A zip bag is a long zip that when it is unzipped does not look like much, but when you fasten up the zip, it becomes an object in its own right.
We have been told that the idea originated in France back in the 1930s, when the zip purse was invented. These were a popular prop for magicians for many years.
Then in the 1980s, a whole range of zip bags came out of Japan. The zip company YKK was one of the organisations involved, not surprisingly!
Then, about 5 years ago, a new range of zip bag products appeared. The blue bag shown here was bought in Camden Market in London. The basic zip bag has been improved with the addition of two handles, which creates quite a smart final effect.
The second bag is a real designer item. Created by Thomas Heatherwick, the English designer, for Longchamp, a French leather and luxury goods company, the small black bag has a long zip that spirals around the bag. Unzip the zip, and the bag then extends to nearly twice the height. You will not be surprised to learn that Thomas Heatherwick studied three dimensional design! Also nice to see the zip bag reconnect with its French roots.