Balenciaga has released a collection for pet lovers, and it's done so by taking style cues from a grandma with printable heat transfers.
The "I Love Pets" capsule has its own dedicated website to match the lowbrow aesthetic of its new T-shirts. Cat and dog lovers can choose from the small run of oversized tees, which are adorned by amateurish collages of rescued pets owned by Balenciaga employees. Completing the crude look are the phrases "I love cats," "I love dogs," "Woof Woof," and "Meow."
Each T-shirt is $550, as creative director Demna Gvasalia once again takes the piss out of the concept of luxury. This time, however, the joke comes with noble motivation.
Support French dogs — 10 percent of proceeds from the capsule will go to La SPA, a French charity that's been promoting animal welfare since 1845. Balenciaga is also using the retro "I Love Pets" website to raise awareness for adopting shelter and rescue animals and provide information on what goes into owning a pet.
Adding to the fun is a photo memory game, as well as a gallery of pets that includes user submissions. I may be too broke to buy anything in this capsule, but I am now the proud owner of a Balenciaga Pet Memory Diploma.
There are accessories, too — While the T-shirts are already up for sale, a trio of accessories are also available to pre-order. A gold-toned necklace with a Balenciaga dog tag could be worn by you or your pet for the price of $550. There's also a pair of cat- and dog-dedicated plastic keychains that could be made at your local photo shop for $10 and have been jacked up to $395.
Would any of these purchases be justifiable? Absolutely not. But to distinguish a cute cat T-shirt as more ridiculous than, say, one with a Gucci logo is arbitrary. The joke is on the industry as much as any one who buys into it, and we can all afford to laugh.