The Brooklyn art collective MSCHF (which is aptly pronounced “mischief”) is at it again. Its latest “drop” — an irreverent, subversive art project that makes fun of consumer capitalism — is a Louis Vuitton handbag that’s smaller than a breadcrumb. Or, as MSCHF put it in an Instagram post, it’s “smaller than a grain of sea salt and narrow enough to pass through the eye of a needle.” Naturally, someone bought it.
On Wednesday, the teeny-tiny handbag (which is less than 0.03 inches wide) sold for over $63,000 at an online auction house called Joopiter. The artist created the bag with technology that enables you to 3D-print micro-scale plastic parts. It was sold alongside a microscope that allows the owner of the bag to, well, see the thing.
MSCHF released a statement in the appendix of its Joopiter listing, explaining that handbag sizes vary and that brands generally experiment with extremely large and small ones. So MSCHF cheekily concludes that its microscopic bag is the “final word in bag miniaturization.” The statement goes on to say that when handbags become so small that they’re no longer functional, it becomes “purely a brand signifier.”
The actual, global luxury handbag market — for regular-sized bags — is growing at a fast clip. A report by Transparency Market Research estimates that the industry will be valued at 35.4 billion dollars by 2031. MSCHF’s teeny-tiny bag seems to be based on Louis Vuitton’s average-sized OnTheGo tote, which sells for $3,250.
The purse is making fun of the tiny purses from brands like Jacquemus and Balenciaga.
“I think ‘bag’ is a funny object because it derives from something rigorously functional,” Kevin Wiesner, the chief creative officer of MSCHF, told The New York Times. “But it has basically become jewelry.”
Ironically, Joopiter’s founder is the musician, record producer and designer Pharrell Williams, who works as Louis Vuitton’s creative director of menswear.
“Pharrell loves big hats, so we made him an incredibly small bag,” Wiesner told The New York Times.