The iconic “Big Brown Bag” from Bloomingdale’s is a timeless symbol of design excellence and brand identity. Designed and branded by Massimo and Lella Vignelli, the visionary founders of the graphic design firm Vignelli Associates in 1973, this bag has been an enduring emblem for half a century.
This iconic bag has not only served as a practical vessel for newly purchased items but has also offered a unique experience which I’m not sure if Vignelli knew when creating the design. I remember holding onto my first Big Brown Bag for years, and I suspect I’m not alone in this sentiment. Perhaps it’s the result of my design hoarder tendencies for collecting design artifacts, or maybe it’s the feeling of being part of an exclusive Bloomingdale’s club that makes this bag so special.
Over time, this iconic bag has undergone a transformation, with artist and designers creating their own special edition Bloomingdale’s bag. Still over the years the iconic design remains. It has even made appearances in popular TV shows like Friends and Gossip Girl. Celebrities are seen carrying it through the streets of New York City. Remarkably, the bag’s design has remained unchanged for five decades, a testament to the enduring power of beautiful design and branding by the Vignellis.
Now, as it celebrates its 50th anniversary, the design is being honored with a touch of opulence, featuring gold accents and exquisite rope handles. Additionally, limited edition merchandise is available, allowing design enthusiasts and Bloomingdale’s aficionados alike to commemorate this iconic piece of design history.
All images are via: Bloomingdales