Al Capone’s famous gang, the “White Trash” was often thought of as a poser class in Chicago, but the real gang was the one that you never thought of… the Al Capone Tote Bag. There are many stories about how Al Capone would hand out these trendy looking tote bags to anyone who would walk by his office door, but why did he do this? Was it simply because he was very rich and wanted to show it off to everyone? Or perhaps he thought that they were the next big thing in fashion, and that he could control what people thought about him and his style by using these branded white trash mugs? Or perhaps he just really liked to carry all different types of people’s luggage around with him, whether they were his or not.
I think the truth is that Al Capone probably had no idea what he was doing when he opened up his showroom on Wisconsin Avenue, and no one else did either. He opened with an impromptu speech about how poor people were in his neighborhood, and then asked if anyone wanted to help him with some work. Most people just walked by, not knowing what he was doing, or that it was the middle of the season for the White Trash Mafia to show up with their brand new tote bags.
You can be sure that Al Capone thought he was on TV, but no one else was. People drive by on Wisconsin Avenue every day and see a huge billboard that says “Al Capone Tote Bag,” but don’t get that idea, because Al Capone was on TV, and no one else was! The fact that Al Capone always carried a tote bag around with him gave him credibility and made him seem like a down to earth, a legitimate businessman, as opposed to some sort of hoodlums who were running around stealing cars and putting them on eBay for high prices. People loved seeing the white trash mafia boss tote bag in the grocery store, and the “Bag Bags” slogan stuck in their minds. The image of the white trash mafia boss, the “Bag Bags” slogan became a way for people to identify with Al Capone and the other hoodlums. It became the trademark for Al Capone and the image that would come to define his image and longevity in the Chicago area for decades.