Typically we run across the iconic smiley face telling us to "have a nice day" in a simple and cheap way: on plastic takeout bags. But now, British designer Anya Hindmarch has gone and ruined the poor guy's friendly image forever, stamping the famous symbol on a ridiculously high-priced tote. What once was a free bag you might reuse to carry your lunch to work has now been transformed into a $4,158 designer purse. For real.
Hindmarch's Happy Shopper bag is made of python skin, lined with suede, and features hand-painted edges. It debuted at London Fashion Week back in September and was just released as part of the designer's spring collection. "Inspired by our passion for finding the beauty in the banal," the brand's official website says, "our Happy Shopper tote is our luxurious take on the classic shopping bag."
Witty? Perhaps. Obnoxious? Definitely. The combined "Have a nice day" catchphrase and smiley face (attributed to commercial artist Harvey Ball) was a defining image of the 1970s and was plastered on many common goods, from bumper stickers to coffee mugs. Nowadays it's commonly used on disposable plastic bags, but perhaps it was only a matter of time before high-end designers put their spin on the basic design.
This isn't the first time the smiley face emblem has gone high-end. In 2012, a label called Cast of Vices launched its $198 Corner Store leather totes with the same "Have a nice day" image stamped into a leather tote. Reappropriating common household items into high-priced commodities appears to be an ongoing fashion trend. In 2
012 Jil Sander launched a $290 brown paper lunch-bag purse that quickly sold out. In 2011 Jimmy Choo made a $165 leather coffee cup sleeve you could use in lieu of the disposable Starbucks versions. And Jeremy Scott's new collection for Moschino, released last month, happens to be riddled with McDonald's logos.
As for Hindmarch, her upcoming fall handbag collection uses icons from our favorite childhood cereal boxes, such as Tony the Tiger and the Corn Flakes rooster. Plenty of celebs, including Kate Middleton, Kate Winslet, Jennifer Garner, Cameron Diaz, Olivia Wilde, and Anne Hathaway are fans of her handbags. Emma Watson recently toted one of the designer's metallic clutches to the Oscars. But will any of them go so far as to rock the Happy Shopper tote? Our bet is on emoji-obsessed singer Miley Cyrus. Anyone seeking the item for less can scoop up a box of 1,000 plastic happy face bags for $23.95 via Amazon. Or wait until your next take out order.