Balenciaga owns a collection of unique handbags that are confusing but also understandable if you ignore the price factor and look at it through a non-popular lens.
7 controversial unique handbags of balenciaga under demna
At the last Paris fashion week, Balenciaga continued to succeed when attracting attention with unique designs. But the attention and controversy of the public were focused on the Lays Bag. But now, this is not the first time Balenciaga’s handbags have both resonated and scandalous.
Balenciaga is a luxury fashion house founded by Spanish fashion designer Cristóbal Balenciaga. However, Cristóbal Balenciaga decided to close his retirement in 1968, four years before his death. It was not until 1986 that the Balenciaga brand appeared again when it was acquired by Jacques Bogart SA. Currently, Balenciaga is distributed by Kering Group.
There are already many young designers in the Balenciaga family of creative directors, such as Nicolas Ghesquière and Alexander Wang. But in 2016, when the Kering group appointed Demna Gvasalia, fans quickly guessed that the brand would change its style radically. Because Demna Gvasalia doesn’t have much experience in haute couture, even the mainstream style is more in favor of avant-garde and streetwear.
When Demna Gvasalia arrived, Balenciaga immediately became strangely young. Demna’s keen fashion sense helps Balenciaga keep up with, and even lead, the world’s fashion trends. For example, the Triple S shoes opened the trend of Ugly Sneaker (unusual sports shoes) and Dad Sneaker (big shoes). Or when deciding to bring Balenciaga to develop in a genderless direction before genderless became a trend.
On the Balenciaga catwalk, there are always handbags like imitations of cheap and convenient bags around us. The similar appearance makes many people depreciate “what’s wrong with buying expensive bags, using cheap ones is okay”, or thinking that “Demna has run out of creative ideas”.
But just engrossed in comparing values, many people have ignored the message Demna wants to convey. The value and use value of the two products are completely different. If the Balenciaga handbag is made of good material, it is high value and can be used many times. Then other bags with low value, plastic or rubber materials that are discharged after only a few uses will become the cause of environmental pollution.
After all the controversy, Demna now no longer wants to explain her ideas. “Fashion is a visual art and all we need is for fashion to be seen from a personal perspective.”
Let’s take a look at Harper’s Bazaar with the bags with 1-0-2 of the Balenciaga family. To feel the message of environmental protection. But with a very Demna ego that so far no other brand can do.
After Balenciaga’s Spring Summer 2023 collection was released through The Mud Show, it became the top-searched keyword. The show was filled with moments that went viral on social media. For example, the image of Kanye West as the opening first face. Or the scene of Han So Hee and Bella Hadid hugging and kissing backstage. But most exciting is the combination of Balenciaga and Frito-Lay’s Lay’s snack brand, with a Lay’s Bag that simulates the famous potato chip bag.
This bag is made of genuine leather by Balenciaga, with a graphic print that mimics the details on the nylon packaging of Lay’s snacks. The bag is also lined with a metallic silver lining, which looks like a real snack bag. The only way you can tell the difference between a Balenciaga handbag and an actual snack bag is through the very small Balenciaga logo printed below Lay’s logo.
For Fall/Winter 2022, Balenciaga updates its Hourglass handbag with a tape-wrapped version. The design feels like the bag has been badly damaged and the fashion house has to use duct tape to fix the holes. The image of Kim Kardashian in a bandage outfit and carrying this bag sitting in the front row of the Balenciaga show has made social networks talk about the outfit – and the bag – for days.
This handbag has just been officially launched by Balenciaga at a price of US$3,100, with the comment: Limited edition must be wrapped with hand tape!
If Kim Kardashian sat watching the Balenciaga Fall/Winter 2022 show with a small Hourglass bag, on the catwalk, the models walked away with a big bag that looked like a… trash bag. Although the appearance is no different from a garbage bag, but the value of up to 1,800 USD has helped this bag be dubbed “the most expensive garbage bag in the world”.
Balenciaga introduces the meaning behind this design as “an important embodiment of the concept of recycling, environmental protection, and sustainable development”.
Monday Shopper Bag simulates nylon bag Spring Summer 2022
The design of the Monday Shopper Bag is inspired by the nylon bag of the popular Tesco supermarket chain in the UK. Of course, Balenciaga’s version is made of calfskin, completely handmade, and can be reused many times, completely different from the thin nylon bag model.
At the furniture supermarket chain IKEA, you’ll always come across a blue storage bag called the FRakTA. The bag is made of sturdy canvas, and can fit the whole world, but only costs 1 USD. The version Balenciaga recreated on the Fall/Winter 2017 runway in leather and has a price tag of $2,145. IKEA quickly “returns” Balenciaga by releasing a noticeboard on how to distinguish between real and fake FRakTA bags!
In the Balenciaga Spring/Summer 2017 show, Demna Gvasalia used a leather duvet bag recreated with the desire to “turn the ordinary into a luxury fashion product”. The fashionistas have to look several times to guess whether this handbag is an actual blanket bag or a visual trick.
This handbag model was born as soon as Demna Gvasalia came to Balenciaga. It seems to reveal the changes he will bring to the long-standing couture fashion house. And yes, every fashion season after that, Balenciaga has a bag model that causes a social network fever that speaks to Demna’s fashion views.
Before she shows, designer Demna sent a letter to the audience: “Fashion likes to make prejudices. High-end and mass, street and couture, good and bad… who cares. Framing haute couture in thoughtful, limited-edition and extremely expensive products is old-fashioned thinking.”
The creative director further emphasized, “From now on I will no longer present the inspiration or ideas behind the collection. My desire is to convey a thought. Fashion is a visual art. It shouldn’t be a story that needs to be sold. You can like it or not, it’s up to you.”
It can be seen that, with a talent for fashion, Demna Gvasalia will not create meaningless work. The environment is an important thing that Demna wants to ask Balenciaga to convey to fashionistas. Turning anything you consider trash into an expensive item is what Demna has been, is, and will continue to do.
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