Olsen Twins sell 55k purses: art or conspicuous consumption?

The Olsen Twins are known for their wildly overpriced fashion line, The Row, which earns accolades in their industry no matter how fug and oversized it may look to us outsiders. The twins’ purse line has some of their priciest items. They’ve put out an alligator backpack that sells for $39,000, no joke, and a really horrid-looking fur patchwork monstrosity that goes for $17,000. Now they’ve really outdone themselves with $55,000 purses featuring what looks like real prescription pills and random colored dots stuck on the outside. They’re the $39k alligator backpacks with added features designed by English artist Damien Hirst, known for his controversial exhibits featuring cut out cows and various animals floating in formaldehyde. (I saw one of his earliest butterfly and cigarette butt exhibits after the poor butterflies perished, and I found it rather beautiful. Later I learned how the butterflies died and felt awful about it.)

So on one level I understand that this is art. On another it’s easier to pick it apart as just a bunch of pills and dots hot glued to a really expensive purse. You could give similar criticism to a lot of modern art and I tend to enjoy it in museums, so who am I to say?

TooFab notes that the proceeds from the bags are going to charity, at least some unknown percentage will. So it’s not that bad I guess. Here’s more:

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen somehow found a way to top their ridiculously-priced (but completely sold out) $39,000 handbag — by releasing a line of new ones retailing for $55,000!

Starting December 12, nine limited edition handbags from the Olsens’ fashion line The Row will go on sale online and they’ll all cost you more than a pretty penny.

The bags, created by artist Damien Hirst, are covered in prescription pills and made from black patent leather Nile crodocile skin. Only 12 of each bag will be made.

And while the price is INSANE, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to UNICEF. No word on how much, exactly.

The pill appliqués are definitely controversial, as they seem to glamorize drug use.

[From Too Fab]

Hirst has a lot of stuff that looks like this, like his paintings Valium and LSD, which consist of colored dots. I don’t think he’s glamorizing drug use by sticking pills on these bags (as TooFab goes on to claim) so much as creating social commentary on its abuse by the elite. Or something. I was more annoyed by the $39k alligator backpack on its own. Some might argue that this elevates the bag to “art.” At least it’s going to charity. You can see more purses here.

Header image credit: FameFlynet

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73 Responses to “Olsen Twins sell 55k purses: art or conspicuous consumption?”

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  1. SmokeyBlues says:

    That’s a freaking riot

  2. Jenna says:

    What. The. Actual. Fcuk? o_O I could probably make that myself.

  3. Skipper says:

    I just posted my car and other assorted possessions on Craig’s list. I hope I hit 55k in time to get my hands on one of these bags. Maybe I should just put my sons airplane stickers all over my current purse though. I may have some expired sudafed I can glue to it also.

    • Joy says:

      Expired sudafed made me lol for real!

    • eileen says:

      I feel your pain! I’ll just never know what it feels like to support the “arts” with this bag covered in pills. : /
      I like your expired sudafed idea…I’ll throw in some Mucinex to add more color. 😉

      • the original bellaluna says:

        Add me to that list. And I’ve got some expired migraine capsules, to add another shape to the mix.

        But what would our liability be if one or more of said pills fell off? 😉

      • marie says:

        they should title the bag “Breakfast with Lindsey”

    • Stacy Dresden says:

      Hopefully there’s a Xanax glued to that bag you can pry off and swallow once you’ve completed that transaction!

      • Skipper says:

        Good point. Maybe it’s really a whole drug trafficking scheme and the pills all over it are actually worth 30k

  4. kpist says:

    I wouldn’t even carry that bag, much less spend that ridiculous amount of money for it

  5. KellyinSeattle says:

    They are soooooo presumptuous and annoying! Looks like something I’d make in home ec when I was in 7th grade. And they’re always clinging on each other for dear life; like one can’t be famous without the other. My son’s college fund or a purse? I didn’t even really like them in that sitcom when they were little kids (that’s mean, I guess) ; I’m getting some coffee now so maybe I’ll be less of a bitch (not guaranteed) 🙂

  6. Green Is Good says:

    “Art or conspicuous consumption?”

    There should be a 3rd choice: “Frakking Hideous”.

    I wish these troll-chicks would disappear Gray Gardens-Style. Design purses for the 150 cats they’ll end up hoarding.

  7. lilred says:

    Just looks like Lindsay Lohans purse after she picked up from the floor of her car.

  8. madpoe says:

    Artwork from Kindergarteners are far more creative than these two put together! I’d take a stick figure dog any day, hell let ’em finger paint my handbag, ain’t I chic lol

  9. I.want.shoes says:

    The bag on its own, without all the junk glued to it, is not that bad. But certainly not 55K worth.

