Guest Blog: Bag Trends Through the Decades with Kiki Kitty

Joining us on this month’s blog, is Kiki Kitty, JUKI Designer Ambassador, and well-known Fashion Designer. Kiki joins us by giving a view into her thoughts on bag trends through the decades! From the 80s to today, where looks have come and gone, follow along as she shares her thoughts on how bag styles have transformed over time.

Designs by Kiki Kitty

There are certain trends that will always remain classic due to their root of it. When a particular style becomes synonymous with a certain era we will always reminisce about it, so its return is inevitable. Style trends vary from city to city, even from hood to hood. You could tell where someone was from based on their style choices. The artists who create & rock dope style bring the flavor of their neighborhoods onto global platforms, thus influencing the style of those around the world. This is street style. This is culture.

Getting nostalgic about my bag choices through the decades I think about the world around me and what influenced me from a teen in the 80s to today.

The 80’s

Designs by Kiki Kitty

The 80s were a time in desperate need of artistic exploration and expression. Hip hop was in its infancy and brought about my first opportunity to see the style from city to city every week on Soul Train, Video Soul, Yo MTV Raps.

Dapper Dan gave us Logo Mania by taking materials from bags and creating custom jackets. We began to find new ways of inventing and upcycling. Anything to show off our personality and originality. But whatever you wore, having a giant designer was a must. It was so huge, that it wasn’t an accessory. It was part of the outfit.

The 90’s

Designs by Kiki Kitty

In the 90s, when I left Atlanta to begin my life as an NYC fashion designer. Andre Harrell introduced us to “Ghetto Fabulous”. This movement took ownership of the style trends we created in our everyday life and screamed it from the rooftops. Our favorite rap stars may have been shouting about the brands they wore but be clear, it was the artists themselves, the stylists, the team who altered those garments, added their originality to them and turned them into something entirely new that would influence generations of creators.

This movement brought about the rise of urban fashion. Looks we no longer had to alter to fit our dope style needs. What was once “Dungarees” that were the easiest to rip apart, remix, and put back together was now ripped denim, studded, painted, and patchworked available right from the rack. I remember looking through The Source Magazine and seeing this denim saddle bag. It’s no shock that a bag with those unique curves would be such a huge hit amongst a generation of originators.

The 2000’s

Designs by Kiki Kitty

By 2000 we all had “Carrie Fever” as Jay z rhymed in ’03 Bonnie & Clyde. Patricia Fields whose iconic 8th St shop offered a space for just dope style. Period. It was always less about the designer and more about giving us the vibe and the energy of the city, from the rappers to the club kids and beyond. Luckily for the rest of the world, ‘Sex n the City’ episodes brought the mashup of New York Street Style to everyone’s living rooms. Even if you weren’t a music lover or style hunter you were getting these trends!

The 2000s were all about that Aliyah belly button, that boyfriend style mix with the feminine baby tee, and that pop color pump. The perfect bag had to be small enough to not distract from the belly button ring but large enough for your 2-way pager. It was also the perfect way to add more color to your look, even adding a charm or 2 if you deemed it necessary to make the look more your own.

The 2010’s

Designs by Kiki Kitty

Before Insta-minute-to-minute fashion was available we counted on the “Us Weekly’s” to give us weekly updates on what all our favorite celebrities were wearing. Sure, my monthly fashion fix subscriptions remain something to anticipate, but these weekly tabloid mags brought us news of everyday style. Along with this came the rise of celebrity fashion couples and thus began my obsession with Kanye & Amber Rose.

Tracking Amber Rose and other fashionable tastemakers’ everyday styles offered us more bag trends than a typical fashion editorial would offer. So the possibilities became endless!! As a woman on the go, my go-to choice was the mini backpack. I could still get the trendy prints and the femininity of a purse but I could also carry my flats for a long day of running around the fashion district or hold my passport and travel necessities for a flight. The best of both worlds!

