July 2 (The Guardian) – If you’ve even a mild interest in luxury handbags, you’ve likely heard of the Chanel classic flap bag or the Hermes Birkin. But you’ve perhaps not heard of the Microscopic Handbag by MSCHF.
At less than 0.03 inches wide, the teensy, tiny “Microscopic Handbag” by New York-based art collective MSCHF is so small that the human eye can hardly see it when it’s atop a fingertip. And, yet, it still sold for more than $60,000 at an auction this week.
Neon green and made via 3D printer using 2-photon polymerization printing methods, the bag – which is modeled after Louis Vuitton’s famed OnTheGo tote – is viewable through a microscope. Upon closer inspection via microscope, one can see the “LV” monogram clearly on the bag’s face.
MSCHF’s small ware, which more technically is 657 by 222 by 700 microns, was put up for auction by Joopiter, an online auction house founded by Pharrell Williams. According to Joopiter, the item sold for $63,750.
Notably, the producer, rapper and Happy singer is currently Louis Vuitton’s creative director of menswear, but was reportedly not contacted by MSCHF when they created the bag in the brand’s likeness, according to the New York Times.
Kevin Wiesner, the chief creative officer of MSCHF, told the publication that because Williams “loves big hats”, “we made him an incredibly small bag”.
Wiesner also claimed that he believed the “bag” to be “a funny object because it derives from something rigorously functional”.
“But it has basically become jewelry,” he explained.
MSCHF did not respond to the Guardian’s request for comment on the sale or if they have plans to make more microscopic accessories.
In the auction post for the tiny tote, MSCHF dubbed their creation as both “smaller than a grain of salt” and “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. 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,” the brand wrote.
Begun in 2016, MSCHF has become best known for its inventive projects that double as both cultural commentary and exclusive collector’s items. Arguably, one of their more famous “drops” in recent months include their Big Red Boot, which can best be described as cartoon costumery come to life.