23 Apr

Evolution of a Diaper Bag

Erika Turan, APR

Senior Account Executive

There was a time, not so long ago, when diaper bags were a style afterthought. The diaper bag was simply a way to carry clean (and not-so-clean) diapers, wipes, snacks, toys, pacifiers, burp cloths…pretty much your kid’s entire nursery in a sack.

To that end, the bags were not particularly attractive. They were designed (or so it seemed) to appeal to the baby more than anyone else. Picture pale green or yellow, emblazoned with cutesy-pootsy teddy bears, twinkle stars and a host of other fairly hideous babyish designs.

Somewhere around eight to ten years ago, that all changed. In an evolutionary shift in marketing, high-end designers got in on the action. My own dad, a man not necessarily known for keeping his finger on the pulse of fashion, read an article in the Wall Street Journal that talked about hip diaper bags from Kate Spade that new moms were carrying. Pregnant with my firstborn at the time, he surprised me with a fabulous red Kate Spade that I adored schlepping for the next five years and through two kids.

But Kate Spade wasn’t the only one in on the action. Diaper bags can now be found from the likes of Coach, Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors, Burberry, Gucci and Prada. Who knew that your baby could accompany such a stylish accessory?

The price tag on these hipster bags? Ouch. Get ready to spend anywhere from $200 to $2200. But we have Sex and the City to thank for this. When Miranda had her baby and started tooling around Manhattan in an $800 Bugaboo stroller with tricked out suspension and sleek colors, knock-offs soon followed and the pink strollers with butterflies soon gave way to soothing chocolate-colored toile.

Back to the diaper bags. The other paradigm shift can be attributed to dads who are more involved in baby care, and don’t want to carry a dorky baby bag. Cue the diaper bags disguised as supple brown leather messenger bags and black backpacks accessorized with bad-ass-looking carabiners and extra water bottle pockets. You know, in case baby wants to do some off-trail hiking.

Nowadays, Pinterest is alight with hundreds of pins and re-pins dedicated to diaper bags that don’t look like diaper bags. And there’s nothing wrong with that. It may have taken awhile (and some pretty bad cross-marketing with Disney), but designers and marketers finally figured out that parents would like a bag that’s functional, and looks good too.

Oh, and my Kate Spade diaper bag? Eight years later, it looks fabulous and I use it as a purse.