Last week CULTED posted a video over on TikTok of Balenciaga’s latest controversy: an $1800 crisp bag. Gaining 14.9k views in a matter of days and sparking some serious debate, the video detailed the brand’s most recent viral piece in their string of conversation-starting accessories. Seen strutted down the Balenciaga SS23 runway under the arms of models, their Lays crisp bag comes in a classic variety of red, blue and yellow “flavours”; almost exact replicas of the iconic Lays packaging apart from a simple zip at the top. As usual, you can be sure CULTED’s community had something to say about the spectacle. Here’s some of the highlights.
Like Marmite and politicians, anything that comes out of Demna’s surreal vision for Balenciaga in recent years is either loved or hated, and consistently goes viral. His latest creation as part of the brand’s SS23 campaign, a clutch in the shape of a Lays crisp bag, has sent visceral feelings of both anger and infatuation through CULTED’s community. Whilst some users were left starstruck, littering heart emojis and appreciative “Love it”s (via @champagne_on_tits) through the comment section, others were low-key appalled.
User @tul1p2 ranted in reaction to the bag, “I’m officially done with this brand! I just can’t!”, and while their rage seems a little unwarranted we can kind of see how, if there were ever going to be a last straw, this could be it. Since their beaten-up sneakers at the start of the year, and designer bin-bag in the summer, Balenciaga’s gained a reputation for coming out with wacky and impractical designs: now from trash bag to trash, we’ve come full circle. User @karlmarxcx retaliates in defence of Demna that we just “don’t get it”, maintaining the age-old perception of fashion as something you need to “get”.
A few commenters ventured into reasoning the deeper meaning of the Lays bag, with @stickysubstanc33 theorising that maybe “This is how they are funding to get lays to other countries”. Others have contemplated the idea that the whole scheme might be some kind of social experiment or prank: as @beefy_60 says, “They just trolling now”. Whether you want to psycho-analyse the layered intentions of Balenciaga’s lays crisps bag or not, it’s clear that there is something to be said here.
Demna rarely produces a collection without an existential crisis attached; the SS23 show itself saw models trek through trenches of mud in a post-apocalyptic landscape. Maybe the crisp packets are evocative of where Balenciaga sees fashion going in a world so obsessed with consumerism? Or maybe, as articulated by @small_gus, “balenci is lowkey goofy”.
Whether you’re racing to cop an $1800 Balenciaga Lays bag yourself or happy to settle for the original you can pick up from any supermarket, TikTok commenter @chloelouiseliveslife puts it best: “it is … definitely a conversation starter 😂”.
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See also: CULTED COMMUNITY TALKS: THE BUZZ AROUND DEMNA’S NEW SHADES
See also: BEHIND BALENCIAGA: A DEEP DIVE INTO SS23