Balenciaga’s $1,790 ‘Trash Pouch’ Deemed Rubbish by Chinese Netizens

Balenciaga designer Demna Vesalia’s latest product has got the whole internet talking, but is all press good press?

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Beatrice Tamagno Headshot
5:59 PM HKT, Mon August 15, 2022 1 mins read

At first, Chinese netizens were incensed by ice cream and music festival organizers who were trying to ‘assassinate’ customers with their prices. Now, they’re directing their wrath at Balenciaga for releasing the infamous ‘Trash Pouch.’

The said bag, which made its debut at the brand’s iconic Fall-Winter 2022 fashion show titled 360 Degrees in March, was literally inspired by plastic trash bags, but has one major difference — an astronomical price-tag. Would you fork out 1,790 USD for this season’s most talked-about accessory?

The bag’s launch was announced in a viral Instagram post, and it didn’t take long for the eyebrow-raising news to circulate Chinese social media. A related hashtag has gained over 270 million views on Weibo at the time of writing.

“Only rich people would get ripped off by this stuff,” said a netizen, implying that the bag is priced beyond the average salaryman’s range.

Another user joked, “Next season they should introduce plastic food boxes and disposable shoe covers.” Widely used in China, the latter ties into the Chinese custom of not wearing shoes indoors. Some hosts, who might not want to inconvenience their guests, may offer them one-time-use covers to slip on over their shoed feet.

balnciaga trash bag shoes plastic

Could disposable shoe covers serve as Balenciaga’s next muse? Image via Taobao

While many Weibo users have wondered if there is a market for such a quirky luxury item, repurposing everyday objects is not unheard of among young Chinese fashion designers.

Beijing-based fashion label Marrknull, which incorporated items from China’s recent industrial past in its 2020 collection Homesick, is a case in point. The brand’s oversized duffle bags (as seen in its Homesick lookbook) are redolent of Balenciaga’s ‘Trash Pouch.’

marrknull lookbook homesick

Marrknull's Homesick lookbook. Image via Instagram

Good to know: In China, cheap polyester bags that look a lot like Marrknull’s duffle bags are sold at every other corner store. Migrant workers moving from the countryside to bigger cities in search of better employment opportunities often tote these bags — which cost less than 1 USD — while riding green-skinned trains.

Whether the ‘Trash Pouch’ will sell well remains to be seen, but one thing’s certain so far: Balenciaga designer Demna Vesalia has got the whole internet talking, and as some say, any press is good press.

Cover image designed by Zhuohan Shao

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