They have names like "hands-free bags," "belt bags," and "apron wraps," but there’s no skirting the truth: Designers are embracing the fanny pack. Though Isaac Mizrahi once said the fanny pack conjured up images of "scary American tourists at the Louvre," the new generation of fanny packs boasts "a functional shape, but with a touch of glamor, a touch of luxury, and a touch of seriousness," says the creative director for Diane von Furstenberg (its version, the “hands-free bag,” will sell for $325). Celebrities—including Rihanna, who sported a Louis Vuitton version, and Ciara—are already on board.
Another handbag designer is going even further, selling an alligator "belt bag" for $1,995. Why not just call it a fanny pack? That term "is just eww, so cheesy, so tacky, so horrible," she tells the Wall Street Journal. Fellow designer Reed Krakoff similarly despises them, but nonetheless introduced leather "apron wraps" at his spring 2011 fashion show (he claims that, though they may be "functional," his are "less about actually carrying something."). Perhaps the most expensive version so far: Hermès’ “Kelly Bandeau” at $4,675.