Life Style

Charm-adorned jewelry, purses from the ’90s make a comeback

Consider us charmed by these accessories.

Charm-adorned jewelry and handbags have made a comeback, spurring a DIY frenzy in New York City, where eager Gen Zers flock to charm bars like Brooklyn Charm to craft custom bling.

But how did charms get their moment in the spotlight again?

Kelsey Armstrong, the founder of Brooklyn-based charm and crafts shop Haricot Vert, attributes the popularity of charms to their “nostalgic element,” which “brings people back to their childhood wonderment.”

“Everybody who comes into our store in Williamsburg, they say the same thing — they just feel like they’re a kid again,” Armstrong, who just opened her Williamsburg location after operating online for three years, told The Post. “They’re these little trinkets that just bring them back to a happy place.”

Charm jewelry has exploded online as one of the hottest trends, as fashionistas clamor to create personalized chains adorned with icons reminiscent of their likes or moments in their life. Courtesy of Haricot Vert

The charm fascination goes beyond chunky novelties as jewelry. Trendsetter and model Gigi Hadid was recently spotted wearing a charm-adorned necklace that harkens back to the early aughts heydays of statement jewelry.

Dua Lipa and Lily Allen have found another way to rock the trend: Both have decorated their designer totes with the playful ornamentation à la Jane Birkin — her namesake Hermes Birkin adorned with baubles and beads always bursting at the seams.

Gigi Hadid has been spotted wearing the chunky charm chains. TatianaK / BACKGRID
The fad is reminiscent of the early aughts when A-listers like Paris Hilton donned the accessory around their neck. FilmMagic

And on recent runways, Coach, perhaps one of the earliest purveyors of the bag charm, debuted a bevy of New York City-inspired charms for the brand’s fall/winter 2024 collection, including a red apple, the Empire State Building and a yellow taxi.

While often novelties tell a person’s story through style, some charms actually have symbolic meanings. To some, the icons can act as good luck charms that protect them from harm and attract prosperity or are even a nod to their ideologies.

Charms can have “symbolic meanings that resonate with a person’s well-being,” Aimee Howlett, a trend expert at the UK jewelry company Diamonds Factory, told The Post in a statement.

Dua Lipa is one of the many celebrities incorporating bag charms onto purses. GC Images
Lily Allen’s maximalist handbag is decorated with adorable charms. Lily Allen/Instagram

“For example, the evil eye is said to ward off evil whereas an elephant charm is said to represent stability in love and friendship,” she explained.

But not much has changed since the earliest inception of the humble charm, simply incorporated into jewelry or bags as a distinguishing factor in one’s style.

“The charms are kind of a small scale way to experiment with personalization and something that is representative of your style, or maybe a sentimental memory for you in a very small way,” content creator and stylist Heather Hurst, 27, told The Post.

“Sometimes, I feel like jewelry, when you wear it on your person, competes with an outfit, so it’s just easier to throw it on a bag.”

The ultra-chic New Yorker now considers charms an accessorizing staple in her wardrobe, regularly toting satchels adorned with the metal ornamentation that adds flair to her otherwise homogenous handbag.

That originality is “something really coveted in fashion right now,” a representative from Pandora, the makers of the ever-popular “Moments” charm bracelets, told The Post.

Charm enthusiasts can purchase a wool felt bag adorned with handmade embellishments from Haricot Vert. Courtesy of Haricot Vert

At Haricot Vert, fashionistas can choose from a spanning variety of picto-charms and order custom pendants from photos. Also, any old knick-knack will do the trick, said Hurst, whether it’s a piece of jewelry that no longer fits with your style or a small scarf you have no use for anymore.

Either way, it still means something to you.

“People are also just seeking a way to differentiate themselves and feel like things are personal,” Hurst said.

“This isn’t just a linen tote bag, it’s my linen tote bag. This isn’t just an Hermes Birkin bag, it’s the way that Jane Birkin carried her bag — and so now, this is the way that you carry your bag.”

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