How a $20 Uniqlo bag became fashion’s hottest accessory

How a $20 Uniqlo bag became fashion’s hottest accessoryHow a $20 Uniqlo bag became fashion’s hottest accessory
@caitlinphillimore, Uniqlo, elenatea_,
Ryan General
April 21, 2023
A $20 shoulder bag from Japanese casual wear company Uniqlo has taken the world by storm to become this quarter’s most sought-after accessory. 
Uniqlo’s Round Mini Shoulder Bag has earned its place at the top of online fashion retailer Lyst’s breakdown of the hottest products for the first quarter of 2023, besting Rick Owens’ Kriester Sunglasses ($625), Bottega Veneta’s Drop Earrings ($960) and MSCHF’s Big Red Boots ($350).
Lyst’s report, which highlights the trendiest brands and buys of the quarter, also featured more expensive labels such as Alaïa, Maison Margiela, and Diesel.
Uniqlo’s bag made the report’s history by being the “cheapest product to ever be featured in The Lyst Index.”
Prior to becoming the poster child for attainable fashion, the water-repellent, top-zip polyester bag first captured the attention of TikTok users, with videos about the accessory racking up millions of views across influencers. 
Among the first to promote the bag on the platform was TikTok user Elena Téa, who in May 2022 called the Uniqlo bag the perfect travel bag in her viral video.
In her clip, which has been viewed over 350,000 times, she manages to squeeze in a journal, a digital camera, a phone, a powder compact, a make-up bag, a wallet and a pair of sunglasses inside the small but deceptively spacious bag. 
The video earned comments from users who also shared the assortment of items they can fit into the bag, including a large bottle and an umbrella.  
TikToker Caitlin Phillimore-Price also posted about the bag on TikTok back in Sept. 2022 and has since attracted over 800,000 views. 
Urging her viewers to buy the bag, Phillimore-Price demonstrates that she was able to store her lip balm, cookies, wallet, keys headphones, camera, phone charger, hair clip, perfume bottle and a medical device in the relatively small bag.
Aside from the bag’s impressive capacity, its mass appeal has been attributed to its affordability and understated style.
Available in eight colors, the Uniqlo shoulder bag has a minimalistic design that omits branding and typical embellishments. Its simplicity makes it wearable with a variety of outfits and matches any occasion. 
Fashion writer Mandy Lee shared in a recent TikTok video that she was “delighted” to see the bag top of Lyst’s quarterly ranking.
According to Lee, the bag’s popularity indicates that consumers now are looking for simple and affordable fashion trends.
“This stark contrast is just another reminder that we are entering a season of uniformity in the trend cycle, and more simple, pared-down, and affordable pieces are being coveted over more ostentatious and expensive pieces,” she explained in her analysis video. “These are all tell-tale signs of economic uncertainty, which impact the fashion cycle and trends so, so much.”
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