Cookie banner

This site uses cookies. Select "Block all non-essential cookies" to only allow cookies necessary to display content and enable core site features. Select "Accept all cookies" to also personalize your experience on the site with ads and partner content tailored to your interests, and to allow us to measure the effectiveness of our service.

To learn more, review our Cookie Policy, Privacy Notice and Terms of Use.

clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Pretty, Functional, Expensive: 15 Outrageous Designer Backpacks

New, 2 comments

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

There has been an utter explosion of fashion backpacks, and nearly every high-end designer has given the school-day staple an ultra-luxe spin: Alexander McQueen offers one for a whopping $2,195, Rick Owens has a style that will run you $2,035, and Stella McCartney's $1,225 drawstring backpack is sold out on Net-a-Porter. But where did this sudden and thorough show of fancy rucksacks come from?

We call it The Perfect Fashion Backpack Storm, and its elements include:
· never-ending Clueless nostalgia
· the related resurgence of '90s fashion including the little Prada backpack
· The Row's 2011 debut into bags which famously included a $39,000 drawstring backpack—the silhouette has since become a brand staple, and the line won the 2014 CFDA accessories award with it as part of their line-up
· Chanel's spring 2014 runway backpacks (pictured above) and their resultant appearance on Important Fashion People like Lucky's Eva Chen and celebrities like brand friend Lily Allen and brand fan Khloe Kardashian

For some, this is a happy step in the direction of comfort and utility, right in line with fashion's embrace of flat shoes and oversized clothes. Others aren't sold: "I never was a backpack person," Barneys Creative Ambassador-at-Large said. "My gay sister was always working a backpack, and it's a little too hearty for me." That, of course, hasn't stopped the department store from stocking dozens of iterations of crazy expensive ones—you have to give the people what they want (they want this, right?).

In the gallery below, see 15 of the most outrageously expensive, luxe, and gorgeous backpacks on the market, from big brands like Saint Laurent, Givenchy, and Balenciaga. Not pictured is the winner of the award for Most Horrifically Unattractive While Still Being Wildly Expensive AND Shockingly Tiny, which belongs to MCM, earned with this $3,200 monstrosity, currently on pre-order. (For something a little more palatable, price-wise, try this $410 backpack from Racked Young Guns finalist Kara, Rebecca Minkoff's boxy Love backpack for $375, or Fossil's straight-from-the-'90s Reissue Sling at $198).

· Prepare Ye Clavicles. Off-The-Shoulder Is Back [Racked]
· 20 High-Heeled Sandals Because You 'Can't With Birkenstocks' [Racked]
· Not Your 'Boyfriend' Nor Your 'Mom': Meet the Slouch Jean [Racked]