Monday, June 18, 2012

Shopping Bag Collection

For many years I had a really big obsession with collecting shopping bags. I liked to keep bags from nice shops and boutiques I visited. I'd even ask my husband to bring home a bag or two from shops he went to when he flew to London or Paris. And, I am not ashamed to admit that I would sometimes purchase something very affordable just to get a bag from a certain shop. On occasion, when the sales clerk tried to give me a plain flat bag for my simple purchase, I have asked, "Could I please have a handled paper bag instead?” Sometimes there would be "a look" of disapproval - but I didn't care.

The cover of my exciting book find in london

Once on a visit to London I found a book titled, Shopping Bag Secrets. The tag line says, “The Most Irresistible Bags From The World’s Most Unique Stores.” Wow, what an exciting find for me . . .  a book about something I had been collecting. It was even more exciting to note that I had several bags listed in the book. 

Why do I like shopping bags? I can’t really remember why I started holding on to bags - maybe because of a special name (Tiffany) or a great bag shape (Takashimaya) or a beautiful design (MacKenzie and Childs.) The book states that bags are “three-dimensional, portable works of art, status symbols and phenomenal advertising vehicles.” I agree.

An early memory of wanting a bag to keep goes back thirty years or so. I lived near South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, California. They created a new bag several times a year. They were always very pretty and really big. You had to pay a quarter to get a bag from the stand that dispensed them.
A few of my south coast plaza oversized bags

The great triangular shaped bag from the now-closed Takashimaya in Manhattan
Bags from a trip to Paris

One of my favorite stores in New York is ABC Carpet & Home

From the Victoria & Albert Museum in London - check out that purple interior!!

Some of my New York shopping bag collection

This bag came with its own gift tag attached from MacKenzie and Childs
Random bags

Vendor sample bags from buying trips I took for the shop I owned

More bags . . . 

My bag collection stuffed in the biggest of the bags - after photographing my bags I found another full bag of bags!!
Whatever the reason, I love shopping bags and I am not ready to even consider letting any of them go. Maybe one day in the future when my granddaughters are older, they will have fun playing “shop” with some of them. Who knows, paper shopping bags might become extinct soon . . .

For now, the really special ones will stay folded in the safety of the larger bags in the back of my closet.


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