And 2019 is off to a strong start with ghastly fashion, if the apparent popularity of an oversized backpack from the Japanese brand CWF is anything to go by. And when we say oversized, we mean 100cm (over 3ft) tall, and roomy enough to comfortably fit a small child—or several.
The label behind the bag known as “The Backpacker’s Closet” specializes in outdoor gear, and bills the item as an ideal pack for camping, traveling, or even as an alternative closet. It reportedly weighs in at about 3.5 lbs and has an additional backstrap and shoulder padding for added comfort:
The backpack, which retails for nearly 26,000 yen ($240) on the Japanese retailer Plywood, is sold out in all three of its sensible colors (beige, olive, and black) and is set to be restocked. Plywood did not immediately respond to a request for comment, so it’s unclear how many of the packs were initially stocked on the site, or whether CWF will actually need to manufacture more to meet demand.
While it remains to be seen whether the backpack takes off globally, there are indicators that it has potential. The pack itself is reportedly getting plenty of hype in Japan, and has been shared on Japanese social media by those who have actually snagged one:
And it wouldn’t be the first time a gimmicky item’s social media virility translated to actual sales. Last year, the fashion search-engine Lyst noted that searches for “meme fashion” saw huge spikes that were driven by viral images of particularly absurd-looking, overlarge, or too-tiny items (see Jacquemus’s Bomba hat or Kendall Jenner in an enormous red Aritizia puffer):
The “Backpacker’s Closet” may prove to have the same viral potential. And it may portend another year of outlandish fashion.