  10. Suzy from Ontario says:

    I wonder how long it’ll take before some child pulls one off and swallows it (or one falls off and a child picks it up thinking it’s candy and eats it) and gets sick or dies? I think this is a ridiculous idea for a retail product.

    If it was a piece of art in an art gallery it would be okay and frankly, I could even see the connection between wealth and prescription pills on a variety of levels art-wise, but not as a retail purse that hundreds are buying to use. People are stupid imo, what a ridiculous waste of money. (even with some proceeds going to Unicef – and I notice they don’t say how much). When you think of how much good all that money being spent on one of these purses could do. That’s soooo much money for a purse.

  11. Denver Danni says:

    I would like to take them on a two star tour of Palestine, Egypt, Morocco, Southeast Asia. Teach them some humility and how when a dirty, skinny kid hustling on the street for a quarter for his family on a school day, you should be ashamed for propagating such disgusting consumption. I gave away most of my stuff when I left because I felt ashamed for having $60 shoes when that is months of salary. Gross. I can’t with these morons.

  12. LadyMTL says:

    Art is so incredibly subjective that it’s impossible to say “yes, this is brilliant” or “no, this is a waste of time and money” without someone jumping in to defend the other POV. I myself tend to find a lot of modern art ridiculously pretentious but who am I to say what’s art and what isn’t?

    OFC, that said I do think that 55K for a purse is horrendous, and I don’t see the beauty in what Hirst did…but I guess I’ll give them a tiny pass if the money is going to charity? A tiny, tiny one…?

  13. Dimebox says:

    Conspicuous consumption with a side of fug. Who is foolish enough to spend this kind of money on a bag to look like the neighborhood pusher? Oh wait, I hope they give one to Lindsey…that might entitle her to a cavity search! In which case I would adore these bags!

    • hoya_chick says:

      “Conspicuous consumption with a side of fug”!!!!

      Totally! I’d add a HUGE side of fug! This is so terrible, and I love how an unknown percentage of it is supposedly going to charity. If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you.

      I live in NYC, I’ve been to every museum here at least 10 times, I’ve traveled all over the world. So what? Just because someone calls something art doesn’t mean it is and I can’t call it fuly. That’s the beauty of it all. We are all entitled to our own views. They aren’t half as talented and beautify as they think. If I saw someone with that walking down the street I’d laugh. WTF.

  14. Ms Kay says:

    *grabs buttons in niece sewing box*

    *grabs Elmer’s Glue-All in niece school bag*

    *grabs faux croc purse*

    *glue-sticks pills on bag*


  15. Lindsey says:

    I wonder if La Lohan would try to buy this purse (the one with all the pills on it).

  16. grabbyhands says:

    The bag is stupid and hideous, but you can’t fault their business acumen, because these monstrosities will sell out immediately. Just like the last ones.

    • Minty says:

      It just shows that there are lots of people out there who’ll spend money on crap if it’s overpriced and symbolizes exclusivity.

  17. lucy2 says:

    Personally I think it’s gross, and even if I had won the Powerball I wouldn’t ever dream of spending it like that.
    However, part of me kind of can’t blame them – if they have wealthy idiots willing to part with huge chunks of cash for crap like that, why not?

  18. FirstTimer says:

    Not really a fan of the designs. And the price is just over-the-top.

  19. Vera says:

    Insane. Wonder who purchased the bags…

  20. LeslieM says:

    55k for a purse! That’s pure sin! Think of all the children that money could feed. Discusting!

  21. Zigggy says:

    Mary Kate & the prescription pill bag brought my mind to Heath Ledger. 😐

    • truthful says:

      me too, I don’t mess w/these lil fiends.

      old looking “twisted sisters”

      They are disgusting and the pills are real.

  22. Madriani's Girl says:

    How long before these two think up a bag with dried cat feces glued to it? That would fit right in with the two of them since they both look like they rarely remember to bathe.

  23. TheOriginalKitten says:

    Terribly fug and overpriced bag. Hirst is brilliant but he should stick to gallery exhibits and leave the fashion shit to peeps who know what they’re doing.

  24. truthful says:

    I wonder if they have a pharmacy in their basement.

  25. andy says:

    Do you think Pete Doherty would carry a purse? This would be a great Christmas gift for him.

  26. Dearbhla says:

    Wasn’t Mary-Kate rumoured to be dating Heath Ledger before he died of an overdose of prescription drugs….bit insensitive…or at least ironic.

    • LeslieM says:

      I think they were very close friends. The person who discovered him called he before the authorities. Some speculated she disposed of drugs at his apartment before police got there.

