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

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

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Bijou was a popular movie memorabilia store in the Century City area. Bag courtesy of Alison Martino/Vintage Los Angeles

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Robinson's flagship store in Los Angeles was located near 7th and Broadway. The bag features detailed sketches of many of the city's famous landmarks. Bag courtesy of Alison Martino/Vintage Los Angeles

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Fiorucci, an Italian company that found its way to Beverly Hills, was featured in the 1980 cult classic Xanadu. Bag courtesy of Alison Martino/Vintage Los Angeles

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Another Fiorucci bag from their Beverly Hills location. Bag courtesy of Alison Martino/Vintage Los Angeles

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Another Fiorucci bag from their Beverly Hills location. Bag courtesy of Alison Martino/Vintage Los Angeles.

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Contempo Casuals, a popular apparel and accessory store of the '80s and '90s, was known for its artistic shopping bags and boxes. Bag courtesy of Alison Martino/Vintage Los Angeles

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This PIckwick Bookshop bag dates back to the 1930s. Bag courtesy of Alison Martino/Vintage Los Angeles

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This bag is from Joy, a boutique that used to be located on Melrose Avenue. Bag courtesy of Alison Martino/Vintage Los Angeles

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The Village Vendors, a boutique previously located in Brentwood. Bag courtesy of Alison Martino/Vintage Los Angeles


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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