MSCHF, per its name, is back with more ludicrous products. For its 67th drop, the Brooklyn-based brand has prepared a collection of “ONLYBAGS,” offering everyone a small taste of retail therapy.
The capsule includes 12 retail shopping bags, sans merchandise, from designer brands like Fendi, Hermès, Burberry, and Prada, as well as bigger retailers like Ikea, Victoria’s Secret, and Sephora. A classic white and red “Thank You” shopping bag, often found at delis and corner stores, is also up for grabs.
Branding is everything — For a cool $40, you can proudly claim the street-cred of toting one of the empty bags. “If there’s one thing we know from acquiring our bag samples, it’s that strolling down the street laden with (empty, of course!) Balenciaga, Valentino, Rolex, et al. is one hell of a power trip,” MSCHF stated in its drop manifesto. To the label, the bag’s branding doesn’t matter — each is priced the same, likely to align with MSCHF’s constant critique of consumerism. “Carrying an armload of bags puts you in dialogue with all the images you’ve seen of people carrying armloads of bags,” it added.
MSCHF hasn’t confirmed whether the brands included have signed off on their affiliation, but we can assume from past drops that MSCHF sought no permission to use others’ copyrighted packaging. Last year, the streetwear brand was hit with a lawsuit by Nike and flirted with cease-and-desist filings from both Hermès and Birkenstock, all of which are notoriously protective of their branding.
After all, there’s power in packaging, and MSCHF’s latest drop proves it. Bags and boxes from certain brands — especially expensive luxury labels — resell online, while influencers like the Kardashians often showcase the packaging on social media. Popular media has also glorified the street style shopping look as a symbol of wealth; something MSCHF takes note of in its advertising for ONLYBAGS. A lookbook on the collection’s website features paparazzi shots of celebrities carrying their own shopping bags, as a way to help people visualize what they could look like after shopping MSCHF’s latest drop.
Commentary or more commercialism? — Unlike the everyday people reselling their “gently used” bags, however, MSCHF is a brand of its own infringing (and profiting) off another’s clout. Its ONLYBAGS collection could very well lead to legal trouble, although the controversy seems to make its products that much more appealing. MSCHF’s borrowed shopping bags are available to purchase via its ONLYBAGS website starting January 11, meaning luxury branding could be yours for as little as $40.