After going without during the pandemic, 2022 is all about the practical bag – and bowlers are at the top of our wish list, with Lyst reporting that searches have increased by 29%.
Maria Grazia Chiuri presented a new range of bowling bags for Dior’s Resort 2022 collection, appropriately anointed “Dior Vibe”. As its quirky name suggests, Chiuri’s versions “mix the Dior heritage with the world of sportswear”, “bringing a touch of audacity to each silhouette”. The oblique perforated bowler, decorated with the house’s monogram, recalls the Saddle bowling bags that John Galliano created for Fall/Winter 2001 – catnip for nostalgic Gen-Z shoppers. And while Dior’s 2000-inspired iterations are worth splurging on, there are plenty of true vintage bowlers worth splurging on, too.
Miuccia Prada is widely credited with transforming bowlers from a practical item – used to carry balls, naturally – into a cult accessory during the Spring/Summer 2000 collections, when she first paired them with her loan -to-wear minimalist sexy. During the 90s, Karl Lagerfeld also regularly sent them to the Chanel catwalk in acid colors like hot pink (Farfetch Second Life currently offers a roomy quilted one from 1995), and Marc Jacobs developed a number of bowling bags during his tenure as artistic director of Louis Vuitton. (Today, LV’s Alma and Speedy bags are often likened to bowlers for their charming shapes.)
Another exquisite counterpart to the bowling bag? The Bolide Hermès. His legacy predates the bowlers of the 2000s by almost a century. During a visit to Henry Ford in the United States in the 1910s, Emile-Maurice Hermès is said to have been inspired by a zip he had seen, patenting it in France and using it on the Bolide in 1923. A whole new Bolide will set you back a cool £6,090, while a vintage is over £1,750. But perhaps the most subtle version of the bowling bag? The Row’s sporty 12 inch bowler.
Resale sites are fertile ground for vintage bowling bags. Reserve time, turn on product notifications, and discover your perfect piece. Patience is the key.