In a time when cell phones flipped, cargo shorts ruled, smartphones did not exist, and tablets were just pipe dreams you'd see on Star Trek, people mocked the man bag. Now, the once-ridiculed satchel is riding high as the murse business is a $9 billion industry. Quartz reports:
... over the past five years men’s handbags have seen sales grow at nearly twice the rate of the overall luxury industry. The man-bag market in Asia has doubled since 2008, with murses in the Middle East growing by two-thirds over the same period. The global market for men’s luxury bags will reach just under $9 billion this year, according to Euromonitor.
Times have changed. No one like lumpy pockets anymore. Some smart phones have gotten to the point where they're big enough to be mistaken as tablets. And tablets — around a third of Americans have one. These cultural shifts and necessities all drive the need for a man bag.
But there are economic shifts afoot, too. Luxury sales aren't very brisk, and luxury brands have tried to tap into the male market to find new customers. New customers help boost sales. Combine all that with the fact that there's a lot of money in Asia at the moment and over there, men like to shop for nice (luxury) things (see: Crazy Rich Asians), and you get why man bags have provided a nice cushion for luxury dealers. North America (maybe it's the Canadians?) actually leads the rest of the world when it comes to 2013 spending on man bags, but the Asian market is far and away the leader when it comes to growth.
For men, these cultural and economic shifts all boil down to two things: resistance is futile and the window to make fun of women for their overpriced handbags is closing very quickly.