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Jil Sander's $290 brown paper bag purse is made of brown paper

August 31, 2012|By Shan Li
  • Jil Sander's Vasari brown paper bag purse is made out of coated brown paper and has holes in the side for ventilation.
Jil Sander's Vasari brown paper bag purse is made out of coated brown… (Jil Sander )

Designer Jil Sander has given the classic brown paper lunch bag a couture makeover.

At her fall/winter 2012 runway show, Sander sent out models clutching her Vasari purse -- essentially a brown paper bag that looks exactly like a brown paper bag, except it retails for $290.

What makes a lunchtime staple worth the equivalent of one month's car payment? Well, this bag is actually made of brown paper that is laminated with a protective coating, stitched in brown thread at the sides and has holes to ensure that your ham and cheese sandwich gets plenty of ventilation.

The bag recently hit stores, where it reportedly sold out quickly. A version in black leather, priced at $630, was also snapped up fast.

"You have to get a collector's piece," Mildred Fabian, regional director of Jil Sander, told the New York Daily News. "I think it's more of a fashion statement."

W magazine agreed, raving that the purse "doesn't venture far from the original" and is "perfectly in sync with the fashion house's minimalist roots."

"Forget recycling -- this bag is a keeper," the review said.

Other fashion watchers were less enthused.

"Does Jil Sander sell a bag I can barf in, too?" asked Jenna Sauers of Jezebel.

"Every time I read about a $500 pair of Rodarte socks, a $9,500 Fendi bicycle. a $53,500 Bottega Veneta suitcase, a $700 Margiela t-shirt, a $2,000 Louis Vuitton trashbag purse, I feel a sense of disappointment," Sauers wrote. "Why does fashion always end up giving fodder to the haters?"

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Follow Shan Li on Twitter @ShanLi

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