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Latest must-have accessory? A designer paper bag – for £100!

By Jo Macfarlane

AS MUST-HAVE designer bags they are certainly more affordable than the thousands of pounds which some can cost. But you’ll either have to splash out some serious cash on luxuries to get your hands on one or cough up more than £100 for a second-hand version on eBay.

Paper bags, given away at the tills by high-end stores, have become fashion accessories in themselves, increasingly spotted dangling from the arms of celebrities.

And it doesn’t matter that they no longer contain their original goods, bought from the likes of Chanel and Prada – it is enough, it seems, that they once did.

Last week, former Eternal singer Louise Redknapp was spotted in London carrying a large Dior paper bag, while fashion queen Sarah Jessica Parker has a Fendi version and reality star Kim Kardashian was seen reusing a Balenciaga bag to transport a bouquet of flowers.

The bags are fast becoming collectible items. And while they may have been free at the point of purchase – perhaps when buying Chanel’s classic lambskin chain handbag for £8,500 – they are going for large sums on resale sites such as eBay. A paper bag from French design house Hermes is on offer at £45, and a bag from Smythson – a favourite of David Cameron’s wife Samantha, where she was once creative director – with matching tissue paper is available for £40. Other bags from Gucci and Burberry have versions for up to £114.

The movement has been cemented by adverts featuring the bags.

Fashion house Bottega Veneta released a campaign last week with rapper A$AP Rocky carrying a brown paper supermarket bag, and Kim Kardashian’s Balenciaga bag was part of a collaboration between the brand and organic food shop Erewhon.

However some collectors do not wear the item and instead display them in their home, believing their value will soar – the Gen Z equivalent of Star Wars memorabilia. If used in the background to social media posts, it is said they also offer an illusion of wealth and credibility.

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