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Bloomingdale’s Celebrates 50 Years of the Big Brown Bag With ‘B the Change’ Initiative

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Celebrating five decades of the iconic Big Brown Bag, Bloomingdale’s launches exclusive events and collaborations.

This year, Bloomingdale’s is set to honor the 50th anniversary of its legendary Big Brown Bag, a staple in the world of fashion retail. The venerable American department store is pulling out all the stops to celebrate this milestone with a host of exciting partnerships and activations both online and in-store. As a beacon of fashion trends and a trendsetter in modern retail, Bloomingdale’s plans to rekindle the allure of the iconic Big Brown Bag this September, showcasing its legacy of innovation and style.

“The Big Brown Bag has become an incredible Bloomingdale’s marketing tool, and representing the first sustainable shopping bag, was truly ahead of its time,” Chief Marketing Officer at Bloomingdale’s, Frank Berman, said in a statement. Berman said the bag has played an iconic role in the company’s innovative journey and its representation in popular culture.

Bloomingdale’s: a staple in American retail

With a rich history dating back to 1872, Bloomingdale’s stands as an epitome of upscale retail in the United States, operating across multiple states with a significant presence internationally, notably in Dubai and Kuwait. As a segment of Macy’s, Inc., it has been at the forefront of revolutionizing the retail space, blending luxury with accessibility. Celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2022, Bloomingdale’s continues to foster a culture of innovation, especially as it marks half a century of its Big Brown Bag initiative.

Initially envisioned as a means to easily carry pillows and blankets, the bag underwent several transformations to accommodate a diverse array of products, including cosmetics and accessories. Characterized by Massimo Vignelli’s “bloomingtype,” the Big Brown Bag embodies the seamless blend of simplicity and fashion iconography, evolving to include Medium and Little Brown Bag variations, all becoming global symbols for fashion aficionados.

The Big Brown Bazaar: exclusive collections and celebrations

Bloomingdale’s has orchestrated a splendid lineup of events and collaborations, central to which is The Carousel @ Bloomingdale’s: The Big Brown Bazaar. This event promises an exclusive shopping experience, with limited-edition products crafted to honor the fashion world’s most recognizable bag. The bazaar will feature products from prominent brands like Mother denim and Helmut Lang, along with specially curated items from the Plaza Hotel and Economy Candy.

Community engagement and sustainable initiatives

In addition to the celebrations, Bloomingdale’s is setting a precedent by initiating its inaugural “Big Brown Bash” on September 9. During this event, shoppers will have the opportunity to enjoy custom merchandise from various brands, encapsulating the luxury and innovation Bloomingdale’s stands for.

Furthermore, the company is championing sustainability through its “b the change” initiative, inviting customers to support the Bloomingdale’s x FIT Sustainable Innovation Fund in collaboration with the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT). This initiative encourages shoppers to round up their purchases to the nearest dollar, fostering the development of sustainable designs and materials.

“We are a company that pushes to innovate and strives to be like none other and the Big Brown Bag is an exemplary product of this ethos,” Berman said. “It has become a historical part of pop culture moments and an icon of the luxury lifestyle. The bag itself is synonymous with fashion and the Bloomingdale’s brand and we are thrilled to be celebrating its 50th anniversary.”

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