MSCHF's latest provocation/project/interruption/spectacle/artwork/performance is a microscopic Louis Vuitton handbag, which begs the question: "If a designer handbag is so small you can't see it, can it still a status symbol?"
MSCHF posted an image (with the help of a microscope) of the neon green bag on its Instagram page, with the text:
Microscopic Handbag by MSCHF🔬
Smaller than a grain of sea salt and narrow enough to pass through the eye of a needle, this is a purse so small you'll need a microscope to see it. There are big handbags, normal handbags, and small handbags, but this is the final word in bag miniaturization. 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.
designboom provides more information:
MSCHF strikes again, this time by designing a microscopic Louis Vuitton handbag meant to be viewed under apparatus and set to be auctioned. Pharrell's auction platform, JOOPITER, has unveiled details about an upcoming auction item in the form of the microscopic Louis Vuitton handbag created by MSCHF. This minuscule accessory, comparable in size to a grain of salt, is crafted from Photopolymer resin and encased in a gel case. To showcase its intricate design, the handbag will be securely mounted beneath a microscope and sealed within a gel case.
Interested individuals can observe the miniature marvel through the microscope's eyepiece, and the view will also be broadcasted on a built-in digital display. Fans who are wearing eyeglasses then might not need to worry – they will still be able to check out the microscopic handbag's design up close. The public will have the chance to see the Microscopic Handbag in the exhibition at 8 Avenue Matignon in Paris, from June 20th to 24th, 2023. Bidding for this unique item, available worldwide, will be open on the 'Just Phriends' platform from June 19th to 27th.
Read more about the project here.
I can't help but wonder what sociologist Thorstein Veblen, who in 1899 coined the term "conspicuous consumption"—which referred to the visual display of luxury goods and leisure activities that signaled wealth—would think.