The bag is not a new invention.  As long as humans have had items to carry, a bag has been created in which to carry them, and as early as 38,000 BCE, hunter-gatherers were using pouches made from fibres in which to store food and tools.  

The drawstring purse was attached to a belt by both men and women from Ancient Rome to the Renaissance and beyond. The use of a purse as a fashion accessory, date back to medieval times when noblewomen embellished simple bags with elegant embroidery and jewelry.  This accentuating their social status. These purses held all the items a lady would need when going out and was tied and worn on a belt. Following these times, little was seen of the bag, since the clothing worn by ladies was voluminous and made up of numerous layers and pockets where their items were stored.

The evolution of the bag has brought to light clutch bags, handbags, shoulder bags, shopping bags, made from leather, lace, plastic, soft and hard materials and in many colours and sizes. 

During the decades when women were breaking rules and barriers, boldly challenging social mores, the bags they carried reflected this. The brazen flapper of the 20’s carried a sleek, colour-coordinated clutch with her as she danced, drank, smoke, cut her hair short, went out unaccompanied, wearing makeup and pants. The sexually liberated and nonconformist hippies of the 60’s slung craftwork bags of natural materials (hemp, rope) over their shoulders. Women expressed themselves with daring or dissident bags during times of social change, upheaval and conflict.

The history of the handbag is the history of women. Handbags have thrived in times of excess, scarcity, defying repeated calls by feminists to replace them with pockets. It is without a doubt that the handbag of the future, no matter what that may be, will reflect the values of both men and women of the future. It has become an accessory, and necessity to both the sexes.

Designers known all over the world for their exclusive handbags and leatherware include Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Prada, Chanel, Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Versace, Donna Karan and Dolce & Gabbana, the handbag has become an important accessory. In contrast with the past centuries, in which design could remain unchanged for many decades, the handbag has now developed into an important fashion accessory.


Ranging from leather to hemp, you will find a bag to suit your personal style here at Black Aqua.

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