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Forest Hills biz bags mix fashion with practicality

Laytner's, the Manhattan home goods purveyor with a , introduced its "Little Black Bag" last week.

The Laytner's bag is roomy enough to take to the supermarket, but with a twist: It folds up into a small attached carrying pouch that fits easily into a pocket or purse. The bags cost $3 each, but if purchased in lieu of a new plastic bag at checkout at Laytner's, the price is $1.

And it matches many New Yorkers' outfits.

"We picked basic black because it is both always fashionable in New York City and gender neutral," said Mel Laytner, a partner and co-owner of the chain with his brother Alan.

Under the new law, any retailer in the five boroughs with more than five stores or whose stores are at least 5,000 square feet is required to place plastic bag recycling bins in its stores. The law also calls on retailers to offer reusable bags for customers who do not want to use plastic.

"Most people out and about are not carrying a large bag 'just in case' they stop by the book store or fruit stand," Laytner said. "We wanted to design a bag that would be ready and available for the impulse buy as well as the planned shopping trip."

Reach reporter Alex Christodoulides by e-mail at or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 155.

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