A handbag that is so small it requires a microscope to be seen sold for over $63,000 at an auction on Wednesday.
The Louis Vuitton-inspired neon-green miniature purse was created by Brooklyn-based art collective MSCHF and is “smaller than a grain of sea salt and narrow enough to pass through the eye of a needle,” according to the group.
Measuring 657 by 222 by 700 micrometers — or less than .03 inches across — the handbag, which sold for $63,750, was made using two-photon polymerization, a 3-D printing technique usually used to make mechanical biotech structures.
The unidentified purchaser also received a microscope and a built-in digital display for viewing.
Photos of the tiny speckle of a bag show it has a large Louis Vuitton LV logo printed in the middle, based on the company’s OnTheGo style handbags, which sell — at full size — for between $3,100 and $4,300, according to their website.
The sale was hosted by Joopiter — an online auction house founded by American musician and producer Pharrell William, who is also currently Louis Vuitton’s creative director of menswear, according to CNN.
MSCHF’s chief creative officer Kevin Wiesner told the New York Times that the group never asked Louis Vuitton for permission, but noted Pharrell’s adoration for strangely-sized clothing.
“Pharrell loves big hats, so we made him an incredibly small bag,” he told the paper.
MSCHF has gained a reputation for its cheeky and provocative antics, including selling a pair of $76,000 “Birkinstocks” — sandals made out of the Birkin bags without the company’s consent— and their comically large “Big Red Boots,” as seen worn by Doja Cat and Iggy Azaelia.
According to a statement posted by the group on the auction site, the “Microscopic Handbag” was commenting on the fashion industry’s increasingly diminutive totes, that have “abstracted” the bags to the point they are simply “a brand signifier.”
“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 said. “Previous small leather handbags have still required a hand to carry them- they become dysfunctional, inconveniences to their “wearer.” Microscopic Handbag takes this to its full logical conclusion. A practical object is boiled down into jewelry, all of its putative function evaporated; for luxury objects, useability is the angels’ share.”
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