Takashimaya - New York City, New York, 2010

Perhaps because of or in spite of the sheer number of stores in New York, only a select few of the city's shopping bags act not just as ambassador for their brands, but signature. Never was this more true than in the case of Takashimaya. The only three-sided bag in Mlle Bagatelle's collection (in fact the only three-sided shopping bag MB has ever seen), this stunner makes you not only want to see the store but get to know whoever is carrying it. Like the bag, the goods here are truly one of a kind. Take for example, the cashmere wrap with the magnetic closure. Or for that matter the bottle cap umbrella. (Last year they carried a small can of fake snow that MB literally couldn't stop playing with.)

As enviornmentally conscious as they are fashion conscious, I'm told that once they work their way through the existing bags the following batches will be made from stone. Wanting to do what she can for the environment, Mlle Bagatelle vows to make it her personal responsibility to help them get rid of all their current bags by spending too much money there next time she's in town.

By the way, if you think this one's impressive, you should see their large-sized tassle version; a bag so incredible that Mlle Bagatelle's AARP-year-old college professor mother almost climbed into a city dumpster for it when she thought she might have seen the top of it peeking up through the garbage. When given this information MB told her to stop making excuses, toughen up, and get back out there and get it.

A little post-script to this post: sadly, just weeks after this writing this grand and always exciting store closed it's doors for the last time. Purchased for something like $140 million, it seems this retail space is destined to go the way of the "Going Out of Business" rug/capodimonte emporiums that fill the space between two-level delis.

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