X users were not impressed with Balenciaga’s new $925 beige towel skirt, the French fashion house, which debuted as part of the brand’s Spring ’24 collection. The simple terry cotton unisex garment is currently available for pre-order and is literally a wrap-around skirt made from a towel.
The unique piece was widely received as unoriginal and a stunt. Meanwhile, its price was considered an utterly obnoxious waste of money. That said, many found IKEA’s blatant marketing of its VINARN towel as a knock-off of the Balenciaga piece to be clever and humorous clapback.
The Swedish retailer’s dupe will run shoppers $14.99, making it an astounding 61 times less expensive than the Balenciaga Towel Skirt’s price.
IKEA even styled its model exactly like Balenciaga’s. Both male models posed in the same stance and rocked black hoodies, matching sunglasses, light khaki pants, black shoes, and beige towel skirts.
IKEA marketing VINARM as a dupe for the Balenciaga Towel Skirt comes after the luxury and controversial fashion brand ripped off the Swedish retailer in 2017.
Balenciaga took the look of IKEA’s infamous $0.99 FRAKTA tote and sold a “wrinkled, glazed leather” version for $2,145.
In an email written to TODAY, IKEA addressed the exorbitant fashion brand’s shenanigans and said, “We are deeply flattered that the Balenciaga tote bag resembles the IKEA iconic sustainable blue bag for 99 cents. Nothing beats the versatility of a great big blue bag!”
Balenciaga’s creative director, Demna, defended the brand’s pricey blue bag dupe in a 2019 WWD interview.
“It’s a perfect example of ‘ready-made,’ but there is a little bit more to it,” he said of the bag. “We changed the logo, and we made it beautifully out of leather, and that’s why it costs so much money.”
Regarding his thoughts on the appropriation of designs, Demna’s quotes were the following:
“Some designers get inspired by looking at birds, so they embroider its feathers, but my way of design is looking at some keyholder and making a bag out of it. But it’s never in competition with its original source, obviously.”
“It’s a big word everyone is throwing around left and right, but nobody really knows where it actually comes from and why. And that it’s not Demna who started this.”
The designer label’s latest viral article of clothing, the towel skirt, falls in line with years of its questionable and expensive offerings. Some of the wacky items Balenciaga has dropped include a Lays potato chip handbag, a Balenciaga toolbox handbag, heeled Crocs, and chevalier boots — aka knight shoes.
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