$290 paper bag already sold out

Jordana Divon
Shine On
August 30, 2012

There are folks who think nothing of shelling out $140,000 for a Hermes crocodile Birkin handbag.

In fact, they are so eager to spend $140,000 on a handbag they will submit their name to a long wait list for the privilege.

There are even well-heeled young people who have the capital reserves to apportion $17,000 toward a furry knapsack designed by a former Full House cast member.

But all the cool 1-percenters these days are toting around a designer paper bag.

That's right. The $290 Vasari clutch from Jil Sander's 2012/13 Fall-Winter menswear line has proved so must-have this season, they've sold right out of the designer's SoHo and online stores.

No details on whether the bag is yet available in Jil Sander's Canadian retail locations.

The bag is made of coated kraft paper and features "a long rectangular silhouette," which are two fancy terms for what is essentially a glorified lunch sac.

For nuance, the bottom of the bag has been stitched together with fancy metal eyelets and comes adorned with the Jil Sander logo — just to make sure people know whose $290 lunch sac you're carrying.

A black leather version retails for $630.

[See also: Clothing made out of milk]

Of course, for all those mocking these pretensions of excess, at least one of the world's top fashion publications is singing the bag's praises.

"Forget recycling - this bag is a keeper," W magazine enthuses, adding that the black clutch is "perfectly in sync with the fashion house's minimalist roots" and is "turning a necessity into an indulgence."

Jil Sander's director of retail for North America also points out an important detail for those who simply don't understand fashion.

Mildred Fabian informs the New York Daily News that the bags are a "collector's piece" as they comprise part of the final collection from outgoing creative director Raf Simons.

"I think it's more of a fashion statement," she adds.

Indeed it must be, because it's difficult to imagine anyone who can afford to pay $300 for this item actually brown-bagging their lunch to the office.

While couture forums have not been so generous (one commenter cracked "This gives new meaning to the term 'barf bag',") that won't stop the clutch from making a bundle for the German fashion house.

And compared to the $500 Rodarte crocheted socks that are so delicate you can't even wash them, the Sander sac seems downright utilitarian.

Are these expensive designer trends high art that non-fashionistas simply can't comprehend, or do they underscore the saying "a fool and his (or her) money are soon parted?"

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