Jennifer Lopez in NY last week with a large Chanel fringe bag; Chanel embellished fringe flap bag (top right); Gucci fringe suede shopper tote (bottom right)

Last week, I found myself explaining to a friend how I’m really into fringe lately (you know you’re a fruit when…). There’s a casual and free-spirited vibe with fringe, often referred to as ‘boho chic’ that’s both fun and cool. And lately I’ve noticed a lot of stylish celebs rocking the fringe trend, especially fringe bags (as seen on Jennifer Lopez recently while shopping in NYC). After doing a little fashion research (obviously the best kind of research), I discovered a lot of luxury fashion brands are on top of the fringe bag trend – Chanel, Gucci, Stella McCartney, Valentino and Saint Laurent to name a few. If fact, some leading luxury shopping sites, such as net-a-porter.com, have sections devoted to the fringe bag fad  which goes to show you that it’s all about fancy fringe, y’all.

Fringe embellishment has come a long way over the years. I distinctly remember in the 80s when teenage bangers with fringe purses would hang out in front of Macs smoking. It was an unfortunate look. But fringe details goes back long before then. It became a decorative fashion element during the 1920s as a critical element in the flapper look, however it really dates back to the Native Americans and became popular again in the 60s as part of the hippie movement. Most recently the look was considered to have more of a young bohemian vibe, and something seen mostly on hipsters at music festivals.

The new fringe is now more grown up and refined, but still has the bohemian quality many women love. For the Spring 2014 runway collections, it was one of the biggest trends for summer. And now many luxury fashion houses are incorporating the look into chic formal wear, while still maintaining an element of whimsy. Somehow, the movement makes fringe work for almost any occasion.

While you can definitely invest in some expensive fringe bags, like most trends, it’s not necessary to spend a ton. There are lots of cool options at many different price points. And while fringe bags are a great accessory for summer, they’ll also work well in the fall. So many trends come and go but it seems like fringe has evolved and achieved a timeless quality where the cool factor continues.

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