In Tokyo, Paper Bag Chic

If you’ve worked in the fashion industry and travelled the world, there are a few visual impressions branded on your brain. Front and center in my mind is the vision of young Japanese women, well-educated fashionistas speaking perfect French or Italian, or both, standing in lines around the Prada stores in Europe.

Even department store mannequins carry rmpty paper bags in Tokyo I’ve seen shops closed to the public, because of the lines. Today’s NYTimes reports a new fashion trend, one that comes from the land of sometimes inscrutable wit and whimsy.

Today’s women are carrying empty shopping bags, broadcasting a Cultural Creative message with several meanings but most often as a ‘memory bag’ of the good ‘ol days when a girl shopped till she dropped. According to NYT, the “eco bag” trend has passed, leaving Japanese women as committed environmentalists who only want paper, but don’t use bags to convey the message.

more on shopping in America from WSJ:

In America, too, the Wall Street Journal reports that reluctant shoppers are holding back the recovery. American consumers appear so shaken by the worst recession since the Great Depression — and so pinched by unemployment, stagnant wages and stingier lenders — that they are reining in spending on all but basics. Economists also see an upturn in U.S. household saving as the beginning of a prolonged period of thrift.