The Hermès Birkin has been an iconic art object for fashion lovers for decades, but now uberartist Jeff Koons is intent on turning the sought-after bags into actual art. Koons has sourced bags from the likes of Sofia Coppola and Diane von Furstenberg and incorporated them into sculpture to benefit Project Perpetual, an arm of the United Nations Foundations that helps at-risk youth the world over with the help of powerful artists.
Koons created these works in collaboration with Svetlana Kuzmicheva-Uspenskaya, a longtime collector of his work with a philanthropic streak. She says that they enlisted celebrities to donate Birkins for the work to bring wider attention to the charitable efforts; instead of just writing a check, the celebrities are giving of themselves something that they have used and loved (and something that will, ostensibly, add even more value to Koons’ already ultra-pricey work).
Koons’ work already has an army of collectors, and the addition of sought-after handbags from the private collections of the rich and famous will no doubt raise more than a few bucks for children in need.
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