Balenciaga Is Selling $1,750 Chip Bags ... With No Chips

Balenciaga's new line of potato chip bag-inspired purses is perhaps the best thing to happen to the potato chip's image since TikTok started smearing caviar on the salty snack in 2022. In this almost unbelievable highbrow-meets-lowbrow scenario, the Spanish luxury fashion house recently released a line of handbags that bear an uncanny resemblance to a popular brand of chips, as seen on Balenciaga's website.

The brainchild of Demna, the fashion brand's artistic director, the potato chip bag-inspired pouches first made waves in 2022, when they were spotted on the runway at Paris Fashion Week. Made in collaboration with Frito-Lay, the bags bore the Lay's name and resembled the packaging of four favorite flavors: Classic, Flamin' Hot, Limón, and Salt & Vinegar. Although Hypebeast previously reported that the $1,800 bags would be released as part of Balenciaga's Spring/Summer 2023 collection, that seemingly never came to fruition.

Little else was said about the bags until October 2023, when Demna posted an image of the redesigned chip bag to his Instagram (with the Lay's branding noticeably absent). Last week, the fashion mogul made another Instagram post, this time announcing that the new chip bags were available for purchase. Retailing at a mind-boggling $1,750,  the calf-skin bags come in three primary colors — or, rather, flavors: Salt and Vinegar, Cheese & Onion, and Spicy Chili.

The overpriced bags persist

While the fate of Balenciaga's original potato chip bag and its collaboration with Frito-Lay remains unclear, it appears the fashion house decided to move forward on the concept without the food company. Notoriously tight-lipped, Demna, who took on the artistic director role in 2015, has offered little information on the subject. He and the brand did come under fire in November 2022, however, when Balenciaga's holiday ad — which depicted children toting teddy bears in bondage gear — was criticized for child exploitation.

Regardless of Lay's apparent lack of participation in the new line of high-priced handbags, a statement from Balenciaga regarding the former collaboration revealed that the chip bags are seemingly a passion project for the artistic director. "Demna loves chips in general," the statement read (via Today), "and has carried a bag of Lay's potato chips as an accessory before." Known for turning trash into treasure, Demna previously sparked widespread conversation about consumerism with his previous designs, including a $2,000 IKEA bag released in 2017 and, more recently, an $1,800 trash bag pouch.