The best work–life bags of 2021, reviewed


Bag designers are, in some methods, anthropologists. They should pay shut consideration to our existence in an effort to create merchandise that adapt to our wants. And the brand new wave of bags in the marketplace at present displays how the pandemic has reworked our lives.

5 years in the past, after I first launched this checklist, I noticed how a brand new technology of designers at purse startups have been centered on creating giant, multi-functional bags that will adapt to prospects’ busy lives. Again then, we spent our days exterior the house, hitting the gymnasium very first thing within the morning, lingering at espresso retailers and lunch dates, commuting to the workplace, and jetting off on work journeys. Then, COVID-19 hit, forcing us to stay homebound for a 12 months and a half. Because the pandemic recedes, there’s purpose to imagine we’ll proceed to spend extra time at dwelling, since distant work has change into the norm. And designers have taken this into consideration.

This 12 months, modern purse startups have launched small, versatile bags which are excellent for brief excursions like afternoon walks or espresso dates. They’ve additionally centered on creating items that work for each formal and casual events, so you possibly can carry the identical bag to a flowery celebratory dinner and a hike. And as we eagerly return to touring once more, designers have centered on creating items which are simple to carry on journeys, due to cross-body straps that preserve your arms free, and baggage sleeves.

I examined many bags to carry you this 12 months’s best work–life bags. These are the six that made the lower. They’re excellent for this present second, however are so useful and exquisite that you simply’ll preserve coming again to them for many years to come back.


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[Photo: courtesy Senreve]

Senreve Alunna

The gold customary for versatility

The Alunna, which is available in two sizes and a myriad of colours, has a small profile, however is large enough to carry every little thing you want for the day, together with a bottle of hand sanitizer, sun shades, make-up, and even a small water bottle. I discovered it to be a particularly versatile bag, due to its modern straps, which might be configured right into a cross-body, a satchel, and even a backpack. Senreve creates its bags utilizing Saffiano leather-based, which is each supple and immune to scratching or staining. So despite the fact that it’s luxurious, you don’t have to fret about it getting soiled on a hike, and it seems to be simply pretty much as good with a dressy outfit at a restaurant.

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[Photo: courtesy Cuyana]

Cuyana Convertible Belt Bag

Most modern design

That is Cuyana’s fashionable, intelligent tackle the fanny pack, a well-liked selection through the pandemic as a result of it means that you can preserve your arms free. Cuyana’s designers have created a slim leather-based belt that features by itself and appears attractive cinching the waist of a gown. However due to little pouches you possibly can add on, you should utilize it to hold your cellphone, bank cards, headphones, and different necessities. It is available in 4 colours, which you’ll be able to combine and match. It’s the proper mix of type and performance.


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[Photo: courtesy Mansur Gavriel]

Mansur Gavriel Mini Cloud Clutch

A whimsical funding piece 

In case you’re trend ahead, you’ve in all probability been trying ahead to having the ability to gown up once more and exit with a press release purse. Mansur Gavriel has created the proper bag for you. It’s a small bag made of buttery lambskin leather-based whose silhouette evokes a cloud. It’s a slim bag, designed to hold your necessities, like your telephone, bank cards, and keys. It seems to be lovely as a clutch, so it’s the proper companion for all of the weddings, dinner events, and dates you’ve been lacking. Nevertheless it may also be carried as a cross-body or shoulder bag due to a skinny strap. It’s an funding piece that’s excellent for this second, however will come in useful for years to come back.

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[Photo: courtesy MZ Wallace]

MZ Wallace Medium Metro Tote Deluxe

Prepared in your subsequent flight

MZ Wallace’s designers knew that the pandemic was coming to an finish as a result of prospects have been looking for journey bags, anticipating a time after they would be capable of hop on a aircraft once more. The firm determined to create a bag that will be excellent for this in-between second, once we’re simply venturing out of our properties however plan to go additional afield quickly. They took one of the model’s hottest bags—the Medium Metro Tote, with its iconic quilted exterior—and outfitted it with a journey sleeve, so you possibly can put it on high of your rolling baggage. The bag might be compressed right into a tiny pouch, making it the proper bag to carry on a visit. Nevertheless it’s additionally an extremely light-weight and spacious bag for on a regular basis use, from carrying towels and sunscreen to the seaside to toting groceries dwelling.

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[Photo: courtesy Bee & Kin]

Bee & Kin Nomad Backpack

For the brand new method we work

As we enter a world the place distant work is the norm, the tech-forward bag startup Bee & Kin has created the perfect bag for this second. It’s a modern, Italian leather-based backpack that has a spandex sleeve to suit a 16-inch laptop computer, so you possibly can carry your laptop with you wherever you select to work—whether or not that’s again within the workplace, a seaside in Bali, or a camper van road-tripping throughout the nation. The bag has a pocket that homes a built-in charger, so you possibly can slide your telephone into it everytime you want energy, together with many different pockets for keys, water bottles, and extra. You’ll be able to assume of this bag as a sort of office-to-go.

i 6 best work life bags of 2021 90632168 von holzhausen circle crossbody circle bag oat
[Photo: courtesy Von Holzhausen]

Von Holzhausen Circle Crossbody

For the eco-warriors


Vicki von Holzhausen, a former luxurious automotive designer, is on a mission to make the style trade extra sustainable. Because the leather-based provide chain is very carbon intensive and creates quite a bit of air pollution, she’s growing alternate options which are simply as supple and exquisite as leather-based, however with a a lot decrease environmental footprint. Enter her latest purse, a circle cross-body comprised of a brand new materials she’s calling Banbū. As its title implies, it’s comprised of the bamboo plant, which is renewable, fast-growing, and requires comparatively little water. And in contrast to many different artificial leathers in the marketplace, that are successfully made of plastic, this materials is designed to biodegrade. The traditional circle silhouette is impressed by the round type of the bamboo plant. It’s designed to be carrying over the shoulder or as a cross-body, and suits every little thing you want for a day trip, together with a small water bottle.

Quick Firm’Recommender part is devoted to surfacing modern merchandise, providers, and types which are altering how we stay and work. Each merchandise that we write about is independently chosen by our editors and, wherever potential, examined and reviewed. Quick Firm could obtain income from some hyperlinks in our tales; nevertheless, all picks are primarily based on our editorial judgment.