Fanny pack, bum bag, belt bag, waist bag: Whatever you want to call it, these hip-adorning accessories rose to massive popularity in 2017, and not just among street style stars, Instagirls and hypebeasts.
According to Ebay's Top Shopped 2017 report, released last week, over 57,000 fanny packs were purchased on the online marketplace last year, and they were among the most popular '80s/'90s streetwear items that Ebay said made huge comebacks. Others included Champion sweatshirts (25,000 bought), Adidas Superstar sneakers (107,000 bought), Reebok classics (28,000 bought) and Nike Cortez (24,000 bought). Don't worry, though: Ebay's fanny pack inventory has yet to become depleted: A search on the site now yields a staggering 50,188 results.
There are a number of plausible reasons for the fanny pack's rise in popularity. The retro accessory enjoyed a cultural moment of sorts last year: Within a short time, we saw them on male arbiters of style like Kanye West, Virgil Abloh and A$AP Rocky; female tastemakers like Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid and their ilk were early adopters of the trend; and the Louis Vuitton men's Fall 2017, Gucci women's Spring 2018 and Balenciaga women's Spring 2018 runways all incorporated the look. The world was also introduced to a new way of wearing fanny packs that is both cool-looking and practical: cross-body instead of around the waist. While this trend is undoubtedly a polarizing one, it's not as difficult to pull off as one might imagine. Menswear enthusiast John Mayer recently offered his advice for wearing a fanny pack on Twitter, saying: "Wear [it] with quiet, unwavering confidence — but never as a shoulder bag. It's such an insecure move. Commit."
Its popularity likely soared on Ebay, specifically, because traditional retailers have only been able to respond to the trend recently, while Ebay had an ample supply of fanny packs from bygone decades. The question this now raises is: Have fanny packs hit their peak? While they may soon hit a tipping point among fashion insiders, we'd argue that the mainstream public is only just starting to get on board. One indication: Urban Outfitters seems to have bought deeply into this trend. And with the men's Fall 2018 shows already underway, we'll soon learn whether the style will have a full two-year life cycle.