      • Lauren says:

        I believe it was HER apartment where he was found. Her security intervened, to put it nicely, she/her security were believed to have discarded the drugs. To me that makes this bag all the more tasteless.

  27. o says:

    If I had 55k to spend on a purse, why in the hell would I buy an OlsenTwin brand?

  28. daisydoodle says:

    ah, the power of a glue gun…these two, I just can’t, never thought they were cute, reminded me of little monkeys. I guess they were high and thought that all their prescriptions had pretty shapes and colors. They are “artists” you know…but us “little people” wouldn’t understand.

  29. Neve says:

    lol that looks like someone turned the wrong way while their toddler got busy with a prit-stick:p

  30. jamminjess says:

    This is the most effing ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen. The Olsen twins need a good dose of reality and then maybe they’d understand that 55k equals a persons yearly income if they are so fortunate.

  31. judyjudy says:

    This looks like sale bin crap from Kohls.

  32. Eleonor says:

    This is not art. This is crap.

  33. Belle Epoch says:

    WHO BOUGHT THESE? A lot of the BIG money is in the Russian mob, Middle East oil families, and even super trendy Japanese. I’m wondering how many of their buyers are American?

  34. Ruby Red Lips says:

    I think the question on the top of this article should be;

    Olsen twins sell $55K handbags – who is stupid enough to buy one (& how the twins are laughing all the way to the bank)

    • Mitch Buchanan Rocks! says:

      Thats what I don’t get, who buys this crap and don’t these trolls have enough $$$ already?

  35. HulaHoop says:

    I just seriously want to know who is buying this ish? And is it supposed to be some sort of a status symbol for the 1%?

  36. emmie_a says:

    If I HAD to carry one, I sort of like the one with the gold polka-dots. But it’s nothing special & I don’t consider gold circles painted on an ugly bag *art*.

  37. e.non says:

    you have to give them credit for finding the market of ridiculously wealthy women who have no clue, but can be suckered into purchasing something so friggin ugly. i just do not understand….

    i guess that’s why i’m still stashing my stuff in a 10yo manhattan portage bag.

  38. BengalCat2000 says:

    A few yrs ago I bought an awesome vintage Fendi bag (found in my local consignment shop) & paid $100 & felt pretty guilty about it. After reading about those beyond overpriced fug ’80’s looking bags, I’d rather spend $54,900 to pay off my mom’s hospital bills (she had open heart surgery 2 mos. ago) than give my money to these two out of touch, bland idiots.

  39. Sandy Pandy says:

    A fool and his money are soon parted … ridiculous.

  40. Dorien Grais says:

    I would buy this bag….IF AND WHEN it is copied or knocked-off in pleather and the price comes down…A LOT. $298 or less.

  41. Minty says:

    This is plain effin’ absurd. Who wants to basically say she’s a pill popper? The so-called trend of wearing things ironically is just stupid.

    Expensive doesn’t automatically mean tasteful or well-made. Exclusivity is for insecure rich folks. You know who would buy this? People who also pay hundreds of dollars to eat food covered with gold leaf.

    A handbag should not cost more than a car. A car should not cost more than a house. Shoes should not cost more than your monthly mortgage or rent.

    Even if their “bag lady” line was gorgeous and I could afford them, I wouldn’t. I’d feel foolish spending that kind of money for glorified stuff.

  42. Shannon says:

    You couldn’t even go a lot of places with this. It would be confiscated at an airport. How stupid and impractical.

  43. kim says:

    it’s a joke. I laugh at anyone who takes them serious. They put this stuff out because ppl are stupid. It’s funny.

  44. BLOGAHOLIC says:

    Stupidity. A fool and his money are easily parted.

  45. world humin says:

    If it was recycled plastic then its art.

    If ita the hide of a.defenseless.and beautiful animal then FCQK THE USELESS TROLL.TWINS and their waste of time hobby of glamorizing drugs and animal brutality.

  46. thebutlerdidit says:

    Who buys these? Its the end of the year,which hits those with money exceptionally hard come April, or next quarter. Two words for what these are useful for- TAX WRITE-OFFS. Ho, ho, ho.

  47. Michele says:

    There is nothing AMUSING about glorifying the drug culture and nothing REMOTELY attractive about these ugly-ass, pig-greedy, over-the-top handbags. I hope that the people who purchase these “luxury” items enjoy it when their flesh burns in hell for WASTING tens of thousands of dollars on this pigswill when they could be helping children and other vulnirable people in our society. Have the Olsinnnn Twins made a pact with the devil? THIS is pure evil.

  48. Tuxedo Cat says:

    You know you have too much money when…

  49. Kosmos says:

    If any of these handbags were given to me for free, I wouldn’t wear them. These are not even interesting or particularly creative, wow.