Up to a few years ago, a backpack was considered mainly a weekend or outdoorsy type of accessory that you bring with you on a hike rather than in a fancy restaurant for brunch. But then something changed—maybe it was the increasing popularity of the athleisure trend—and backpacks underwent a complete transformation in design and construction.
Designers got rid of the casual canvas or nylon exterior which was replaced by luxury leather, both genuine and faux, showcasing superior craftsmanship that was previously reserved for heritage handbags such as the Birkin, the Kelly, or Chanel’s 2.55. Nowadays, backpacks exemplify the perfect marriage between style and function.
Some designers have even gone further and have blurred the lines between backpacks and totes or shoulder bags, offering their clientele styles which easily convert from one to the other. This smart, all-in-one approach to design gives luxury backpacks the same versatility and performance that made these accessories so popular in the first place.
Here we rounded up the best and chicest leather backpacks that aren’t going to make you look like you just came back from a hike.
Chloé Faye Mini Textured-leather and Suede Backpack
The brand’s signature leather-and-suede Faye style has been re-imagined as a backpack but you can still carry it as a handbag as well thanks to a removable shoulder strap.
To buy: $1,490, net-a-porter.com
Prada Daino Leather Backpack
Prada’s calf leather backpack comes with striped shoulder straps for a more casual look. Inside, it has a zippered pocket as well as a phone compartment.
To buy: $1,950, neimanmarcus.com
Berluti Volume Patchwork Leather Backpack
You can take this backpack anywhere thanks to its sturdy construction and stylish patchwork-inspired exterior. It has padded and adjustable straps as well as a roomy interior that can fit a lot more than just your everyday essentials.
To buy: $4,250, mrporter.com
Valextra My Logo Leather Backpack
College-looking backpacks are cool, but if you are looking for something more adult-like, this Valextra piece fits the bill. It has a simple yet elegant exterior crafted from Italian leather in burgundy. And if you are in need of a carry-on backpack, it will come in handy, too.
To buy: $2,750, mrporter.com
Tom Ford Full Grain Leather Backpack
This backpack cuts a classic silhouette and is crafted from luxurious full-grain leather in Italy. Inside, it has a padded sleeve for your laptop or tablet plus plenty of space for all your other essentials.
To buy: $3,331, mrporter.com
Tumi Gail Backpack
In the market for the perfect airport companion? This red hot backpack by Tumi has everything you’ll ever need in a carry-on piece—sturdy and long-lasting construction, multiple interior pockets, including one that’s velvet lined (ideal for jewelry). And it is equally impressive on the outside—sleek and modern looks, padded adjustable straps, a zip-up pocket, and a sleeve that helps you attach it to the handle of your suitcase.
To buy: $545, tumi.com
Valentino Garavani Rockstud Spike Quilted Leather Backpack
Add a bit of an edge to your outfits with this rock ‘n’ roll-inspired backpack. Our favorite thing about it (aside from the cool studs) is the removable top handle which helps you carry it as a tote.
To buy: $3,475, nordstrom.com
Givenchy Duo Backpack
Why invest in a tote and a backpack when you can have both at the same time? This Italian-made faux leather piece has a quilted exterior that also features top handles and adjustable shoulder straps. It has a slip pocket inside, and plenty of space for your belongings.
To buy: $1,511, farfetch.com
Tory Burch Fleming Backpack
This backpack not only looks chic thanks to cool details such as its chain back straps, textured logo, and leather drawstrings, but it also has a lot to offer in the functionality department with three exterior pockets.
To buy: $558, shopspring.com
Orox Leather Co. Tochigi Full Leather Backpack
This cool backpack has a distinct minimalist aesthetic. Handcrafted in Portland, Oregon from top quality leather, it has a roomy main compartment and also features a breathable back panel.
Longchamp 3D Backpack
This sporty style by Longchamps features two front pockets and a large main compartment that closes with a drawstring in addition to the buckle. It is crafted from genuine calfskin leather and comes in three color options.
To buy: $945, longchamp.com