After producing an emerald Croc stiletto, Balenciaga is debuting another green monster: The luxury label’s Winter 2021 collection revolves around Marvel’s Hulk character, whose image covers lavish T-shirts, hoodies, and accessories. Each piece is meant to be paired with the capsule’s ripped denim — inspired by Hulk’s habit of destroying clothes while transforming from Bruce Banner.
Balenciaga can justify its Hulk collection in the name of “looking camp right in the eye,” but its usual obnoxious pricing shouldn’t apply to its cartoon-covered pieces, consumers say. With only an image of the Marvel character appearing on $575 tees and $995 hoodies — sans Balenciaga branding or fancy design features — the luxury collection could easily be found at H&M or Goodwill, according to disgruntled Instagram users. For most, Balenciaga’s absurd prices aren’t worth paying unless a product declares its extravagant origins.
Balenciaga Smash — Still, shoppers are taking a cue from Hulk and smashing “buy” on pieces from the winter collection. Already, two sizes of the near-$1,000 hoodie are completely sold out on the Balenciaga website, while remaining sizes show limited stock. Either Marvel has an army of rich fans, or more likely, rich people are loving the irony of the expensive, unbranded clothing.
Such irony continues in the form of a $1,250 black backpack which once again, features a Hulk graphic and no additional branding. A $750 sling bag, however, offers the same motif alongside a miniature Balenciaga logo — it’s the only piece in the collection to do so, other than a $495 black silk scarf flaunting Hulk’s likeness. According to Balenciaga, if you’re willing to pay nearly $500 for a Marvel kerchief, you deserve a tiny luxury logo.
Otherwise, you should consider yourself a huge Marvel fan before investing in the deluxe collection. Pieces like Hulk T-shirts and distressed jeans reference Bruce Banner’s usual chosen attire and not much else. Yet by selling what’s essentially a kid’s Hulk backpack for $1,250 — as well as only including Balenciaga branding on the capsule’s two cheapest items — the luxury brand may make consumers utter Hulk’s popular catchphrase: “Don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry.”
The Incredible Sulk — As some consumers succumb to their rage-filled alter-egos, others will ultimately indulge in Balenciaga’s Hulk collection, available at the brand’s website, SSENSE, and Selfridges. If you’re looking to save your dignity, however, you can get similar Hulk-covered pieces online for $25.