Balenciaga’s 51st Couture show in Paris had it all, even Nicole Kidman starring in what appeared to be a shiny garbage bag. But it was the Bang & Olufsen collaborative ‘Speaker Bag’ that had our eyes (and ears) clued in as the models hit the runway blaring music. Crafted to resemble the sculptural form of Balenciaga’s handbags, the speaker bag is fully functional as both a bag and a portable speaker – because who wouldn’t want to hear the eery trance tones of BFRND everywhere they walk? That’s the composer behind every Balenciaga show since fall 2017 for those who didn’t know. Let’s check it out.
In case the AUD$1,750 Balenciaga x CROCS tote bag wasn’t wild enough for you the speaker bag should suffice with a limited-edition run milled from a block of solid aluminium. The shape is then pearl-blasted, anodised and hand-polished at Bang & Olufsen‘s Factory 5 in Struer, Denmark, over a period of several days for the perfect satin finish. To access the inside of the bag, a door opens at the rear to reveal a sizeable compartment wrapped in Italian lambskin leather, assembled by hand. We love the finish with controls placed under the handle, and the application of Balenciaga and Bang & Olufsen’s logos laser-etched into the top of each.
Technically speaking, there’s a powerful portable speaker built into this bag that offers up to 18 hours of battery life and multipoint connectivity. If we had to take a stab and guess what existing speaker architecture has been built into the bag we’d almost be certain it’s the BEOSOUND A1 2ND GEN (AUD$550) as both share the same 18-hour battery life and general dimensions.
“This collaboration really demonstrates our capabilities for making bespoke solutions for our customers. We can make endless configurations within sound and design, and we are excited to show our customers more of that in future collaborations, projects, and products” said Bang & Olufsen’s CEO Kristian Teär.
“Working with Balenciaga has been an incredible experience and will also shape how we drive products and experiences that will disrupt the technology market in the future… This bag is a testament to what happens when two very special companies with an unparalleled heritage of craftsmanship join forces. Both design teams are dedicated to excellence, and I think we together created something unique,” said Miklu Silvanto, Bang & Olufsen’s Chief Design Officer.
Making their mark on the industry, and being Couture (highly limited) only 20 editions of the speaker bag will be available to purchase at the newly opened Balenciaga Couture store in Paris. You’ll have to be one of the brand’s biggest spenders to get your hands on one, but expect prices to be well over AUD$3,000. More information is available via the link below.
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