The ‘sandwich bag’ that costs more than $3000

The sandwich bag is one of Pharrell Williams' latest designs for Louis Vuitton.

The sandwich bag is one of Pharrell Williams’ latest designs for Louis Vuitton.

Carrying lunch into the office from home can be one way to save money — except, perhaps, when it is stored in Pharrell Williams’ Louis Vuitton sandwich bag costing over $3,000.

Record producer and designer Williams, who was named men’s creative director of the French luxury fashion house last February, has seemingly drawn inspiration from the classic paper sandwich bag for one of his latest designs, reimagining it as a high fashion accessory.

Model Anna Ewers carried the sandwich bag during Pharrell's debut show for Louis Vuitton, in Paris in June 2023.

Model Anna Ewers carried the sandwich bag during Pharrell Williams’ debut show for Louis Vuitton in Paris in June 2023.

Instead of paper, the large clutch bag — seen tucked under the arms of models on the runway during Williams’ debut collection on the Pont Neuf in Paris last June — is made of cowhide leather “in exactly the same color as the house’s famed (paper) shopping bags,” the label said.

The comparisons don’t end there. Precisely folded to resemble its more quotidian counterpart, the accessory also features the iconic Louis Vuitton lettering as well as a blue fastening, evoking the grosgrain handles of the house’s bags, to keep sandwiches — or more likely, something more precious — secure.

The piece went on sale January 4 exclusively at the brand’s West Hollywood pop-up store, retailing for $3,130. But it’s not the first time that Louis Vuitton has drawn inspiration from everyday (and, traditionally, much cheaper) accessories.

In its Spring-Summer 2007 collection, the fashion house paid homage to the budget-friendly checkered plastic laundry bags beloved the world over. In 2022, the brand also released a cross-body bag resembling a paint can (complete with metal handle), “decorated with playful references to Louis Vuitton’s heritage.”

In 2007, Louis Vuitton paid homage to the humble laundry bag.

In 2007, Louis Vuitton paid homage to the humble laundry bag.

The paint can bag was designed by Louis Vuitton’s late creative director Virgil Abloh who, in a 2021 interview with design magazine “Icon,” cited the artist Marcel Duchamp — renowned for transforming everyday objects into art — as one of his heroes.

Other fashion houses have employed this approach too: In 2014, designer Ashish Gupta revamped the plastic grocery bag into a sequined statement piece at a premium price, saying that it paid “homage to everyday life.”

“It’s also perhaps a revolt against the disposable nature of fast fashion,” Gupta added in a 2017 email to CNN. “It’s taking a classic but throw-away object and turning it into something with longevity, that can be appreciated outside of its usual context for its timeless design quality.”

But such designs can court controversy — and ridicule. In 2017, Balenciaga released a $2,145 bag that looked just like Ikea’s iconic 99 cent crinkly, blue “Frakta” bag, and promptly went viral on social media.

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