The Beautiful Bag Booth: A Conversation with Loungefly

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Loungefly had a huge presence at San Diego Comic-Con 2022.  This was in no small part thanks to their recent merger with Funko and Mondo, which resulted in an entire corner of the exhibit hall being transformed into ‘Funkoville’.  All three properties combined to create a small town on the con floor.

I’d wanted my own Loungefly bag for several years and was gifted my first one last summer.  My Loki Loungefly bag has now become my daily purse and my convention bag and my theme park bag.  It’s everything.  For something so cute and stylish, they are surprisingly resilient, spacious, and sturdy.  My bag has survived two trips to California and Disneyland, including one where my friend’s five-year-old spent a significant amount of time tugging on the bag’s horns.  It still looks just as fantastic as the day I first got it, despite the curious kid testing its limits.

Needless to say, I’m a huge fan of Loungefly bags.  So when I was given the opportunity to talk to some of the staff at the Loungefly booth this year, I was eager to do so.  These bags have exploded on the fandom scene in recent years and there’s no denying that they’ve become a fandom culture symbol in geek spaces.  Now that they company has merged with a larger geek-focused company, I expect even more great things headed our way.  Based on my conversation with Loungefly VP of Creative Liz DeSilva s, that very much seems to be the case.

This interview has been edited for clarity.

The Geekiary: 
What fandoms [are] the most popular right now?

Liz DeSilva with Loungefly: So right now anything we do that comes with a Pop! [is popular].  We’ve got a Stranger Things Pop! and bag.  It’s got a glow in the dark Demogorgon [Pop!] with a glow in the dark Demogorgon Stranger Things backpack. So the combos [are the most popular].  Anytime we’d mix a Pop! with a backpack it’s like, chef’s kiss!

We’ve also got a Stitch one. This is the only place you can get it. It was on our website as a web exclusive. It sold out in less than 30 seconds, so we brought a few extra here and it’s been flying off [the shelf].

TG: What are some upcoming fandoms like that you might be covering that maybe aren’t quite out here for sale yet?

L: We have so many exciting new collections. We’ve got a few announcements that we’re making. Tomorrow, we will have more Marvel, more Sanrio, more Harry Potter, but we do have new anime licenses. We’ve got a Jujutsu Kaisen coming for anime fans. We’ve got Lisa Frank on the way.. It makes sense for Loungefly that the nostalgia that people know and love […] do really well. Lisa Frank is just going to be so so exciting. And so fun. Perfect.

TG: This is kind of an anecdote, but I was at Disneyland before I came here. And every shop has Loungefly bags, like everywhere. And I would say like 10% of the people that were in the park had them. So it’s kind of become part of Disneyland and the Disney experience. I was just wondering if you can talk about how it’s become part of culture for Disneyland and Disney and all those types of properties so quickly.  In just a few years, I feel like it’s become a cultural [symbol].

L: [We] had no marketing up until a year and a half ago, which is crazy.  So we started partnering with Disney Parks more and actually getting their support and working directly with all of our different licensing partners on their social channels, as well as kicking off more of our social channels.  We launched Tik Tok [in] December last year. So we’re just broadening audiences.

I always like to say that Disneyland is known by Instagram as the most Instagrammable place in the world.  It’s been voted that many, many times. So if Disneyland is the most Instagrammable place, then theoretically Loungefly is the most Instagrammable accessory in the world.  So it really has become part of the culture that if you’re going to Disney and you buy your ticket, you get your Loungefly ready.

And now we’re expanding into more licenses and doing more of some of the other licenses we have.  That will become true of you’re going to Universal Studios.  You’re going to have millions of backpacks for you. Now we have tons more Harry Potter coming. So it will really become part of that theme park uniform.

Just in general, our goal has been to turn Loungefly into this lifestyle brand. It’s really about not just the backpack, but now we have apparel.  You can wear your T-shirt just [going] into the supermarket. We have Stitch Shoppe if you’re going to a little bit more of a vintage style brunch. So it’s really about incorporating your fandom into your everyday lifestyle and beyond the parks.  That’s been that’s been a goal over the past year and really kicking off marketing has has helped drive that.

TG: So I got mine with me right now. [Loki’s] my favorite. On a personal note, what is your favorite bag?

L: My favorite bag? Okay, I have I have so many. I’ve been asked this before and I’ve never really honed in on a response. But I tend to gravitate towards our new licenses.  Right now we have an An American Tail.  Everything that comes from my childhood that’s being relived and revived now has is my favorite.  Right now we have a Fievel exclusive. It’s a exclusive. We are also selling it first to market in our Comic-Con booth. And he’s so cute. If you have not seen him you need to go look for him.

He also he sold out so quickly yesterday.  I think we have a few left on the web this morning. Don’t quote me because I I don’t know if he’s sold out since then.  But he really has my heart and we have so many more that are like that. Some that I can’t give away anything. But there are so many more nods to your childhood that are being turned into backpacks that you’re like “I didn’t know I needed x in a backpack,” but now I have to have it.

This was an excellent chat and I’m looking forward to seeing how Loungefly expands in the future.  What will my next bag be after Loki? I was thinking of sticking with Marvel, but if they dip into the nostalgia, I may get pulled in that direction.  And hey, if they’re dipping into anime, perhaps we can get some retro Sailor Moon? Who knows.  I look forward to seeing what’s coming our way.

Author: Angel Wilson

Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. They earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. They have contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. They’ve also written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. They identify as queer.


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