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Balenciaga is selling worn-out versions of the Neo Classic bag

Balenciaga is selling worn-out versions of the Neo Classic bag

Old but new

Text: Asri Jasman


I can still clearly remember the time when Balenciaga's hardware-heavy bags were part of a now-forgotten term for must-have bags: It bags. Whether it was the City or Motorcycle or Giant, they were a hit and everyone in the 2000s wanted a variation.

The Nicholas Ghesquière creations featured flat, brass studs that successfully became Balenciaga's signature. They were a representation of noughties style — kind of kitschy and so in-your-face — and eventually faded into the background as more thoughtfully designed and minimalist styles came to the fore.

Leave it to current creative director Demna Gvasalia to revisit the icon and convert it into something more palatable for the now. Balenciaga brought back the Motorcycle bag in 2020 and gave it an upgrade. It's now called the Neo Classic and has been reimagined in more contemporary proportions. For one, the studs are less garish and appear as accents as opposed to being the main feature of the bag.

But of course, in true Gvasalia form, the Neo Classic is far from being just another bag. The latest rendition sees it pushed further into the future. And I mean, way into the future where one has probably used the Neo Classic every single day for 10 years, resulting in the Neo Classic Used. With almost rusty and dulled hardware, the Neo Classic Used is also decidedly more pliable than the Neo Classic to display to full effect the aging process of the latter; but one that you can get a hold of now.

The latest iteration comes with a detachable shoulder strap and a rubber Balenciaga keyring (brand new and not intentionally distressed). Question is, would you be willing to pay more for a worn-out bag?