On Saturday, our founder Jen Bekman published a letter that took a lot to get out, the coalescence of words she’d been grappling with for months. In it, she addressed the death of her dear friend, internationally renowned artist and one-of-a-kind human Jason Polan, who passed away in January. Though Jen has since characterized it as “one of the more challenging things” she’s ever endeavored to write, she ended the letter on an uplifting note—namely, how lucky we all are to have shared a little earth space with someone of such inspiring idiosyncrasy and insane talent.
This Friday, July 17th, would have been Jason’s 38th birthday. To celebrate his life and work, we’ve queued up two extra special releases—selections from his collaborations that double as extensions of what Jen described in her letter as Jason’s desire “to make things that were simple, tactile and affordable … things that lots of people could have”. To start, not one but two Baggu x Jason Polan treats. First, we’re (finally!) restocking the Zoo Baggu, one of Baggu’s iconic reusable totes, covered with Jason’s animal illustrations.
When we released our first batch of Zoo Baggus back in Oct 2018, they sold out stat. And it’s no wonder why. The design is positively packed with all types of fabulous Polan fauna—camels, bats, banana slugs, sting rays, and so much more—in classic black and white. These animals might not get together IRL, but they sure shine collectively against the canvas of a Baggu bag. It’s a supremely practical travel tote with a sublimely fantastical print, brought to life by Jason’s energetic linework. What’s not to love? They were so popular the Baggu team couldn’t resist a reprint.
The drawings on Jason’s Zoo Baggu may also remind his fans of his American Museum of Natural History series—especially the birds print he editioned with us. He might have been known for drawing Every Person in New York, but his animal art was equally amazing.
Which brings us to Baggu number two: Doggu! This brand new pup-centric Baggu print was one of the last projects Jason worked on, and he was particularly excited about it. (If you ask Jen, Jason had a better chance than anyone of actually seeing Every Dog in New York since he was always out and about soaking up his city with a sketchpad.) Bedecked with doggos, the figures of a few human companions, a hydrant, and “TREE” in Jason’s distinctive handwriting, Doggu captures the magic, ebullience, and optimism of the artist's real-time sketch work. And did we mention it’s covered in dogs? Dogs are the best.
Let’s say an opportunity to carry Jason’s ingenious artwork with you everywhere isn’t a good enough reason to scoop up both of these reusable bags (as if!). Their ripstop nylon material (40% recycled!) means they’re strong, long-lasting, lightweight, and machine washable. Translation: you don’t have to hit pause on your planet-healthy reusable bag habit ‘cause of COVID-19—just unpack your grocery haul and toss your Baggu totes in the gentle cycle. They’re also just $12 a pop, a pittance to pay for some Jason Polan-proffered joy, and a great price for gifting. Pick up a few of each style so you have fun, functional, arty, affordable gifts on hand for unanticipated occasions.
Zoo Baggu sold out so speedily back when we first released it—you’ll wanna make moves pronto to secure your Jason Polan Baggus before this Doggu and Zoo Baggu (take two) meet the same fate. Then keep your eyes on your inbox for our second special Polan moment later this week!
With art for everyone,