So, could 2022 signal the end of the handbag? Controversial, we know, given how attached we are to our own lovely handbags! And yet... we have been living with XOUXOU straps on our good selves for the last few years, addicted to the freedom they give us to keep our mobile phones near but our hands and pockets free of encumberment.

But our old versions were simply vessels to keep our mobile phones safely ensconced in the soft silicone cases. Now, XOUXOU has updated their offering to include a magnetic card holder which means if, like us, you have haven't gotten around to setting up your apple pay, you can eschew the need for a bag and keep the essentials in the phone strap. Ok, you might need pockets for your keys and a lippie, but this is freedom!

Following on XOUXOU's success is a new accessories brand,
ELAOW which launched only last month. Focused on creating mobile phone accessories that bridge the gap between fashion and utility, we're loving their metallic flounce and elastic strap versatility that lets you keep your card wallet close and secure. Made in Italy, they are bringing leather craftsmanship into an arena usually reserved for synthetic and tech-y materials.  Different straps and accessories can be bought separately and every style is numbered according to their seasonal launch, much like a fine wine.

We do love our handbags - the ones that we know will be handed down and stay forever pieces, but sometimes you  just need to dash out of the house and all you want are the essentials. Both brands offer us stylish solutions that do serve to keep us light on our feet. Is the era of the handbag over? No, of course not. But are we sometimes glad to be un-encumbered by handles and extra weight. You betcha.

ELAOW is stocked in Harvey Nichols, Koibird and is also available to shop via the brand website here.

Head over to XOUXOU's own website to choose your own.