Sales show manbags becoming 'must-have' accessory for Britons

The manbag is becoming a must-have accessory for Britons with sales increasing significantly in recent years, figures show.

A quarter (24%) of British men aged between 16 and 34 bought a manbag last year, up from 16% in 2016, according to analysts Mintel.

It is not just younger men who are increasingly considering manbags to be acceptable, as 15% of all British men bought one last year.

A model carries a manbag at a London Fashion Week show.
A model carries a manbag at a London Fashion Week show.

The figures, released as London Fashion Week gets under way, also reveal good news for the British fashion industry, with the survey finding that up to 40% of fashion consumers would pay more for items that are made in Britain.

Last year, Britons spent £2.9 billion on fashion accessories, with the market growing by 3.6% on the year before.

Over the past five years, sales of fashion accessories have increased 21% from 2012's £2.4 billion.

Just three in 10 Britons (31%) say they did not buy a fashion accessory last year.

The handbag market for men and women now accounts for 50% of fashion accessory sales, growing by 5.5% last year from £1.37 billion in 2016 to reach £1.45 billion.

Mintel senior fashion analyst Tamara Sender said: "Manbags have become increasingly accepted by Britain's men.

"We're also seeing more designer brands investing in their menswear offering, with Stella McCartney adding menswear for the first time in late 2016, which includes different styles of manbags."

She added: "British fashion accessory producers have a great opportunity to make the most of the patriotic trend, with four in 10 shoppers willing to pay more to support home-grown talent, particularly those in the more affluent AB socio-economic group.

"This forms part of a larger trend for consumers placing greater importance on provenance and expecting more transparency from the fashion industry."

The top five accessories bought by Britons last year were handbags or manbags (34%), belts (27%), scarves (23%), gloves (21%) and hats (21%).