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Microscopic handbag sold for $64,000

Microscopic handbag sold for $64,000

Image source: © mschf / Instagram
Marta Grzeszczuk,
22.05.2024 17:32

The smallest ‘counterfeit’ Louis Vuitton handbag sold for nearly $64,000. This is not the first critique of consumerism by the MSCHF collective.

MSCHF, an art collective based in New York, USA, has been at the centre of controversy with its diverse artworks inspired by commercial objects and services. These include web browser plug-ins, sneakers containing a drop of human blood in the soles, edible AirPods, and feet pictures generated by artificial intelligence.

‘Counterfeit’ handbag sold for $64,000

The Microscopic Handbag is the world's smallest counterfeit Louis Vuitton bag. It is yellow-green neon and embossed with the brand's distinctive monogram. Kevin Wiesner, the creative director of MSCHF, confirmed in an interview with The New York Times that the collective did not obtain permission from Louis Vuitton to use the trademark. Despite this, the microscopic handbag achieved a high price at auction.

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The handbag was sold for $63,750 as part of ‘Just Phriends’ auction run by Pharrell Williams. The anonymous buyer received a digital microscope along with the microscopic handbag, which is essential for fully appreciating the qualities of the work. The handbag is made of photopolymer resin and measures 657 by 222 by 700 micrometres. It is "smaller than a grain of sea salt and narrow enough to pass through the eye of a needle."

Artists' response to the miniaturisation of branded handbags

The handbag was inspired by the growing popularity of non-functional mini handbags that all the major fashion houses have been releasing in recent seasons.

"There are big handbags, normal handbags, and small handbags, but this is the final word in bag miniaturisation. As a once-functional object like a handbag becomes smaller and smaller, its object status becomes steadily more abstracted until it is purely a brand signifier," MSCHF wrote in a post on Instagram.

Not all brands handle MSCHF's activities as leniently as Louis Vuitton does. In 2021, the collective settled with Nike over the sale of modified sports shoes containing a drop of human blood. They also recently filed an appeal after receiving an unfavourable verdict in a case involving the use of the Vans brand trademark.

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