Any young fame-seeker worth his Twitter followers knows that if something works once, it’ll probably work again. With that in mind, erstwhile Birkin (“Birkin”) destroyer and photographer Tyler Shields is back and making more waves with his lofty, arty thoughts on consumerism via more photos of an Hermes (maybe) handbag in a compromising position.

These photos from Shields’ “Induldgence” series, currently featured on his website, started spreading around the Internet late on Friday, attached to headlines about how the wild-child photog is at it again with another “$100,000” handbag, photographed with a live alligator and actress Ana Mulvoy-Ten. There are two problems with that idea.

First, it is highly unlikely that the bag is real. The last time Shields got up to these shenanigans, he eventually admitted (after we outed him) to buying the bag out of the trunk of someone’s car and that he was unable to prove he had actually paid the staggering amount of the bag that he originally claimed. Past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior, as they say, and I’m not sure this bag passes the sniff test.

The bag, both in these photos and the YouTube video that goes behind the scenes of the shoot, looks incredibly flimsy. Glossy crocodile Birkins are incredibly structured bags, lined in leather, that are unlikely to flop over flat as easily as this one does. It’s not impossible, but it’s also not likely.

Also, when I went over to our Forum to see if these photos had been discussed, a thread on them had been deleted by a section moderator with this explanation: “Bag is fake.” Take that as you will!

This is what a real Hermes Crocodile Birkin looks like.

This is what a real Hermes Crocodile Birkin looks like.

Second, even if we suspend disbelief and allow the premise that this is a real crocodile Birkin, it would certainly not have the sensationalist six-figure price tag that other sites so breathlessly assign it. Crocodile Birkins in excellent condition go for mid-five figures on the resale market, and that’s higher than their retail price by a not-insignificant margin. In the video, which has not been color-corrected like these photos have, the bag appears to be Blue Roi, which is not a rare Hermes color and would not drive the price up further. Also, the hardware is standard-issue Palladium, which would not increase the price.

The bag’s fake, in all likelihood, but even if it weren’t, it wouldn’t cost $100,000. Nowhere near it. Tyler Shields is a charlatan, but we all already knew that. If you’re interested, the rest of the Birkin photos are below, and you can see the full shoot, which includes “Prada” popcorn, via his website.

Tyler Shields Hermes Birkin 1

Tyler Shields Hermes Birkin 2

Tyler Shields Hermes Birkin 3

Tyler Shields Hermes Birkin 4

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • barbara

    When he was on that Eastwood reality show he did Birkin photo shoot and later admitted the bag was fake.So I doubt this one is real

    • jen

      he never admitted that what are you talking about?

  • In the end, does the bag’s authenticity is relevant to the point he’s trying to make ?

    • Both times that he’s done this with a “Birkin,” he’s made a point of emphasizing how expensive and rare the bag he’s destroying is. He certainly thinks it matters, even if he’s not willing to actually put his money where his art is.

      • ivy

        But that is still part of his point. It’s not whether he personally spent that much money, but that anyone spends that much money on a purse. I don’t necessarily agree with him, but I don’t think it’s an issue or contradicting his idea that he uses fakes.

      • I share your opinion. Even if he used a fake one, the symbolism is still there. On a first glance, it’s still a Birkin

    • Tortoisescam

      I agree, I don’t think it matters if the bag was real. And I’m not surprised he wouldn’t be willing to put his money where his art is, because giving Hermes money would sort of contradict his apparent personal ethics. I’m not one to talk, I spend enough of my money on clothes and bags, but I understand his point and I think it’s as fair point as “it’s my money and I’ll spend it how I like.”

      • Amanda

        Agreed. I feel the same way. I get what he’s going for, but I don’t think it was executed very well. I think the most interesting picture is the second to last (the model pulling the long pole), but even that one isn’t that great. It’s like he’s going for this “deep” message about conspicuous consumerism but falls short because it all comes across rather shallow and forced. Despite my opinions about his art, I don’t think it matters that he used a fake bag. I agree with the above poster – using a real bag would sort of contradict his personal views.

    • jen

      <—- Exactly!

  • laura

    Poor guy. A good photographer proves his talent with good pictures. His work is not even that amazing.

  • Pompom

    Although I love leather bags, I feel bad for all those animals, especially endangered species. Good point in this photoshoot, it doesn’t matter whether the bag is real or fake.

  • Hierophilic

    Ohhh lord, this is stupid. Incredibly stupid. Nobody wins. You’re not an ~edgy photog~, you’ve got a thin white girl feeding an expensive bag to an exploited animal that already gets bad press and made into handbags. It’s tired, it’s boring, and I feel bad for the gator. :c poor baby. Hopefully it didn’t actually EAT the bag, it might hurt it. Anyone interested in herpetology, reptiles in general, know how important gators are to the ecosystem, and that despite being predators, are fairly delicate creatures and impaction can absolutely kill them, slowly and painfully.

  • citizenlen

    in any way, its just proves to me that whether a crocodile or a thin white girl- a birkin is indestructible. haha. Off to save money for a nice hermes.

  • Regina George

    If that’s a Birkin, I’m a Kardashian.

  • jen

    HAHA you deleted my comment? You right a lie in your article and I call you out on it and you delete me? Bad and untrustworthy

    • Vlad Dusil

      Your previous comment was held in the moderation queue because it contains a link. It is now approved.

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