A Brooklyn-based art collective, MSCHF, has auctioned off a microscopic Louis Vuitton handbag for $63,750. The tiny handbag, which can pass through the eye of a needle, was sold together with a microscope equipped with a digital display so that the buyer can view the handbag on it. The minuscule handbag measures 657 x 222 x 700 micrometers.
The tiny handbag was manufactured using two-photon polymerization, a technology process deployed to produce micro-scale plastic components in 3D. It was made of photopolymer resin and created using 3D printing. The handbag was so small that when samples were sent for review, the MSCHF team lost them.
“Narrow enough to pass through the eye of a needle, this is a purse so small you’ll need a microscope to see it,” MSCHF said. “There are big handbags, normal handbags, and small handbags, but this is the final word in bag miniaturization.”
When viewed under the microscope, the Microscopic Handbag comes in a Louis Vuitton design and logo and has a fluorescent yellow-green color. The chief creative officer for MSCHF, Kevin Wiesner, said his firm did not get approval from Louis Vuitton for the design and logo and that it was not endorsed by Louis Vuitton in any way.
“We are big in the ‘ask forgiveness, not permission’ school,” he said.
The bag’s auction was handled by Joopiter, an online auction house owned by Pharrell Williams, a musician, record producer, and product designer. Williams is the creative director of menswear at Louis Vuitton. “Pharrell loves big hats, so we made him an incredibly small bag,” Wiesner said jokingly.
“Previous small leather handbags have still required a hand to carry them – they become dysfunctional, inconveniences to their ‘wearer,'” the art collection firm stated. “‘Microscopic Handbag’ takes this to its full logical conclusion. A practical object is boiled down into jewelry, all of its putative function evaporated; for luxury objects, usability is the angels’ share.”
Since its establishment in 2016, MSCHF has been renowned for controversial products that sometimes land the company in the courts. Nike sued MSCHF for selling a modified type of Nike trainers known as “Satan Shoes” containing real human blood and various satanic symbols. The case was settled out of court.
In 2021, the company bought four Birkin handbags and tore them up to create sandals that were sold for up to $76,000 a pair. It also made and sold trainers with holy water in the soles, a cologne that smells like WD-40, and cartoonish rubber boots that celebrities such as Doja Cat, Iggy Azalea, and Janelle Monae popularized. MSCHF is currently appealing a lawsuit initiated by Vans for trademark infringement.