The story of the iconic Tote bag

As our latest bag is about to be released, let’s discover the origins of the iconic Tote bag, well-known for its simple design and its unlimited convenience. The etymology of the word tote — “to carry” — can be traced back to the 17th century. The tote has served many purposes over the years, but it is only in the 40s that the brand L.L.Bean revealed this bag.

L.L.Bean original Boat bag

 

 

In 1944, L.L.Bean introduced its “Boat Bag” based on the design of the ice bag. Its original material, canvas, has stood the test of time. Over the years, other elements were added, such as colored leather trim, which was first designed in the 1960s. This design is a timeless piece that L.L.Bean continues to make today.

 

 

First Tote Bag made by The Strand

 

 

 

In the 1950s, American designer Bonnie Cashin created the Cashin Carry Tote for Coach. Cashin’s elegant design fully made of leather helped to bring the tote to another level. Then, in the 1980s, iconic New York City bookstore The Strandintroduced its own version of the bag.

The first Strand tote was introduced in 80s explains Lise Jee, lead designer for The Strand. It was a natural cotton duck canvas, with an interior lining. In red Helvetica letters, the graphic boldly advertised the store’s information. Like the L.L.Bean tote, its design has evolved over the years, but its popularity continues to grow.

 

Hermès Bag – Garden Party

 

 

Luxury totes are making an appearance down the runway as well. There’s the smart look of Coach’s bag; the popular Madewell totes; and iterations by Loewe, Prada, and even Hermès. Clearly, many companies are eager to create their own versions of the tote. However, the totes seen on runways come in a variety of fabrics that are way different from the average version.

 

Ikea Tote bag and Balenciaga’s

 

 

 

Ikea has also popularized the tote: Its version of the oversized bag comes in different colors that people can purchase at the store or online. They are sold as an eco-friendly alternative to plastic bags. A luxury version of the Ikea tote was released in 2017 by French luxury brand Balenciaga.

 

 

 

Our tote bag has nothing in common with the others described above. The specificity of our tote – called the Luxemburg –  is such that it has four handles, thus you can wear it in two ways. The Luxemburg is a two-in-one bag because it is an ultra-luxury alligator basket bag and it is a velvet tote bag with a very contemporary look. Thanks to its square flat bottom we have a wide shape.

Coming soon on our website !