On my way to buy a sad desk salad today, I noticed a pop-up display of colorful Marni plastic basket bags in a large downtown department store. As I approached, I thought, “Oh those are cu-…Wait, those look kinda familiar…Are those…”
The heads of OTOP (a government program that showcases and markets Thai handicrafts) are probably shaking their heads over the prices they now believe they could have charged for this simple country good. Similar basket bags can be found in nearly every rural Thai home.
Marni, an Italian luxury brand known for vintage-inspired prints and feminine designs, is beloved by stars such as Kirsten Dunst, Emmy Rossum, January Jones and other ingenue-types. Their designs are usually much more refined than this fun and colorful plastic bag, but it appears that no fashion house is immune to the charms of Thai markets.
The smallest basket bag from Marni’s collection, which would cost no more than THB150 (USD4.50) at a local Bangkok market with no label, was going for a whopping THB4,900 (USD148) in the high-end department store. The largest bag? A staggering THB14,900 (USD449). And to think, your grandmother carries her dirty laundry in one of these.
As I was laughing and snapping pictures, the sweet salesgirl was telling me that it was the last day of the promotion and I should shop today. Hon, I think I’ll sleep on this one. Or better yet, I’ll pick one up in Phra Khanong market on my way home.
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