Backpacks are back!

There are plenty of trends from the 1990s hitting the stores this spring – more on that later – and the biggest of them all might just be the humble backpack!  Backpacks are back!

Usually reserved for budget inter-railing students, or walkers in the hills, backpacks are back and are once again the new briefcase, handbag and holdall, all rolled into one.

Debenhams has seen a massive 114% increase in sales of backpacks this year. Industry observers reckon it’s more to do with smartphones (they leave the wearer’s hands free to suf the net etc) but we know it’s a fashion thang, don’t we?!

Backpacks were a nineties favourite – hands up who remembers having one or more backpack styled bag in their collection back in the days of Blur, Oasis, The Spice Girls  and cargo pants (please dont let THOSE come back!)

Model of the moment Cara Delevingne has given the trend the ultimate stamp of approval by unveiling her own backpack as part of her exclusive collection with Brit brand Mulberry this week, while trend-setters like Alexa Chung and Rihanna, have been seen enjoying the benefits of the reborn-rucksack.

According to fashion insiders the secret to this look is to remember – size matters. Apparently the 2014 version of the 1990s classic is a wee bit bigger, but not too big!

“Too small and you look like you are still stuck in the Nineties, too big and you may be mistaken for an actual backpacker!” Debenhams Head of Accessories Design, Natelle Baddeley explains. “The key size is medium, get that right and the wonderful versatility of the backpack is immediately apparent.

“It provides a practical, fashion forward update to a handbag, and is also a great alternative for both sexes to a briefcase. There is a fantastic choice of styles available right now. Solid colours in nylon, canvas and especially leather, work well for a smart, business-look, while chic prints with contrasting trim in denim, faux leather and even mini pom-poms are right on trend.”

Designer backpacks alone have shown a 23% sales uplift over the last month with Debenhams H! By Henry Holland range proving particularly popular.

“Backpacks were popular with bloggers at Fashion Week, and high end brands were including them on the runway in top quality leather for work, as well as casual weekend styles using innovative new materials,” added Natelle

The term ‘backpack’ was first coined in 1910 in the United States with hikers being the first group to adopt this style of bag. Today, as well as becoming a fashion item, it has evolved into a traveller’s staple, and is used by school children globally – but don;t go borrowing your kid’s Thomas the Tank engine version, please!

So, here are Ten of Debenhams’ best backpacks on offer at the moment.

Backpacks are back 2Clockwise, from top left: Camouflage backpack, £35, H! by Henry Holland, Aztec backpack, £95, Butterfly by Matthew Williamson, leather look backpack, £30, Red Herring, floral print backpack, £29, Red Herring

Backpacks are back 1Clockwise from top left: Digital floral print, £27.99, Quilted backpack, £45, Floozie by FrostFrench, Aztec print backpack, £32, Call It Spring, Star print backpack, £35, H! by Henry Holland, Floral print mini backpack, £22, Red Herring, Stripe backpack, £32, Call It Spring

All backpacks available from Debenhams, but some may not be in store yet

Please note that we always endeavour to feature items that are available in Ocean Terminal, however sometimes items featured may be out of stock, and prices may vary due to seasonal reductions