Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Hard Pill To Swallow?

Hot Topic 
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? 


  1. good topic and collaboration: it's a bit of a taboo that the fash-crowd and prescripted medicines go hand in hand. Adderall (originally for ADD suffers) gives a high and diminished the appetite, something very welcome in an environment where thin is better. So the topic is good and the idea addressed by Hirst too, only I'm not completely sure if the message will be understood by it's buyers. Also, I know Hirst is not opposed commercialism (that's how he grew as an artist) but to collaborate with the twins is a bit overcommercial to me. Also, the crocodile leather is a nono. Moreover, the twins always being on the border of too thin? Perhaps they use adderal or other prescriptives as well, which makes the collaboration slightly ironic too.

    1. You make some very valid points. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your opinion on this subject.

  2. i love that bag soooo cute!!!!

  3. I heard about this and would not wear the bag. It's cute without the pills. I really don't get it. I heard half the proceeds will go towards charity; why not just donate the money to charity instead? It does bring up an important issue about drug abuse.

    1. Yes, a portion of the proceeds is suppose to go towards UNICEF's efforts to help children in need...Also, I most likely wouldn't wear the bag either, but I do appreciate its artistry and the important issues it raises awareness to.

      Ladies, thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts on this matter.

  4. Hmm, you know what, the bag is actually really nice...I think they could have used jelly beans and it would still have had that effect...or fake pills! I would however not pay that 5-figure amount on a bag! Also, crocodile skin,umm no no.Not unless it is faux crocodile!

  5. great post!


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