It is true that a microscopic handbag bearing the Louis Vuitton logo sold at auction for more than $63,000.
However, the miniature handbag was created by the label MSCHF, not Louis Vuitton, which reportedly did not authorize the creation of the bag, so it was not considered an official collaboration.
With a price tag of more than $63,000, a microscopic handbag reportedly sold at auction for more than most Americans will have earned in all of 2023.
A version of the claim that a “Louis Vuitton microscopic handbag sold for $63K at Pharell Williams auction” appeared on the meme comedy site iFunny on July 1, 2023. Similar iterations were posted to social media platforms, including on Reddit and X:
Almost too perfect ? pic.twitter.com/75tdl4gq34
— Markets & Mayhem (@Mayhem4Markets) December 6, 2023
While it’s (perhaps unbelievably) true that this item is real, Snopes did not find any evidence that the microscopic bag was officially sanctioned by Louis Vuitton. As such, we have rated this claim as a “Miscaptioned.”
The speck-sized bag indeed touted a final price of $63,750. (By comparison, the average salary nationwide in the US in 2023 was $59,428, according to Forbes.)
Sold by entertainer Pharrell Williams's auction house JOOPITER, the so-called “Microscopic Handbag,” was made of photopolymer resin that measured 657-by-222-by-700 micrometers. For comparison, that’s “smaller than a grain of salt.”
Featured on the bag is a logo resembling that of Louis Vuitton, the French luxury fashion house for which Williams is a creative director of menswear. However, The New York Times reported that Williams was not contacted by MSCHF when they created the bag in the brand’s likeness. Because MSCHF reportedly did not get permission from Louis Vuitton, the bag can't be considered an official collaboration.
“There are big handbags, normal handbags, and small handbags. Various brands at various times have dabbled in the extremes of each. Smaller than a grain of salt, MSCHF’s Microscopic Handbag is made via a stereolithographic process commonly used for making tiny mechanical biotech structures,” described the auction webpage, adding:
It is the final word in bag miniaturization. As a once-functional object like a handbag becomes smaller and smaller its object status becomes steadily more abstracted until it is purely a brand signifier. Previous small leather handbags have still required a hand to carry them- they become dysfunctional, inconveniences to their "wearer." Microscopic Handbag takes this to its full logical conclusion. A practical object is boiled down into jewelry, all of its putative function evaporated; for luxury objects, useability is the angels' share.
After 36 bids, the auction ended on June 27, 2023