New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

Baggu is the bag-u need

Sturdy, stylish and suitable for every occasion, Baggu has ended the seemingly impossible search for the it-bag brand.
(Collage by Julia Smerling, photo by Matt Petres)

After many a semester spent lugging around bags unworthy of my limited closet space, I have finally had enough. Living in a place as unpredictable and lively as New York City requires being constantly prepared, which most of the time means an overstuffed bag. A laptop, water bottle, notebooks and a sack of snacks are all essentials that I cannot compromise on. However, finding a functional and fashionable bag to accommodate all of your necessities and trinkets is quite the feat. 

If you’ve also hit a wall in your search for the perfect bag, never fear — Baggu is here. Founded in 2007 by Emily and Joan Sugihara, Baggu is a sustainable bag brand that has quickly garnered popularity amongst purse lovers and tote overpackers alike. My previous expectations had felt impossible to satisfy, but with this bag, I don’t have to sacrifice style for sturdiness. 

Reusable grocery bag tote with a blue, white and red tile pattern, along with drawings of the sun and various fruits.
BAGGU’s Sunshine Tile colored reusable bag from its Spring collection. (Matt Petres for WSN)

Made from recycled nylon and designed to hold, they never fail me, even on the roughest days. The Medium Nylon Crescent Bag has been deemed a “bottomless pit” because of its capability to fit anything and everything, and I can confirm — the bag is impressively spacious. Each bag features a sturdy shoulder strap with stain-resistant and waterproof material that can be thrown in the wash after a rainy day.

Where the San Francisco-born brand really shines is its versatility. There is a bag in different shapes and sizes for every occasion. Reusable and foldable grocery bags, crescent crossbodies, lunchboxes — you name it. This variety extends to its many colors, patterns and designs, with the brand constantly releasing collections and collaborations fit for any carry-all connoisseur. As someone who doesn’t stray away from color and quirk, Baggu scratches a fashion itch that other brands simply can not. 

While Baggu’s seasonal or permanent prints are adorably eclectic, the greatest gems can be found in the limited-time collaborations. My collection truly began when the brand released their 2023 Hello Kitty and Friends collaboration. Several of my Baggus feature a smiling Sanrio character that warms my Hello Kitty-loving heart. Also in 2023, Baggu released a collaboration with Sandy Liang, an up-and-coming designer fashion brand. My candy-apple red mini bag is a classic and beloved staple. 

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  • BAGGU and Sandy Liang collaboration. (Matt Petres for WSN)

  • BAGGU and Hello Kitty and Friends collaboration. (Matt Petres for WSN)

  • BAGGU and Hello Kitty and Friends collaboration. (Matt Petres for WSN)

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The latest collection, which was released in stores on March 5, is in collaboration with the Keith Haring Foundation. Haring’s iconic designs adorn Baggu’s signature tote bags, pouches and lunchboxes. Baggu remains consistent with the quality and versatility of its products, while continuing to innovate with its varying, even wacky designs and collaborations.

Although Baggu has steadily grown in popularity over recent years, its storefronts are few and far between. NYU students are particularly lucky because of our proximity to not one, but two Baggu storefronts. The SoHo location on Grand Street is a 10-minute walk from Lafayette Hall and a 20-minute ride on the R train for Tandon students. For those in Brooklyn or averse to SoHo shopping, there is also a Williamsburg location.

In addition to New York City’s in-person Baggu shopping spots, Urban Outfitters has carried the brand for a few years and occasionally carries exclusive colors and designs

If you are stuck in the cycle of replacing purses like me, consider an alternative that is not only cuter than the rest of the competition, but will last you through a grueling day of classes or a trek uptown in a downpour. Both in fashion and function, Baggu will have your back.

Contact Elena Portnoy at [email protected]

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About the Contributors
Elena Portnoy
Elena Portnoy, Beauty & Style Editor
Elena Portnoy is a junior studying Dramatic Writing and Art History. As a Beauty and Style editor, she's combining her passion for fashion and her love of the written word. When she's not sifting through racks of vintage clothing or burying herself in a good book, she's telling people about her fabulous vintage finds and good books.
Matt Petres
Matt Petres, Photo Editor
Matt Petres is a first-year studying Economics. He is from Chicago, Illinois and likes to bike and kayak. You can contact him on Instagram @matt.petres

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