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The paper lunch bag is iconic. Its understated elegance lies in its simplicity. It serves function over style, yet that is style in itself. The basic brown color shows that it lacks the fussiness of bleaching and colored dyes, and the shape holds a sandwich and apple perfectly. Classic paper bags can bring you back to your childhood lunches at school, evoking memories of Cheese Strings, Fruit by the Foot, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Now, instead of paying a few cents for a regular paper bag, you can pay $290 to carry a designer paper bag. Not on the paper side of the paper-or-plastic question? You’re in luck; there’s a plastic bag from last year’s line for a mere $150.
Jil Sanders, a German fashion house, has created what may be the most expensive paper bag (at least, I hope it’s the most expensive paper bag.) “Vasari” comes in the traditional peanut brown color, as well as matte and vinyl black. You might think that the bag is just created in the paper bag’s image, but no, they are actually made out of paper. It’s just special coated paper. It features grommets (to keep your lunch ventilated) and “Jil Sanders” embossed near the bottom. Forget about glued seams; this fancy bag has stitching.
In case you wanted a bag made of something a little bit sturdier than paper, “Vasari” also comes in leather. Keeping in mind that the paper version costs $290… now guess how much leather costs. It actually seems sort of reasonable at $630.
Prefer plastic? Jil Sanders sold a plastic, oh wait, acetate (sounds so much more valuable now, right?) bag that looks just like a plastic grocery bag. It seems to be slightly thicker than the average plastic bag, plus it comes with a little leather Jil Sanders tag.
Jil Sanders typically has a simple aesthetic, and there is nothing simpler than a plain paper bag. Still, it’s a strange trend. Most people would think that packing a lunch is a sign of being thrifty, not of someone who would splurge this heavily. Of course, you will need to save your lunch money to buy this bag.
Is it a sign that the recession is over when people are willing to spend $290 on a paper bag? The public is actually willing to shell out that kind of money for paper: Gawker reports that the bags are currently sold out. This is a far cry from the recessionista trend we saw flourish a few years ago. I’m no economist, but this looks like it could be a good sign for the economy. That, or that some people just have way too much money. Keep in mind that you can create a similar bag with a little DIY spirit using a couple of grommets, a cheap bag, and a marker to write “Jil Sanders” (not that we here at Style Quirk support counterfeiting designer goods, of course).