Saving our planet; one bag at a time

November 10, 2008

Start a new trend from Japan in your markets – minibags

The world’s fashion industry has recognised that Japanese street fashion often points the way to megatrends.

The latest story coming out of Japan is about the sudden popularity of mini-bags. It was carried in the Daily Yomiuri a couple of months back.

Entrepreneurs in countries where fashion is meaningful, would do well to read this story.

Here’s the story:

Minibags, small purses that can hold little more than a mobile phone, wallet or accessories, are one of the latest fashion trends. They come in a wealth of shapes and styles - some with colourful patterns, others with sequins.

You can enjoy them simply as utilitarian totes or as fashion accessories in their own right. They are also handy for tidying up inside your larger bag, as they help you sort out various items.

Concierge Petit, a shop in the Marunouchi building near Tokyo Station, is always crowded with women contemplating a series of Babyroo minibags.

The bag, 20cm by 22cm, is suitable for holding a clutch wallet.

Some Babyroo bags are adorned with illustrations on the cotton fabric while others are glamorously decorated with beads.

The shop deals with more than 50 kinds of Babyroo bags, most of them priced from 2,100 yen (US$20) to 20,000 yen ($187).

Super Planning Co, a company in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, dealing with lifestyle items, launched Babyroo in 2005 as bags handy for office workers to take along when going out for lunch. The variety on offer has increased every season.

The bag comes with a pocket designed to hold train passes and other cards. A shop manager said the products are popular among people of all ages, ranging from teenagers to elderly women.

Heming’s Inc, another company handling household items, started selling its Etoffe minibag in 2005. The bag is characterised by its materials, often Swedish or French fabric, and sophisticated design.

The bag, 20cm by 18 cm by 7cm, is priced from 4,095 yen ($38) to about 20,000 yen ($187).

A spokesperson for the company, based in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo, touted Etoffe bags as gorgeous, befitting any party “It is also good when you’re on the move, as you can use it when going to a restaurant, for example” the spokesperson said.

In May, imported households goods shop Plaza began carrying Bag in Bag, a glittering, shiny, polyurethane minibag.

The Bag in Bag is 16cm by 22cm by 7cm. The bag includes a pocket for a mobile phone, and is priced at 2,310 yen ($22). The bag is now stocked at about 70 Plaza outlets.

Many women change their bags to suit what they wear. If you always keep small items in a minibag, it is easy to transfer them from one bag to the other, according to your outfit, said a spokesperson for Plaza Style, the company behind Plaza.

When you buy these minibags from us, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find out how economical they can be. Calculate the potential markups and write to me today - rajiv at badlani dot com.

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