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Published
Aug 31, 2021
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Balenciaga's new bag causes online controversy for imitating 'thailas'

Published
Aug 31, 2021

Luxury fashion brand Balenciaga has come under fire on social media for its new ‘Barbes East-West Shopper Bag’, which closely resemble ‘thailas’, shopping bags used across South Asia.

Balenciaga's new bag has been likened to thailas used for groceries across India - Balenciaga's e-commerce store


Also referred to as ‘pishvis’ in Marathi, thailas shopping bags are often used to transport groceries and other bulk goods and often retail for under Rs 100 ($1.37). Instagram users were swift to point out the resemblance of Balenciaga’s new bag launch to this economical household staple. Priced at $2,090 (Rs 1.53 lakh), Belenciaga’s version of the bag in 100% calf-skin leather has led to numerous Instagram users pondering whether they can sell their own thailas for such a profit.
 
The bags, which are also widely used in countries across Africa such as Ghana, prompted one Instagram user to write, “I have four Balenciaga bags at home”. Another wrote, “Brb, grabbing one from my Aaji’s collection to call it ‘heirloom’.” 

The Spanish-born brand is no stranger to controversy on the Indian subcontinent. Back in 2017, the brand drew mixed responses to its bags with floral motifs which were named as ‘kambal bags’ by many desi shoppers.

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