Photo via Etsy.

Jacquemus Has Nothing On The Mercado Mini-Bag

Why spend $400 on Farfetch when you could spend $20 for a 12-pack on Etsy?

by Emma Specter
Jul 15 2019, 4:10pm

Photo via Etsy.

Friends, we are living in an era of—forgive me for resurrecting a year-old catchphrase—small bag energy. Where a humungous media tote stuffed with yellowing New Yorkers and loose Advils was once the way to virtue-signal your intellect and always-be-preparedness, the bag of the moment is now so small that if we had to collectively answer one of those Us Weekly "What's In My Bag?" questionnaires, the honest answer would be "an expired Metrocard and half an Adderall."

While some status purses—your Susan Alexandras, your Clare V. net bags—are at least big enough to wedge in your iPhone and a small snack, the nano-bag movement launched by Jacquemus shows no signs of slowing down. Much like New York real estate, though, the more you pay, the less you get! If I'm spending $400 on a purse, a) I better die, and b) it better fit everything I own.

That said, I'm not immune from craving the Instagram-friendly cool points that a tiny bag would instantly lend me, which is where the Mexican "mercado," or market, mini-gift bag enters the equation.

The mercado mini-bag is a tiny lil' adaptation of full-sized, colorful plastic totes used for shopping, and is usually employed as a party-favor receptacle to stuff with candy or gifts. I first encountered the item in the flesh at Likeminded Objects in Hudson, New York, where shop owner Elise McMahon told me that she'd unearthed it on a trip to Mexico City.

"The style is very typical in Mexico, and I had to bring some home with me to put in the store," McMahon told me via DM, explaining that the tiny bags are generally made with scrap fabric and used as kids' toys or souvenirs. They're cute, they're cheap, and they're infinitely available online (just don't be a scab and order them on Amazon during the Prime Day strike!) Plus, they force you to scale down your daily schlepping to only what's most travel-sized and ruthlessly efficient; Marie Kondo would approve.

If the mercado mini-bag isn't doing it for you, consider a paper mini-gift bag instead. Sure, it's less practical than plastic and will likely melt if you get stuck in the rain, but you're the kind of person who would willingly spend money on a nano-bag (or, at least, read a blog post about them); is practicality really your main concern? Sense and sensibility is for fall! Have the economical, tiny-bagged hot girl summer of your dreams!