My new friend Kanye West has made up for his too-safe engagement-ring choice by giving fiancee Kim Kardashian an Hermes Birkin bag that was painted by artist George Condo (Condo previously worked on album covers for Kanye’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy).
Teh Interweb seems to have its collective knickers in a twist over this, but I love it. The only way to make a Birkin bag exciting at this point is to customize it. I was impressed when Lady Gaga did it in 2010.
Earlier this year, a dude named Jett Kain got graffiti artists Mint & Serf to decorate his jewelry-designer wife’s Birkin.
That’s a big improvement in my opinion. A Birkin is too bland for me otherwise. It’s funny that something made for and named after the ultimate ’60s wild child — Jane Birkin — has become an unimaginative choice for a luxury handbag.
That’s the dark side of the Never Is the Next New Thing™ rule of fashion: styles that were once transgressive become so absorbed into the culture that they become generic. Then you need to do something to jazz it up. Humor always works for me. That’s why I like the collectible, smiley Kelly Idole better than a straight-up Hermes Kelly bag.
That’s also the reason I haven’t thrown out the very beat-up (but hopefully fixable) Birkin knockoff I got in Hong Kong in 2002. Can you believe I have that? You know how I disapprove of Asian-made knockoffs! Even in 2002, before I was in the jewelry business, I was scandalized when I discovered a large retail space devoted to Hermes and other knockoffs in an upscale hotel. But that was before I saw … the assbag.
It was so ridiculous-looking that I had to have it.
Also, I was pretty sure Hermes hadn’t really made a bag out of a pair of pants like this. They should do it though! I feel like even ’60s-era Jane Birkin would get behind that, so to speak. You can’t beat an assbag if you’re looking for a conversation piece. People were always coming over to ask why my bag looked like an ass. Another advantage of an assbag is that it gives one ample opportunity to quote from/paraphrase Christopher Walken’s Pulp Fiction monologue: “I hid this uncomfortable hunk of metal up my ass two years.” Sometimes I jammed shoes, a sweater, and a whole newspaper right up in that thing! I’m proud to say that the assbag took it like a man.