Today

Designs by Kiki Kitty

Girl on the go. 42% of small businesses are owned by Women. That, within itself, is a trend that grows year after year. All 12.3 million of us are busier than ever! With so much to manage all we really need in our bag is our phone and lipstick. The secret to not leaving your bag at that last investor meeting is… lean in, I’ll whisper it to you… cross shoulder bags! Why haven’t we done this all along!!! Even fanny packs are worn across the shoulder. Small is in and just like small business owners, great things come in small packages.

The bags we carry are very personal, it keeps what’s valuable to us safe, and it comes with us to more places than anything else in our wardrobe. Your bag is your shoe’s bestie, the thing that can make or break a whole outfit. When deciding what bag to rock; designer, vintage, or DIY, remember that trends come and go, style is what counts!

Written by: Kiki Kitty, JUKI Designer Ambassador

JUKI Designer Ambassador: Will Riddle

Today we’re introducing Will Riddle, our new JUKI Designer Ambassador! Known for his bold risks and designs, Will’s journey in sewing has taken him everywhere, and we are so excited it has brought him to JUKI! Coming up in the fashion industry Will has been a contestant on Amazon Prime’s Season 1 “Making the Cut,” presented a collection at NYFW, and styled celebrities such as Obama’s, Camila Cabello, Megan Markle, and more! Follow along as we get to know Will Riddle and introduce him to the JUKI team.

Will’s story starts not in fashion but painting! While always attracted to the arts, Will’s first medium was oil and acrylic painting. Taking 15 years’ worth of lessons, he decided it was time for something new and broke away from the medium to find a new one, branching out to the fashion world. Graduating from the Fashion School at Kent State University, he received his CFDA+ certification for his work in evening wear and achieved one of his most significant accomplishments.

“A few weeks after I graduated college, I had the opportunity to create a capsule collection that walked the runway at Lincoln Center during New York Fashion Week. To be that age and entering the industry with such an accomplishment under my belt was an amazing feeling.”

Diving into the world of sewing, Will turned to it as a form of comfort. Seeing it as his time to relax and unwind, he placed sole focus on his projects and creating. Will views designing and sewing as a therapeutic activity and finds sewing like a puzzle. He engineers the pattern pieces and designs to come together in a certain way for the perfect finish.

Finding inspiration for his work is exciting as he pulls from his own life experiences. Viewing life experiences as unique to each person and non-replicable, he draws from his past to create beautiful futures. In addition, he finds motivation behind the fact that creating is all he knows how to do. From an early on exposure to art, he’s been able to ensure that he’s constantly surrounded by creativity in his life, from fashion and music to performance and more.

Will’s present finds him most excited about developing custom prints and artwork featured in future collections! Using his favorite tool, a JUKI industrial sewing machine, he’s able to create fashion pieces he’s proud of. “I was spoiled in college by learning how to professionally sew on a fleet of new JUKI machines, and as soon as I started building my atelier, made the investment to have one of my own!” His work is bold and different, and his current favorite trend is domestic embroidery machines! Using his JUKI quilting machine DX-3000QVP and MO-2000QVP, he’s able to create personalized artworks with embellishments and accessories. This tool comes in handy when he designs his second favorite kind of outfit, campy Halloween costumes! His first favorite is the evening gowns he’s known for. 

Will’s experience in sewing has been exciting! Still coming up in the fashion industry Will has had a whole career he feels, “from managing the atelier at 3.1 Phillip Lim and Oscar de la Renta, to managing NYC factory relationships for sample creation, working with overseas factories, teaching newcomers how to sew and everything in between!” One word he would use for his projects? “Complex.” Created with the idea of bringing out bold styles and looks, it’s no wonder he’s gotten this far!

Will’s future in sewing is exciting and filled with opportunities, JUKI Lovers! His advice to new sewers joining is to complete projects at your skill level. We know how fun it can be to start large, but like

Will states, “feeling of accomplishment you get from successfully completing a project that you find slightly challenging, but not impossible, is incredibly rewarding and helps to encourage more difficult projects as you sharpen your skills.”

We hope you loved learning about Will as much as we did! So follow along as we continue introducing new JUKI Designers these coming weekends! Which Will Riddle design did you love best? Let us know down below!