The most bizarre designer items ever released

We take a journey through the archives to uncover some of the strangest luxury items to ever see the light of day.

After the highly publicised release of the “fully destroyed” Balenciaga sneaker, The Paris, we figured that there would be no better time than now to show off some of the quirkiest, most controversial and shocking luxury pieces released over the years.

Starting with yet another Balenciaga piece (sorry Demna) we have the infamous ‘Men’s reversible parka’ for AW21. Although rather harmless by name, the jacket’s supposed ‘Neon yellow technical ripstop’ colourway is more akin to a standard high vis jacket. The piece was, understandably, met with widespread criticism mostly due to its astronomical £2,890 price point. This led some members of the public to share their outrage with one horrified consumer stating “Convinced Balenciaga is just one big social experiment at this stage because that’s the only thing that makes any sense.” Don’t expect to see any local security rocking this piece any time soon.

Next up, is a more controversial and utterly ridiculous item. Back in 2017 Chanel caused uproar by releasing their boomerang in their SS17 pre-collection for $1,930. The absurd item made out of wood and resin was slammed for appropriating indigenous Australian culture. Nayuka Gorrie, a writer and activist, tweeted: “When I think about Aboriginal culture, I think @chanel”. She added: “Have decided to save for the next three years so I can connect with my culture via @chanel.”  The lack of cultural sensitivity combined with the hefty price tag was a perfect set-up for cynicism and ridicule. Jeffree Star endorsing the item didn’t exactly help the cause either…

Now, for an item with a semi-reasonable price point — had it not been made out of paper. Back in 2012, Jill Sander caused shockwaves in the fashion world with the release of her $290 iteration of the shopping staple, the paper bag. Not just any regular old paper bag, Sander’s version is manufactured using glossy paper, stitching and, of course, the Jill Sander logo. With this piece you could treat your local supermarket like a runway and if you really love it, for $300 extra, why not upgrade to the leather version?

Carrying on the theme of workwear from earlier, perhaps one of the strangest collabs in recent memory comes from Vetements and their interpretation of the DHL uniform. Yes, this did happen, and it was huge. Back in October 2015, a model walked out onto the Vetements catwalk donning an open black shirt with a bright yellow DHL tee underneath. From that moment forward it became the must-have item for SS16. Unsurprisingly, after it hit the stores it sold out almost instantly – even with a £185 price point. consumers were even turning to actual DHL uniforms for a piece of the action. Even Ken Allen, the chairman of DHL, was photographed wearing the Vetements T-shirt in March 2016. The image appeared on GQ’s website

Thom Browne is known for his sleek leather bags based on a variety of animals that walk the earth today. In fact, rapper Gunna even had his own custom Browne dog bag for his appearance at the Met Gala. Most of them are truly adorable but one truly stands out amongst the rest as, well, different. Meet the Rat pebbled bag, which if you haven’t guessed, is a bag shaped like a rat – made with pebbled calfskin leather. For the small price of £3,120, you can rock a rat over your shoulder, wherever you please, ensuring you’ll remain the centre of attention for any occasion. Rodents and luxury are two words you probably thought you’d never see together. Well, now you have.

In truth, this list could’ve been filled with pieces strictly from Balenciaga. So, it’s only right we end with a personal favourite. The Balenciaga ‘Croc Madame’. We’re sure most of you have heard of this one, the famous Croc silhouette combined with a stiletto high heel. For the small price of $625, you could own the perfect example of comfort and luxury. With Crocs’ popularity at an all-time high over the last couple of years, it was only a matter of time before a huge brand like Balenciaga partnered up with the American footwear company. They may look ridiculous, but at least the waterproof design will keep you dry at whatever swanky event you may be attending. Once again, Balenciaga managed to get the internet up in arms once again. “Balenciaga put heels on crocs. They must be stopped. MUST. That’s where I draw the line. Did we learn nothing from the abominations that were heeled chucks or heeled timbs? That’s all.” Said one disgusted Twitter user. If there’s one thing we’ve learnt it’s that Balenciaga and Demna are certainly the kings of controversy.

  • Writer Chris Saunders

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