Initially used for military purposes, backpacks grew in popularity in the 20th century as their utility started to evolve. Limited to hiking and trekking they continued to serve only a functional purpose, until a few years ago. Now a fashion accessory, a daily companion, and also a form of self-expression for the youth, the backpack has come a long way.
Being a utility product and a fashion accessory, both functional needs and style trends have been the driving factors for the evolution of backpacks, says Kanwalpreet Walia, product and marketing head, accessories division, Titan Company.
With luxury brands entering into the category, this rough-and-ready-to-go accessory has evolved significantly with time.
The backpack category is extremely versatile and come in different shapes and sizes. They have evolved and are becoming compact yet functional by utilizing the internal space smartly with proper compartments, designated pockets, and organizers. From the sturdy Canvas to Nylon to Leather to PU/Faux leather, backpacks are available in different material variety as per usage.
While the backpack remains a primarily functional product it has turned into a style statement along with functionality which adds to comfort styling.
"The past few decades have seen its evolution to a must-have accessory because of the increased mobility needs. For women, instead of juggling between multiple bags while on the go, there is need to squeeze a laptop, makeup, water bottle, notebooks, gym clothes, etc. in one backpack. It is this convenience, the hands-free and not hurting your shoulder, not worrying about dropping your phone that popularised backpack among working professionals as well as students," points out Walia.
The fashion quotient for the category has also increased with multiple fashion brands revolutionising the space. Since the backpack is omnipresent, it is also used to accentuate and, or reflect the user's individual style.
Walia also said, "Gender-neutral styling, athleisure trends emerging among the youth today has influenced backpacks. The aesthetics of sneakers and street wear has had a direct impact on the styling of the backpack for the younger generation for whom style is a sense of self- expression."
The backpack today across the consumer segments is considered as the most user friendly, versatile, and ergonomic category of bags. It fulfils the need of carrying all the items required with a lot of comfort and keeps your hands free. In addition to that, it also has evolved as a fashionable accessory to along with all kinds of looks.