This is part of our multi-piece coverage of the launch of Anya Hindmarch’s I’m Not a Plastic Bag in the US. See also: Anya Bags Sell Out in 29 Minutes At Columbus Circle, Anya Hindmarch Talks About Bag Craze on Eve of New York Launch, and How to Get Your Own “I’m Not a Plastic Bag”: Buy It or Win It.
Not to be outdone by the British, the super-hyped “I’m NOT a Plastic bag” bag came to NYC this morning. The line wrapped around twice the entire block of the Union Square Whole Foods and was headed up by a young woman and her dutiful boyfriend. The two native Californians had been waiting since 6 pm, yesterday and spent the night on the sidewalk to score the bags. Each person was allowed 3 bags when the store opened at 8 am. There were 3,000 bags in stock; they were all sold out within 2 hours.
To generalize the people in line, 90% were both uber-fashionable and Asian. Most had heard of the bag though fashion and celebrity magazines, family members from the UK, Taiwan and Malaysia (where the bag has already been released), and or were already designer Anya Hindmarch devotees. A lucky few were even toting their own “I’m Not a Plastic bag” purchased earlier in June when the bag was released at the Midtown Manhattan Anya Hindmarch boutique. They stood in a long line there too.
Many folks waiting on line said they wouldn’t carry it themselves, but knew it would make a pretty penny on Ebay and with bags said to start off at $300, they are probably right. One woman brought her toddler in a stroller in order to secure 6 bags (at 6 x $300, she should have brought the entire preschool).
Some folks in the line, on the other hand, understood the social message. They said that it goes along with a more conscious and sustainable life they are trying to live. One woman even mentioned that while they are already making black market knock-offs bags, if it helps promote the message then it’s not such a bad thing.
The greatest irony of the morning was as a result of the ongoing torrential rain. Upon leaving the store, after hours in the downpour, proud owners placed their prized new bags into Whole Foods plastic bags to keep them dry: An “I’m NOT a Plastic bag” in a plastic bag!
Hopefully the message of conservation spreads in the US with fashion divas hitting the streets with their fabulous reusable shopping bags. And if not, I just hope they recycle all of those Whole Foods plastic bags.
Special thanks to Bess Kargman for the photo