MSCHF Calls Out The Ridiculousness of Consumer Culture By Selling Branded Shopping Bags

Posted inDesign News

The scoundrels over at MSCHF are back with a vengeance—stirring the pot, ruffling feathers, getting your goat, and any other puzzling expression that somehow means being playfully mischievous. 

Ever the provocateurs, the art collective has their sights once against set on revealing the ridiculousness of the human condition and consumer culture, this time with their 66th drop, OnlyBags. The collection offers twelve kinds of empty shopping bags from different luxury retailers, including Balenciaga, Fendi, and Prada, so that shoppers can look as if they lead a life of exorbitant wealth without actually doing so. These bags serve as “a visual signifier in common with celebrities,” MSCHF writes on their site. “At the very least, you look rich.”

To underscore the absurdity of the vice of capitalism to which we all fall prey, the assortment of shopping bags also includes those from a few more attainable chains, all sold at the same $40 price. These brands include IKEA’s giant blue tarp tote, the classic plastic “Thank You” bag that you find at the check-out counter of any dollar store, and the pink-striped gift bag from the mall staple underwear outlet, Victoria’s Secret.

As is their wont, MSCHF has penned a manifesto to go along with OnlyBags, to really drive home their biting commentary. “If you can’t consume—and you know you can’t, not on the level you crave, not on the level that has been spoon-fed to you by social media and the meditated fiction of celebrity existence—you can at least attain the aesthetic of consumption,” the collective wrote.

While all of these branded shopping bags have sold out, the next MSCHF drop is never too far off, with the next hitting on January 24th. What could be next for these tricksters? I await with bated breath, clutching the plastic bag from last night’s Chinese takeout to my breast.