Wang and Leiber are strange bedfellows, but we really like the results of their partnership
When I first saw the money roll minaudiere come down the runway at Alexander Wang during the brand’s Spring 2018 show last month, I thought to myself, “Oh, that’s clever. Like an ironic Judith Leiber clutch for millennials.” As it turns out, that’s exactly what it was: society matron favorite Judith Leiber, the pioneer of Swarovski-encrusted evening bags in the shape of everything from ducks to bundles of asparagus, had joined Wang to create the limited edition Alexander Wang x Judith Leiber Show Me The Money Minaudiere, studded with over 10,000 crystals.
As the season’s shows wore on, the bag slipped my mind, but it came barreling back into my consciousness when Beyoncé carried it to the Tidal X: Brooklyn event at Barclays Center in New York, helpfully immortalizing it on her Instagram, along with the rest of her stunning, jewel-toned outfit. The bag is carefully designed to look like a roll of $100 bills, right down to the tan, pedestrian rubber band that might hold them in a wad. Except, of course, the entire thing (except for the rubber band) is rendered in glittering crystals, right down to the writing that would be on an actual bill.
On closer inspection, the bag feels even more clever to me than it did before. Evening bags have been something of a tough sell for younger luxury consumers, whose lives tend to skew more casual than previous generations of the wealthy. This bag, though, is a winking, slightly rude rebuke to the concept of designer eveningwear as a whole—after all, isn’t anyone with one of Leiber’s bags carrying what is, on a spiritual level, more or less just a roll of cash? It feels funny without losing its luxury, and it’s perfect for exactly the social media moment that Beyoncé gave it.
The bag is, of course, limited edition, and although it retailed for $4,995 when it became available on Wang’s website this week, the design has already sold out. We’ll always have Beyoncé’s photos, though.
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