus introduced their famous Le Chiquito as part of their Fall Ready-to-wear collection in 2017 and later introduced an even smaller version of the bag in 2019. 

The world of mini bags has never been the same! But how can this trend get bigger and bigger as the bags get smaller and smaller? 

Let’s go through the history of the small but iconic bags. 


An old time status symbol

Women have always worn mini bags, all the way back to the early to mid 1900s. Back then, the small bags were a sign of wealth, as the small bags were seen as elegant and classy because of their size. They were a status symbol and in some way they still function as such. The women of the royal families all across the world always carry small bags or clutches and sometimes none at all. It seems, the less you carry around, the less you have to worry about.

Source: @martineakersveen on Instagram.

A humble resurgence of mini bags 

Karl Lagerfeld – the man, the myth, the legend – introduced a mini bag as part of his Spring/Summer 2015 collection for Fendi. His version was sturdy, structured and embellished and accompanied with the oversized fluffy key chains Fendi are famous for – among other things.

Source: @acvogel on Instagram.

The comeback 

In his Fall 2017 Ready-to-Wear show, Jacquemus debuted Le Chiquito. A mini bag large enough to fit a couple of credit cards, small key ring, and tube of lipstick (but definitely not an iPhone). The bag was small and only worn by two models, so it was a real ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ moment! The bag however made a lasting impression. Measuring at just two and a half inches tall, four wide and costing $522, many doubted it would sell. However, upon its release, the Jacquemus bag was immediately embraced by some of the most influential A-listers, including Rihanna, Kim Kardashian, and Beyoncé. 

Fast forward a single year, and several models on the Fall 2018 Ready-to-Wear show wore small and mini bags of all sorts, including Le Chiquito, in a plethora of colors . 

Following the success, Jacquemus shrunk the original mini bag to even smaller proportions for Fall/Winter 2019. Appropriately named Le Petit Chiquito, it is a mere two inches tall and wide. Though it is a bit more affordably priced at $258, the new model is only large enough to fit one (!) AirPod or a handful of Tic Tacs. However, accompanied by a long strap, Le Petit Chiquito is more versatile; it can be carried as a traditional crossbody bag and styled as a belt, necklace, or bracelet.


Source: The Vintage Bar.

What now?

Functionality clearly doesn’t define this trend, so what keeps it going? Adaptation! 

Chanel has taken the trend and made it theirs and so have BOYY, Staud and By Far – just to name a few high-end takes on the trend. 

By Far loves to play with color and texture and BOYY and Staud both like to explore geometrical shapes. Chanel had their own idea and layered multiple mini bags on the runway for their Spring/Summer 2019 show and for their Resort 2020 show, models were wearing mini bags on belts. 

The mini bags are a widespread trend but it seems that the small accessory still works like a status symbol.

Mini Bags

Written by Alberte Gram
Alberte Gram is a fashion writer based in London.
The people pictured are not associated with The Archive
or The Vintage Bar, and do not endorse the products shown.