What’s Black and White and Red All Over? A Scalamandre Zebra Tote Bag

So I’m standing in the misty rain Thursday morning waiting for the bus to Long Island when I spy the distinctive silhouette of designer Steven Stolman,  currently president of the venerable textile manufacturer Scalamandré. And then I spy his tote bag. It’s a bit early in the morning for this kind of talk but I sidled up to him anyway: “Who do I have to sleep with to get one of those bags?” He sputtered.

Scalamandre Zebra Tote
Scalamandre Zebra Tote. I think it will look even better all worn out and messy.

“We just started making them,” he explained. “With robust rope handles.” You could tie a tanker to the dock with those handles. And who doesn’t love that fab red-and-zebra wallpaper of the dear departed New York institution that was Gino’s? Yes those zebras have been re-printed in six colorways; and yes, it’s been done and done. But I still love it.

Gino's Restaurant via LostNewYorkCity.blogspot.com
The erstwhile Gino's Restaurant, via LostNewYorkCity.com

Here’s what Steven emailed me on the bus en route. It is funny to say emailed me on the bus, but the way it sways and lurches, it’s safer. Hovering above someone’s seat to talk carries the inherent danger of plopping in another passenger’s lap, and New Yorkers are not amused by this kind of thing.

Quote: “Tote is BRAND NEW and available only at Mecox Gardens and on our website www.scalamandre.com… Made from our iconic red zebra pattern after the wallpaper that Flora and Franco Scalamandré created for Gino’s in the 1940s. Still one of our most popular items! The zebra linen is new, just released this spring and is same scale/color as wallpaper so can be used contiguously. [hmmm.]… Tote has a waterproof lining, zippered pocket and features ‘robust’ cotton rope handles!” [did I mention the handles were robust?]… $195.” Un-quote.

Steven Stolman
The dashing Steven Stolman, via designwire.net

Nothing like hearing it from the horse’s I mean zebra’s mouth.

Order through Mecox Gardens or Scalamandre.com

FrancesSchultz.com receives no compensation for this post. Tote bag photo courtesy Scalamandre. Gino’s photo courtesy LostNewYorkCity.com. Steven Stolman photo courtesy designwire.interiordesign.net.



  1. Love, love, love your blog!! And how you have kept your Eastern North Carolina accent/expressions and roots. I grew up about 30 miles from Tarboro!!

  2. Looove the bag—and your blog…and dear departed Ginos’s of course! The visual of accidentally plopping into someone’s lap on the Jitney as it rocks and rolls made me laugh out loud! Happy, happy Memorial Day/launch the summer weekend!

  3. Fabulous bag!!! The grandfather of Mark Bitter, an acquaintance of mine and close friend of a cousin of mine, started Scalamandre. Said cousin and Mark’s wife, Wiggie Bitter,
    were roommates in college…Small, small world!!! :-))

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