Bella Hadid’s been continuing her streak of raver-inflected, seemingly Depop-plucked get-ups. Yesterday, she wore a pair of print-forward pants and a black top with a boat-neck cut. On her arm, though, was not a buzzy Dior saddle bag or her Goyard tote but instead a rectangular-shaped bag studded with bulbous pockets. While my colleague referred to it as a boom box, it’s instead Prada’s Militare Tessuto Active Nylon shoulder bag. The roomy piece is deliciously utilitarian with its many pockets, balanced out by its entertainingly useless buckles.
The piece initially appeared on the spring 2004 Prada runway. Miuccia Prada described the collection to Vogue’s Sarah Mower as “about tourism and craftsmanship, many things,” while Mower said the show recalled “the optimistic ’50s.” The industrial piece was styled with a pair of jet-setting burgundy capri pants and an earthy, flowy A-line skirt—a far more buttoned-up look than what Hadid wore.
Unlike its aughts counterparts, such as the Balenciaga City bag, this Prada piece never became a bona fide It bag. Even many of my colleagues couldn’t weigh in because the Prada bag never made a dent in their wardrobes. “I liked the skirt it was paired with,” wrote one of my coworkers. “But sadly that bag did not play a big role in my fashion upbringing or inspiration.” An Instagram friend wrote to me saying that “I have considered it, but it’s heavy, like swing it on an arm and get a bruise,” she wrote. “A good weapon bag.” However, there are some ride-or-die lovers of the boxy Prada piece. Stylist Jorden Bickham recalls the grungy Prada sack fondly from her Vogue intern days. “I remember seeing it on the runway, but I would have never been able to afford it. One fateful day, I walked into Round About [a consignment shop in New York], and it was there… like new,” she says. “I liked it because it was sporty and nylon.”
Still, it should make a comeback. It has an IYKYK status that doesn’t come with Prada’s other accessories, like the house’s ubiquitous nylon bag, which was revived and re-editioned in 2019. In a world where the trend cycle is more like a cyclone, these sleeper-hits feel fresher than ever, thanks to their more affordable prices and interesting background. Currently, this Prada bag is available on resale sites for US$270 to US$645, which isn’t a bad deal for a piece that appeared on the runway. Plus, it is the year of unsung ’00s It bags. In addition to Balenciaga’s City bag, which received a healthy revival over the past year, there are also standout pieces like Yves Saint Laurent’s Mombasa, Chloe’s Paddington, Marc Jacobs’s Stam, and the Fendi Spy Bag. All are far less expensive than buzzier bags and come with a compelling story. In other words, speak softly and carry a subtle It bag.
This article was originally published on Vogue.com.