Would You Deface Your Designer Handbag?

31 May 2012 by

News just in from New York. In the same week that Francesca Eastwood, daughter of Clint and newbie reality TV star, made the peculiar decision to set fire to $100,000 Hermes Birkin bag in the name of art, a disturbing new trend has arisen in the fashion world. Handbag-trashing – the deliberate defacing of designer handbags.

Don’t believe us? Meet xoJane Beauty Director Cat Marnell [above]. Cat was recently, proudly, photographed with a graffiti-tagged, filthy white Balenciaga City bag. Whether it was intentional or merely a downside to her subway commute that turned the white £945 handbag grey is unknown. But we can probably assume the graffiti was intentional. But such is the demonstrative power of the fashion world that others within the blogosphere have now followed suit.

One bag-trasher is Alison Freer, a Texas-born costume designer, who felt the need to make a ‘socio-economic/political/cultural statement’ on designer labels, and promptly spray painted and stencilled her Louis Vuitton multicolor monogram Murakami bag (check out the gallery above). Why? As a reaction to consumerism and because of their ubiquity: ‘even my cleaning lady had one’, she said.

Ditto a Gucci handbag which she has also ‘tattooed’. In her defence, it was from a collaborative collection with Rihanna for UNICEF, so she was in fact also doing her bit for charity. But riddle us this, Alison: why do you now feel the need to vandalise your sky blue Hermes Kelly as you’re now threatening? WHY?

And let's not forget when Lady Gaga arrived in Tokyo for the Japanese leg of her Fame Monster world tour back in 2010 sporting a pristine white Hermes Birkin bag with a message scrawled all over it - in permanent marker. Yikes!

The reasons for handbag-trashing seem varied. Consumerism, it transpires, can invoke devillish thoughts in even the most fashion-forward people. For others, it’s a couldn’t-care-less ‘tude. But as far as we’re concerned, tattoos – artistic or otherwise – are the preserve of our bodies. Not our Birkins.


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