What Would You Pay for an Empty Chip Bag?

A “clutch.” Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photos: Balenciaga

As anyone who has paid attention to fashion in recent years will tell you, a bag can be anything. It can be small enough to hold a single atom of air or big enough to transport a toddler. A bag can be ironic, or it can be wasteful when you thought it was environmentally friendly. Another thing a bag can be, apparently, is a supermarket item. At least, according to Balenciaga, which recently introduced to the world a clutch that looks like a potato-chip bag. Please, what am I missing?

The bag debuted, appropriately, in a giant pit of mud. Balenciaga recently staged a fashion show that had models wading through mud while presenting the brand’s summer 2023 collection, which feels more like a testament to whoever does its dry cleaning than a cool concept for a fashion presentation, but sure. Included in this presentation was this bag, a collaboration between Balenciaga and the potato-chip brand Lay’s. The result of this legendary meeting of the minds was a series of clutches designed to look like “Balenciaga flavored” bags of Lay’s chips. Frankly, they are not very convincing replicas: there’s a very visible metal zipper, and they are made of leather, which means they do not crinkle nearly as loudly or satisfyingly. However, much like potato-chip bags, these clutches have no handles whatsoever, forcing whoever carries them to clutch them crumpled up in their fist.

Apparently, some people are interested in purchasing such an item. Per a mysteriously sourced rumor, the bag will be priced at $1,800 when it comes out with the rest of Balenciaga’s summer 2023 collection. Many outlets have pointed out that this is approximately 450 times the price of a typical bag of chips, but hopefully you are not deciding between buying a real bag of chips and this clutch.

Balenciaga’s creative director, Demna, infamously loves taking our silly little pedestrian items and turning them into four-figure-priced garments. He is the man responsible for the cursed Croc stilettos, and most recently, he put an $1,850 price tag on a pair of sneakers that appeared to be falling apart. Fashion, baby!

What Would You Pay for an Empty Chip Bag?