Will Balenciaga Release Its Viral Trash Bag In China?

What Happened: First debuted at Balenciaga’s Fall/Winter 2022 show, the “Trash Pouch” was released on August 8 and immediately went viral. It resembles a garbage bag but sets consumers back a hefty US$1,790 (12,104 RMB). Cut from calfskin leather, the bag sports a subtle Balenciaga logo but ultimately, when carried, makes the wearer look like they’re simply taking out the trash. 

Balenciaga’s Trash Pouch comes in four colorways. Photo: Balenciaga

Chinese netizens are getting in on the trending topic, with the Weibo hashtag #Balenciaga 12,000 yuan new bag looks like a big garbage bag# garnering almost 1 million views as of August 12. Related posts have been viewed over 250 million times on Weibo too, despite the product having yet to be released on the brand’s official Chinese website. 

The Jing Take: Even those who do not follow Balenciaga have likely come across the brand’s extreme looks on their social media feeds, such as the Joey-from-Friends-style layering and those trademark platform Crocs. In short, the Trash Pouch is yet another meme-fashion statement. It’s the perfect storm of marketing and anti-fashion appeal. But as Chinese netizens are known to be some of the most unforgiving, the question stands as to whether the Kering-owned brand will feel confident enough to release the luxe garbage bag in China.

Recommended ReadingHow Luxury Took Over MemesBy Sadie Bargeron

Balenciaga hasn’t been one of the most popular brands in the mainland since its viral moment in 2018 when security staff rough-handled some Chinese customers at a Paris department store. However, given the extensive online conversation surrounding this new drop from fashion insiders and non-fashion followers alike, it might be viewed as a reliable, instantly-recognizable investment purchase for Chinese Gen Z. 

After all, the Gucci x Adidas non-waterproof umbrella that frustrated Chinese netizens earlier this year did end up selling out. Perhaps any press is still good press.

The Jing Take reports on a piece of the leading news and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debate sprouting on Chinese social media.