It may be hard to believe, but the fanny pack might just be the oldest fashion accessory in the world. It first appeared about 5,000 years ago as part of the wardrobe of Ötzi, aka the Iceman. The Iceman was found in the Alps and is believed to have lived sometime between 3400 and 3100 BCE. His calf skin belt with attached pouch held his tools and survival necessities. (1)
The modern fanny pack has been around for over 65 years as a favorite of outdoor enthusiasts. It only makes sense for keeping hands free while skiing, cycling and hiking when a larger bag just isn’t necessary.
A Totally Rad Update
In the 1980s and early 90’s the fanny pack became more mainstream. These durable waist packs were usually found in bright neon and ripstop material. Certainly functional, but decidedly not fashionable. Tourists quickly adopted these fanny packs as part of their more-comfortable-than-chic sightseeing outfits. (2)
By the mid-90’s the fashion world re-branded the fanny pack. Popular names like Nike®, Gucci and Chanel embraced athleisure apparel and these updated “belt bags”. However, it wasn’t long before overexposure moved the fanny pack firmly into uncool territory and they quickly became a joke. Only taboo tourists and outdoor enthusiasts kept waist packs in their wardrobe for their functional appeal.
Today’s Trendy Accessory
The latest resurgence of the fanny pack can be credited to starting in two distinct groups. Skateboarders who needed a way to carry their stuff without inhibiting their movement and hipsters who took to ironically wearing fanny packs across their torsos. (4) The fanny pack’s booming revival even accounted for nearly 25% of fashion accessory sales growth in 2018. Today, fanny packs are widely popular due to elevated features like curved straps, added functionality and unexpected materials.
Fanny Packs In Promo
In the promotional products industry, fanny packs are the go-to promo for summer festivals, theme parks, trade occupations and the fitness industry. (6) They are also a popular way to hold other items, acting as a modern-style swag bag for fashionable brands and events. During the Coronavirus outbreak, fanny packs have even been a useful solution for working out away from gyms and for keeping personal items close, safe and secure.
BIC Graphic carries fanny packs from popular brands like Koozie®, Osprey® and KAPSTON®, plus trendy designs like bright translucent and multi-function waist pack/slings. Visit bicgraphic.com to check out the latest styles of this iconic fashion accessory with ongoing mass appeal that isn’t going away any time soon.