An Un-Case for the Micro Bag

Polite questions about its existence, really.

Courtesy: Instagram

Never have I ever heard anyone declare that they can’t live without their ant-size micro bag. Call it utilitarian if you will, but the rationale of a bag the size of a fingernail is as elusive as a pink elephant.

The nanoscopic bag exploded onto the scene in 2018, when Jacquemus launched its ‘Le Chiquito’—‘chiquito’ means tiny in Spanish, and the French brand’s creations were certainly intriguing back then, for their novelty. A quick search on Google reveals a common question many have about it: “Can it fit my phone?”. Yes, the answer is, if you slide it in diagonally. That was back then. The newer iterations have become tinier and tinier, impractical to say the least, expensive to say the most.

It was Valentino’s Mini Bag in 2019 that really drove the point home, when artist Lizzo carried it to the American Music Awards. The bag was the size of her nail extension. But, of course, it turned into a meme, from people comparing it to their savings to their will to attend another day of work. When asked what it could carry, Lizzo went on record saying it was “big enough for my f**ks to give”. Point taken.

Artist Lizzo carried the Valentino Mini Bag in 2019 to the American Music Awards,
and it quickly turned into a meme.

The trend only grew from there, with many Maisons creating a micro version of classics—Chanel, Gucci, Fendi, and more. Every notable influencer carried one. And while there have been a series of articles about how these bags are quite without any real use, they came to define just what style is in the past few years.

But here’s a conundrum—what if you get locked out of your home and don’t have a way back in because you can’t fit your house keys in your bag? The answer could lie in carrying another bag with it. But doesn’t the addition of a second bag take away from the singular attention one tiny bag gets? Or maybe you can carry two tiny bags, one for the key, and the other for your hopes and dreams. 

The Fendi Micro Baguette, 2019.
Chanel's itty-bitty creation from S/S 2021.

Here’s part two of the quandary—are tiny, little bags friends of slow fashion? Sustainability has come to mean many things these days, and one among them is to get continued use out of a product. It’s the Mary Kondo of selecting an accessory, so that your selection stays with you for a long, long time. 

The micro bag has little utility, but much visibility. It’s cute, but a bit clueless with regards to what it ought to do. Arm candy is certainly a treat for the stylish dresser, but not, possibly, for those who’d like to step out and not worry about tiny things.

The bag is too tiny for a meerkat, too.

All images: Courtesy Instagram