Textured handbags on the trend

When it comes to creating your look for the day, the purse you carry is just as much about fashion as it is function. But the reality is, most people generally rely on one or two purses that can go with just about any look. Luckily, this year’s trends promote simple, roomy bags that are easy to match outfits with. Here in the North, we like to add our own local flare to the trends and there are many designers creating styles that go with whatever look suits you—with or without the parka. While taking a special look at Snowfly designs by NWT-born Cheryl Fennell, here’s how you can don the latest trends through local Indigenous artwork.


There are some things that never go out of style and a simple functional bag is one of them. This season, minimalism is on trend. You don’t need a big flashy bag in vibrant patterns and colours that only match a certain style of clothing. You want something versatile—something you can easily sling across your shoulder and comes in a neutral colour that goes with anything. Something that can carry all the essentials and maybe a book when you’re on the go. One of our favourites is this simple black purse with a seal skin flap that folds over top, by Fennell. That flap boasts the subtle spotted seal pattern over a navy blue-dyed fur.

If you’d still prefer to add a little more of a pop, a similar model is featured with red seal leather and black seal skin featured on the World Crafts Council North America. One of the other beauties about this purse is it has an adjustable strap, so you can switch from carrying it over the shoulder, or you can hold it as an oversized clutch if you want to be a little more formal. Who doesn’t love a good clutch?

Slouchy-Soft leather purses

As you may already know, the ’90s and early 2000s have been making a big comeback for some time now. That means skinny jeans are out and overalls are in, as are scrunchies, baggies shirts, sweaters and… slouchy bags. You’ll see a lot of the soft leather purses hanging at people’s side this season. If you really want to dive into this retro look, Fennel has created a red seal skin purse (available on PIC&D store), reminiscent of something Amber may have donned in the 1995 film, Clueless.

This particular product features a red leather handle and gold rods on either side of the zip. It may look small and chic, but it has plenty of storage space inside with six slip pockets and a zippered pocket on the opposite side.

“Wear this purse for a chic or casual event,” Fennel writes on Proudly Indigenous Crafts. “It goes with all styles and brings them elegance.”

It’s certainly a statement piece with his red furry exterior, adding that pop to any outfit.

Timeless Trends

There are a few trends that never fade. Everyone’s needs are different, but Fennel offers items that vary from big to small, and from vibrant to subtle.

Who doesn’t need a good overnight bag or something you can bring to the gym? Fennel has a created a casual duffel bag with seal skin accents lining the front and the top edges of golden bison leather (available on PIC&D store). It comes complete with a plush heart shaped decoration with beading at its edges, bringing together yet another traditional Indigenous practice into the look.

Fennel has created other similar bags, where the hide acts as the cutouts between seal skin—so it all depends on what calls to you more.

The bag is large enough for a weekend trip away or if you just have extra goodies to bring around with you. And while this is a style that never fades, it particularly fits the scene this season, as many seek large functional bags above all else. It also features the two-colour scheme you may see on many purses this year.

Seal Fur and Bison Carrying Bag (available on PIC&D store):

Ringed Seal Fur Carrying Bag (available on PIC&D store):

On the other hand, sometimes you just want to feel light and need something only big enough to carry the bare essentials. Fennel has created small leather and seal skin purses, not much larger than a wallet. Natural seal skin covers most of the bag with black leather lining the top and bottom. It has a silver zip and chain handle to go over your shoulder. It’s so light, you’ll hardly feel it’s there.


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Une publication partagée par Cheryl Fennell (@fennellcheryl)

The satchel bag takes a few different forms, but it’s generally a medium size purse with two handles. Regardless of whether it has multiple pockets in the front, a rounded top or a square frame, the satchel has been popular for decades. Fennel has recreated this classic look with a gold chain, a leather handle and yes, natural seal skin—adding a bit of texture to your look of the day. As with the animals themselves, seal skin varies from pelt to pelt. So when you order this handmade item, you can choose from a solid grey fur or one that boasts the usual seal skin dotted pattern. Either way, you’re bound to have something that is both timeless and unique.




2021’s Top Handbag Trends Are All So Slouchy & Soft