It is lucky bag (Fukubukuro) time in 109/109-2/la-foret/most department stores right now which is the way most Japanese brands choose to clear out whatever stock hasn’t been sold in the summer sales. So how does it work and is it worth it?
Basically unsold stock is grouped together to form outfits which are then grouped into bags, these are then in turn sold on a pre-order basis but sometimes end up neglected and waiting to be loved in the actual shops – so keep your eyes open!
Most shops end up doing them with various degrees of value throughout the year, but especially in the New Year you can really snap up some real bargains. Usually the contents are worth around 4 times their original value but sometimes significantly more – hence the element of luck. Though to be totally honest it really depends on how unlucky the shop in question has been in shifting expensive stock!
The great thing about getting one from a fashion brand is that they usually co-ordinate an outfit for you in the bag so it is a great opportunity to try a new brand that none of your current clothes would match. Usually you will get the elements for a full outfit with accessories and a bonus, plus you can specify the size as well. Personally I end up only getting packs for brands I absolutely know I will like and be able to wear, although it is quite nice to get something in a pack that you might not usually be tempted by, for example, I got some great blue denim shorts from Fuga in a pack that I would never dream of buying, but I ended up loving them to bits. I suppose the very worst that can happen is that you would have to then sell the unwanted bits on the internet or in Closet Child, so you really have nothing to lose.
The bag itself is also something of a draw, sometimes coming as a fancy tote bag, but occasionally they can be full-size suit-cases – amazing. If the brand in question is feeling very cruel they have been known to give away Lucky Bag only gifts for the hardened fans, but not in every bag! grrr
The best thing about the Lucky Bags for those of us not in Japan right now is that using a shopping service you can pre-order a pack over the internet. This is usually quite an expensive service but you are only technically paying for a single item (so less fees than buying it all separately) and they are damn cheap to begin with so it is a rare chance to get a bit of a bargain as an overseas buyer!
For me the wonderful thing about Lucky Bags is the element of random chance that makes opening it a really tense experience.
So readers I will wish you the very best luck and let me know how you get on.