Take Two

News and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by Alex Cohen & A Martínez

Bag-Free LA: A collection of vintage shopping bags from LA's past

by Take Two

Heaven was a popular novelty shop that used to be located in Century City. Bag courtesy of Alison Martino/Vintage Los Angeles Grant Slater/KPCC

With the new plastic bag ban now in effect, Alison Martino of Vintage Los Angeles joins us to bring a big of nostalgia with vintage shopping bags from the past. 

Interview Highlights:

On how she acquired these vintage bags:
They're older than me. I think it started when my mother had saved a lot of them...she held onto a lot of the department store bags and some stores that I actually shopped in as a kid.

On Heaven, a popular store in Los Angeles:
You could get gag gifts in there, really great t-shirts. It was very late '70s/early '80s explosion of just funny novelty stuff. Their logo was legendary in LA. I think every kid in Los Angeles had a Heaven t-shirt...It was kind of a cool thing.

On the intersection of retail, film and shopping bags:
Fiorucci was probably put on the map after the movie Xanadu came out. There was a scene in Xanadu where Gene Kelly and Olivia Newton-John are skating up and down the store and this was the bag that they gave out.

On the future of shopping bags:
I live in West Hollywood, so I was the first affected by the no bags. I think what's kind of good about this is now they're going to make bags tailored to your interest. So now you're going to see personalized bags in the markets. They don't represent the market, but the person shopping there.

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