FYI, This Is The It Bag Of The Moment

The idea of an It bag seems rather outdated. There was once a time when we clamoured to get our hands on a Fendi baguette (thank you, Carrie Bradshaw), searched high and low for a Louis Vuitton Speedy and would have given anything to snag a Gucci Jackie — or even swapped our school PE bag for the latest ‘cool girl’ high-street carrier — but must-have holdalls like these have fallen out of favour in recent years. 

Perhaps it’s the ever-increasing number of options, the rise of designer dupes or — most likely — how we seem to have less cash to play with than previous generations of fashion fans. Buying a bag that costs the same as a month’s rent just doesn’t land like it used to. 

Of course, there have been some standout stars. Daniel Lee’s Bottega Veneta Pouch, Jonathan Anderson’s Loewe Puzzle and Jacquemus’ Le Chiquito are all generation-defying bag designs but spotting one in the wild remains rather rare. Now, however, one bag is taking over my TikTok, popping up all over Instagram and hanging off so many shoulders on my commute that I’ve started to lose count.

Enter: Coach Tabby. An archival bag from the 1970s reimagined for the modern day, Tabby is taking its turn in the spotlight. Racking up an impressive 32.2 million views under the TikTok hashtag #coachtabby, a further 5.6 million under #coachtabbybag and cultivating a growing community of customers (referred to as ‘Coachies’), Tabby has cemented its It bag status. So what makes it so special?

blue tabby bag in hand

The classic Tabby Shoulder Bag, £450, has undergone a handful of adaptations since its launch in autumn 2019. Playing with small proportions, the OG style is just over 10 inches long, made from hard leather with detachable long and short straps and boasts snap closure and a gold-tone C sitting front and centre. It’s cute, chic and sits somewhere between quiet luxury and loud logomania thanks to its sleek shape and signature C. Since then, we’ve also seen the Soft Tabby, the Tabby Crossbody Wristlet, the Tabby Messenger and the Tabby Box Bag. But it’s the Pillow Tabby Shoulder Bag that’s particularly popular. 

Joining the ever-growing Tabby family, this puffed-up bag is now one of the brand’s bestsellers. With a less structured silhouette, a playful colour palette and a more reasonable (compared to the likes of Gucci and Chanel) price tag — £395 for the small size, £550 for the larger size — it’s a favourite of many a fashion fan. And just like the oversized coats and marshmallowy puffers that landed at the top of everyone’s winter wish lists, this chunky, cute, cartoon-like design has us hook, line and sinker — even if the padding takes up some (read: a lot) of the storage space inside.

The brand’s success isn’t down to design alone. Coach’s latest campaign, featuring Lil Nas X, Camila Mendes, Kōki and Wu JinYan, took over train station adverts and was plastered over billboards with its clever take on the ‘what’s in my bag’ trend. Shining a spotlight on emotional baggage, trauma and people’s past experiences, Coach dived right in where many fashion brands would steer clear, reminding us of our own raw emotions. For me, staring at this advert every day evoked a whole range of feelings, from memories I would have rather forgotten to pride in the fact I’d overcome them. This may sound silly but it made a big change from the sea of posters solely pushing product. Call it clever marketing or simply a sign of the brand’s core values but I felt a little bit seen, a little bit heard. It became something I actually wanted to support. Clearly, given the campaign’s success, I’m not the only one feeling this way.

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