ART & FASHION
According to Olivia Fleming of the Daily Mail, “Just two months ago, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen's $39,000 alligator skin backpack sold out at Barneys. Now the design duo for The Row has gone one step further, releasing a $55,000 backpack adorned with prescription pills (see below). The bag is a collaboration between British artist Damien Hirst, whose paintings have sold for more than $3million, and the Olsen twins' label, The Row.
Created out of black patent leather from Nile crocodiles, the five-figure backpack is one of 12 being sold on behalf of Just One Eye, which includes plain and polka-dotted versions also.
Just One Eye co-founder Paola Russo said in a statement: 'We are longtime admirers of both Damien and The Row’s work, and our main focus here is to nurture work between artists working in different mediums.We couldn't have dreamed of a better way to debut this series of partnerships.'
Signed by the artist himself, each backpack 'blurs the line between high art and high fashion'…” (December 3, 2012)
Despite, the artistic appeal of the backpack some critics find it difficult to appreciate “as [the pill appliqués] seem to glamorize drug use.” (ONTD)
Personally, as an artist, I can appreciate the design of the backpack. However, as a health advocate it is important to note that prescription drug abuse is a growing epidemic with certain populations - youth, women, and older adults - being at risk. Consequently, I find the backpack to be more of a health awareness item than a fashion statement.
What do you think?