A $290 paper bag by Jil Sander, the prominent designer, is a fashion hit among fans, but is making critics scratch their heads. The clutch was first seen on male models, but it's popularity has spread to fashion fans who are both men and women.
The $290 paper bag by Jil Sander, called the Vasari clutch, is the pinnacle of minimalism, having no handles, pockets, straps or other doodads. It's the most expensive paper bag ever made, sewn from high-durability coated paper, brown stitched seams, four gold colored eyelets, and the Jil Sander logo on the bottom.
The unorthodox nature of the fashion item led to many touting it as a must-have accessory.
The leather version of the Vasari- $630 gets you an all-black bag with a magnetic clasp- is "turning a necessity into an indulgence," W Magazine, a style publication, wrote. "Forget recycling- this bag is a keeper."
Fashionistas responded in turn by buying out the bag extremely fast. The Jil Sander website is sold out of the Vasari in both brown and black versions, and so is the store in SoHo.
Mildred Fabian, the regional director of the design house, theorized that the bag could have sold so quickly because of its designer- Raf Simmons had been creative director of Jil Sanders designs since 2005, and this was part of his last collection.
"You have to get a collector's piece," she told The New York Daily News.
Despite the high-fashion nature of the Vasari paper bag, many skeptics view it as no more than that: a paper bag.
"Only stupid people buy crap like this to say how unique they are. Give me a match and watch how fast that $290 goes," The Reader wrote on the NY Daily News blog.
"I'd rather give $300 in cash to a bum on the corner," another commenter agreed on The Fancy, a fashion website.