Bricks to money clips: is there anything fashion houses won't brand?

29 June 2017 - 13:53 By Staff Reporter
Silver "money clip" by Prada.
Image: Supplied

Cynics would say fashion is the quest for the irrelevant by the impressionable. But Prada’s latest must-have item would make even hard-core stylistas raise their fabulously shaped eyebrows: an oversized silver “money clip”, a steal at $185. (Don’t even ask what that translates to in rands; you can’t afford it.)

It's probably no surprise, but slapping a logo on an item renders it desirable, fashionable and very expensive.

Here’s guessing sticking a Chanel logo on a dish towel will inflate the price to similar multiples as Zimbabwe’s exchange rate.

As The Guardian reports, the Prada object is the latest in a litany of designer accessories inspired by the mundane and the everyday.

In 2012 there was Jil Sander's ₤185 coated-paper "Vasari" bag, which was a very expensive xpaper bag. Balenciaga's Demna Gvasalia recreated the iconic Frakta Ikea bag and sold it for ₤1,600.

"Gvasalia routinely challenges what makes something fashionable, disrupting the luxury market like a fox in the henhouse of taste. The weirder the item, the more likely it will sell," writes The Guardian's Morwenna Ferrier.

New York clothing brand Supreme, which claims to embody the city's downtown culture, last year sold a $30 red clay brick with its logo on it. This followed its signature on a crowbar, Bible and a fire extinguisher.

As they say, nothing exceeds like excess.

• This article was originally published in The Times.