Here’s The $1,300 Balenciaga Shirt That Has The Internet Gagging

by Taylor Harris

After awhile, working in fashion will anesthetize any sort of sticker shock. $12,350 for Adidas sneakers? Sure. A pair of bedazzled Dolce & Gabbana headphones for a cool $6k? We don’t even blink.

So when the Internet lost it over a $1,290 Balenciaga top this week, the fashion world got a bit of a reality check. The top that spurred the collective Internet head-shaking is this “T-SHIRT SHIRT,” essentially a striped short sleeve cotton tee with a long sleeved button-down dress shirt sewn into it’s front. The Balenciaga website says it offers “two wearing options” so you’re really getting two shirts in one! Other features touted on the site are: “lightweight, breathable poplin,” “tone-on-tone nacre buttons fastening,” and a “mix of stripes print”.

The shirt, from the pre-fall 2018 lineup (the house’s first pre-fall collection for men’s), is available for pre-order with an estimated ship date of July 30.

The shirt is — and it’s subversive irony, it’s rejection of aspirational luxury, etc. — is very much in line with the ethos of Demna Gvasalia, Balenciaga’s creative director. It’s his brand of ugly normacore and subverted Americana (riffing on ultra-American labels Levi’s and Juicy Couture in the past, etc.) that’s the backbone of his aesthetic. As Gvasalia once told Vogue‘s Alexander Fury: “I think it’s very interesting, the definition of ugly. I think it’s also very interesting to find this line where ugly becomes beautiful or where beautiful becomes ugly. That’s a challenge I like. I think that’s a part of what fashion stands for and I like that people think my clothes are ugly; I think it’s a compliment.”

But, while that’s all find and good, on a fundamental level, we’re still talking about a tee shirt with another shirt sewn on top of it. And so, the Internet had a ball with it — producing memes galore, many of the DIY variety.

The discounted version you’d find at Ross. @balenciaga #balenciaga #balenciagashirt

A post shared by Peyton Johnson (@peytonbjohnson) on

We think, ever the disruptor, Gvaslia probably enjoys all the fuss surrounding his designs. Perhaps that’s part of the satisfaction, pulling off the caper of selling astronomically-priced, admittedly ugly clothes at a rate no one can believe. All we can say is we can’t wait to see the shirt (and it’s DIY iterations) worn both ways come August.

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