There is really something so deliciously good about unauthorised designer goods. And historically (but not shocking), there is always a market for said pieces. Think Dapper Dan in the 80s meets French artist, Marcel Duchamp. Dapper Dan became an underground legend in Harlem, New York during 1982 and 1992 when he ran a 24-hour atelier stocked with made-to-order clothing, leather goods, and even car interiors elevated to high-fashion art worthy of a runway. And Duchamp? He set the blueprint for Virgil Abloh and Demna Gvasalia. As Business of Fashion put it, Gvasalia sells “working class brands and motifs to […] rich consumers.” Now Brooklyn collective, MSCHF, is building on the foundation laid before them with its version of a Birkenstock-like shoe made from actual Hermès Birkin bags. Yes, really.
But instead of pirating the materials for the shoes, the New York Times reports MSCHF bought four bags on resale sites for about $122,500 but also purchased a few fakes to practice. “We’re just sort of fascinated with destroying expensive things and creating something new out of them,” Daniel Greenberg, 23, MSCHF’s head of strategy tells the Times. To the collective, who have been working together since 2016, chopping up a Birkin is an interesting look at consumer culture. Lukas Bentel, 28, one of MSCHF’s creative directors, tells the Times: “Birkin bags are like a cultural meme, a symbol for a certain kind of wealth.” The Birkinstocks (heh) will reportedly cost between $34,000 and $76,000 depending on the size of the sandal. Rapper Future already has flexed his on Instagram, R&B artist Kehlani also reportedly has a pair.
“We know some people are going to react with, ‘What is wrong with you people?’” Greenberg said to the Times. “But we’re OK being hated. We just don’t want apathy.”