Thursday, February 29, 2024

Is it a Birkin? A Dior? A Balenciaga? It’s an MSCHF, the New It Bag.

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The result is an It bag chimera. One with the curves of the Hourglass, the handles of the Luggage, the asymmetry of the Saddle and the flap of the Birkin. It comes in leather with a twill lining and a detachable shoulder strap and it will be available in limited quantities on the MSCHF website in black, baby pink, Yves Klein blue or tangerine. The price? $650.

MSCHF is not worried, Mr. Whaley, said, about Hermès or Dior taking issue with the GSCTB. “As an object, it’s a comment on a process,” said John Belcaster, MSCHF’s in-house counsel (they get sued a lot). “And if construed also as a comment on other objects, Goldsmith v. Warhol provides space, as our bag is a complementary work, not a substitute,” he added, referring to a recent copyright case heard by the Supreme Court.

MSCHF’s partner factories are less sanguine, which is why they are not identified except by country, an omission that somewhat undercuts the point about elevating the links in the supply chain.

The GSCTB is the third handbag MSCHF has created, after the 2022 Made in Italy, Texas bag and the 2023 Microscopic Handbag, a teeny tiny version of a Louis Vuitton OnTheGo style. Along with sneakers — the wearable that shot MSCHF to notoriety when it created Jesus Shoes (Nike Air Max sneakers with holy water in the sole) and Satan Shoes (similar, but with a drop of blood inside) — accessories have become a growing area of their practice. The irony is that the more MSCHF satirizes consumer culture, the more consumable its work becomes. Last season, its Big Red Boots went viral during fashion week.

In any case, and not surprisingly, the bags and shoes have further sparked MSCHF’s interest in fashion, and the group is now experimenting with ready-to-wear. Fashion is paying attention. Around the day the GSCTB is scheduled to go on sale, Feb. 21, Mr. Whaley will be in Milan. He has a meeting with some big brand executives about a possible collaboration.



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