Sunday, December 1, 2019

Agnès b. Lolita Backpacks: "All the Pretty Girls Have One."

In preparation for a future post, we're reading Piper Weiss' engaging you all grow up and leave me. On page 103 of the memoir, Weiss related an anecdote about a night, during her middle-school years, on the town with the girls:

We wear our coats open down Park Avenue, miniature backpacks strapped to our shoulders and stuffed with allowance, Marlboro Lights, coffee-bean Revlon lipstick, and concealer. My backpack is black suede with a high zipper count. Bianca's is an Agnès b. Lolita and I want it. It's nothing much---a small black fabric satchel with two black ties to put your arms through---but written across the back in white script is the name Lolita. All the pretty girls have one. When I ask to try it on, just to see how it feels, it's like strapping on an internal organ I've been missing.

Interestingly, Weiss did not desire the designer backpack, but she desperately wanted Lolita, whom all the pretty girls possessed. It was Lolita who made her feel like she had recovered a missing vital organ.

And Lolita was a "must have", and she was coveted by more than Manhattan prep schoolgirlsNora Zelevansky wrote in the Los Angeles Times (August 26, 2012) article "Stylish backpacks make a return":

"In the early 1990s, the mini-backpack was a fashion “must-have.” Most coveted was French designer Agnès B.'s black cotton “Lolita” sack (reimagined briefly during a limited-edition 2010 collaboration with Opening Ceremony) [...]"

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