Balenciaga totes, apparently inspired by Asia’s iconic nylon bags, are making a splash as the accessory finally goes on sale online. They sell for thousands of times the price of their marketplace counterparts.

According to the shopping site Colette, full grain lambskin versions go for 1,995 Euros, or over HK$17,000. If one prefers the snakeskin version, it would cost 9,500 Euros, or over HK$82,000.

Balenciaga’s new totes. Photo: screenshot.

In March, Thai instagrammers already spotted the similarity to sampengs, a multi-coloured bag which costs less than 100 Thai baht, or HK$20. Some sarcastically showcased their own versions of the fashion accessory.

There is also an iconic red, white and blue version that appears to reference the colour scheme of Hong Kong’s iconic red-white-blue nylon bags. Such bags in Hong Kong would also cost around HK$20.

Balenciaga’s red, white, and blue nylon bag, first shown in Balenciaga’s fashion show in March. Photo: Youtube screenshot.

One commenter said on Facebook: “I can buy this down at the [market] stall.”

Red, white and blue bags in Hong Kong. Photo: Apple Daily.

“I can buy a red, white, and blue sheet and ask my mom to sew one for me,” said another.

Another unimpressed netizen said: “My home always has a stock.”


Chantal Yuen

Chantal Yuen is a Hong Kong journalist interested in issues dealing with religion and immigration. She majored in German and minored in Middle Eastern studies at Princeton University.