The humble tote bag has been around for hundreds of years in fact ever since something precious had to be carried. In fact the etymology of the word tote is "to carry"
The first tote bags were merely a pouch held around the waste and later they were embellished with embroidery, decorative stones and jewels the more ornate they became reflected a persons wealth and status.
The tote is a large bag with handles attached, made of strong cloth to enable it to perform the various hardworking tasks asked of it. Today, tote bags need to be able to carry paperwork, electronics, groceries, gym gear, and to suit most personalities and occasions. But at the heart of it all is a bag that you need to have with you that can multifunction, that can be carried with you every time you leave your home, can be rolled up into a small space and stored in the car.
In the 1940's The U.S company L L Bean revolutionized the tote bag by introducing a strong canvas bag with handles that could carry ice and wood with ease.
In the 1960's the tote was again at the forefront of design reflecting the evolving sense of political and social awareness. Designer Bonnie Cashin created her Cashin carry tote. Bold and beautiful, using colourful designs that were of the time and they still have influence in luxury bags created today.
In the 1980s, New York bookshop The Strand introduced a new version of the tote. Similar to the bag of today, this had a softer structure and was created from natural cotton canvas with the purpose of carrying items purchased in store.
In 1983, British actress Jane Birkin was on a flight seated next to the chief executive of Hermes. The contents of Birkin’s straw handbag spilled to the floor. She described her fruitless searches to the chief executive of Hermes for a practical carry-everything-in-one-bag.
The Birkin bag was born.
This first high-end designer tote bag was in a class of its own in terms of design and luxury. The Birkin opened up new markets and customers to Hermes. Although not an initial hit, possibly due to its high cost, it became a favourite during the It-bag era in the 1990s. Available in an array of colours and designs, prices start at an eye-watering £5,000+
But there are a number of modern designers that make stunning tote bags in various styles and sizes at very affordable prices.
So as we move away from single use plastic bags the humble tote is having a new renaissance with fabulous modern and humorous designs which are hard wearing and multi functional.
At this point enter JustNow designs with our brand new hard wearing and stylish, lined and padded for strength and structure range of modern tote bags featuring floral designs, Love letters, Nordic styles, Seasonal Greetings, and not forgetting our humorous sheep!
The Tote bag is now an affordable and practical stylish must have, that you want to be seen with and you cannot be without.