There are $45,000 to $60,000 Birkins on the market right now—and no, you can’t find them at the Hèrmes boutique. Barbara Segal, an artist trained in the techniques of Renaissance and Baroque artists, has taken to carving Birkins out of stone. She also creates stone H boxes, quilted Chanel classics, lingerie, and other iconic pieces of fashion, publicizing them on her Instagram.
A Birkin, on average, takes Segal three months to finish and weighs 100 pounds, and she’s had to work without a real Birkin for reference. Due to exclusivity and price, Segal, a professor at the School of Visual Arts in NYC, wasn’t able to get ahold of a Birkin herself and has instead resorted to the internet for dimensions and high-res photos.
As an explanation of her artwork, Segal told i-D, “For me, it’s more about making the comparison between the power of the Church and the power of this status symbol. It’s like, what do women pray to? I’m bringing attention to the fact of how important this symbol is in current civilization, in current society. Idols were made from stone, and this is an idol. Somebody wrote that basically, the Birkin is the epitome of an ultra-luxury accessories. When you walk out on the street with a Birkin on your hand it’s sort of like a declaration of power, right?”
Segal shows her work—including a 3-foot-tall Chanel bag that weighs one ton—in galleries around the world, and the fashion industry appears to be responding favorably so far. “I sold a Chanel piece to someone who works at Chanel,” Segal has confirmed.
So what do you think of these stony H creations? Would you ever want one yourself, or are you a strictly-leather fashionista? What does Segal’s work represent to you? Do you find the bags beautiful or superfluous? Let us know in the comments!
Read related articles below:
Photo courtesy: @barbarasegal