We’ve Got Your Backpack: 10 to Carry This Fall

Even if you’re not headed back to school—if the only classroom you enter is the one in your anxiety dreams—backpacks are back in a big way this fall. But these aren’t the JanSports of yore. Consider the current styles graduates of a master class in cool. Sophisticated, sleek and practical, there’s nothing schoolgirlish about these accessories. Some of the best fashion talent in the game have designed rucksacks that will make your handheld bags look downright grannyish. For travelers and commuters, the style makes a lot of sense, too—just remember to flip it around to wear in front when on the train, subway or bus.

Here are 10 of our favorite backpacks to slip on this season.

rag and bone backpack

rag & bone Pilot leather backpack

This style’s clean lines and pebbled leather make it a classic. Small enough to leave you unencumbered but roomy enough for everything you need to tote, the Pilot will fast become your primary purse substitute. The design also comes in a mini version, as well as a soft woven suede.

Alexander Wang Marti backpack


This supple black leather beauty projects all the downtown attitude of a biker jacket with the luxurious trappings of a designer handbag. Available in a variety of colors (white, distressed black, latte), material (suede and nylon in addition to lambskin) and hardware (rose gold, silver tone) combinations, as well as in a mini version, the Marti suits an array of styles. With plenty of pockets and adjustable straps, it’s also the perfect companion to your busy lifestyle.

Topshop nylon backpack


With its military-inspired design, this nylon utilitarian knapsack can endure the elements. A magnetic snap and drawstring closure help ensure your belongings are secure, while interior padding protects your electronics. Several exterior pockets make grabbing your keys or cell phone simple while you’re on the go.

DAY & MOOD Fleur leather backpack


Artisan hued leather in an unusual shape makes this backpack stand out. We love the warm tone of this camel color, but the Fleur backpack also comes in black. A drawstring and lengthy top zipper offer easy access to the bag’s interior, allowing you to pack your daily provisions in style.

WANT LES ESSENTIELS Kastrup leather backpack


Practical and stylish, this backpack from New York luxury leather company WANT LES ESSENTIELS elevates your everyday. An oblique front pocket gives this gorgeous leather style a bit of attitude on what is otherwise a classically elegant accessory.

Rebecca Minkoff backpack

Rebecca Minkoff Always On Regan leather backpack

Exaggerated tassels and grainy leather give this large leather backpack a moto feel. Perfect for work or school, the bag is still cool enough to carry on a night out. But with enough room for a laptop, it will certainly add some personality to your workaday wardrobe.

3.1 Phillip Lim Mini Bianca fringe backpack


Choose from turquoise, brown or black suede on this funky fringed bag. The mix of leather and suede textures separates this style from the pack of packs. A cleverly concealed front pocket for smaller items like your keys or wallet is a helpful perk on this shoulder style that isn’t short on space.

Loeffler Randall canvas drawstring backpack


Striped canvas tops glossy black leather on this unique drawstring bag. An interior zipper pocket can safely hold items like your phone, wallet and keys. Sweet tassels top twin leather ties that secure this unique knapsack.




Kara leather backpackbackpacks_kara

Such a modern backpack avoids any classroom connotations. Sleek lines and simple design establish Kara backpacks as an advanced adaptation of the practical back bag. Smaller or larger versions with double zippers give the wearer options beyond the style’s blue, white and black buttery leathers.


MARC JACOBS Recruit Chipped Studs leather backpack

Up the edginess of your knapsack with punky distressed studs on pebbled leather. Double front zip pockets create extra space on this already-roomy carryall that suggests you’re more likely to skip class than to play teacher’s pet.

SHOP: backpacks

—Britt Olson