Fashion mines through history, in search for inspiration. The lack of time between collections makes a blast to the past in search for inspiration a fairly common practice. Inspired by small leather pouches with drawstring closures, the bucket bag is one such example.

Mansur Gavriel, a company that was considered relatively new in the fashion world may just hold the title for creating the most successful rendition of the bucket bag. Founded in 2012 by two New Yorkers namely, Floriana Gavriel and Rochel Mansur. These minimalistically sleek bags were created in a plethora of colours, a combination that made them an instant classic.

The bucket bag created by Mansur Gavriel only surged in popularity until finally plateauing. Coach handbags were attributed to bringing back to life the craze for bucket bags with their vintage bags. A perfect solution for girls who liked to exhibit their individual styles for not only were these bags made of really good quality leather but also affordable.

With vintage trends now turning modern, fewer things are as exciting in the world of fashion as studying design trends from the past. Keeping that in mind, let’s take a peek into the fascinating history of the practical as well as classic trend known as, ‘The Bucket Bag’. According to Vogue, what was first a drawstring pouch, initially started trending in the early 1900s.

But what was the origin of the bucket bag and where and when did it first appear in the world of fashion?

The Origins of the Bucket Bag

The Noé bag unveiled in 1932 by Gaston-Louis Vuitton, was perhaps the first of the modern bucket bag. Created with the intent and ability to carry five bottles of champagne at a go, the Noé was both sturdy and stylish. In 1939, a black velvet drawstring featured as the grandma’s reticule by Vogue, it was clear the the bucket bag was created from a myriad of textiles and materials.

Perhaps the transformation of the dainty reticule into a gargantuan drawstring pouch with a shoulder strap and sturdy base coincided with the advent of the World War II. Believed to have been influenced by sailor duffel bags, these oversized renditions were designed by Koret. Koret mentioned how these bags were crafted out of ‘non-priority’ and that they were roomy and hence highly functional.


No one played a greater role than Bonnie Cashin in revolutionizing the design of the modern bucket bag. An American sportswear designer, Cashin was appointed by Coach as their head designer in 1962. During her tenure with Coach, she created bags with Coach that were not only in par with current trends but also very functional to use. It is safe to say, Cashin played a crucial role in setting the precedent for the highly desired design of the vintage Coach bags we know today. Inspired by everyday objects like the paper bag, Cashin stated: “The best-designed handbag in the world is the paper shopping bag, so I didn’t try improve it.”  

Another rendition that became popular during the 1960s eliminated the drawstring altogether and essentially resembled a bucket crafted out of leather.

Stepping forward through time well into the late 1980s, the bucket bag was modeled in an iconic design, still popular today. As the times progressed and with it some trends, this bag was re-imagined by introducing a plethora of jewel tones and sizes, this rendition of the bucket bag seemed to instantly fit right in during an era where the boldness of clothing seemed to be at an all time high. Fendi’s very own mini bucket bag drew inspiration from past versions, exhibiting the daintiness of the reticule. However, it clearly used modern materials that were bright – coral patent leather being one such example.

A trend that surged through into the late 1900s. In 1993, the ‘roomy drawstring over-the-shoulder’ bags were still being hailed as among the best bags of the season. Many variations and renditions were created by some of the biggest fashion labels such as DKNY, Salvatore Ferragamo, and Prada. They did differ slightly in the use of silhouette or materials. The bucket has never really gone out of style but it’s craze dipped around the early 2000s.

Just how the iconic bucket bag, initially made by Louis Vuitton, was not just a handy way to casually carry around champagne back home from the store but a style statement that could be slipped over your shoulders and worn as a casual backpack. When embodying the retro look, pull the leather drawstring through and swing it over your shoulder in a chic crossbody style. The leather straps, although narrow, seamlessly slip over one’s arm providing a modern style to a vintage bag, ensuring a timeless look that’s always stylish.