In an extraordinary display of the intersection between art, fashion, and technology, a minuscule handbag, measuring a mere 657 by 222 by 700 microns (or less than 0.03 inches wide), recently commanded a staggering price of over $63,000 at an online auction held on Wednesday. This diminutive masterpiece, barely discernible to the human eye, features a fluorescent yellowish-green hue and draws inspiration from a popular Louis Vuitton design, although its creation can be attributed to the ingenuity of a New York-based art collective rather than the renowned luxury label itself.

Dubbed the “Microscopic Handbag” by MSCHF, the avant-garde group based in Brooklyn, this extraordinary creation claims to possess a narrowness that would allow it to effortlessly pass through the eye of a needle. Furthermore, it is said to be smaller than a grain of sea salt, although the interpretation of salt’s coarseness could influence such a comparison.

To achieve this remarkable feat, the artisans at MSCHF employed a cutting-edge manufacturing technology known as two-photon polymerization, which enables the precise 3D-printing of micro-scale plastic components. The sale of the Microscopic Handbag included a specially designed microscope equipped with a digital display, enabling collectors to marvel at the intricate details of the bag.

A promotional photo showcasing the design in greater detail reveals the distinctive “LV” monogram associated with Louis Vuitton, hinting at the bag’s connection to the French fashion house. Its design seems to be based on Louis Vuitton’s coveted OnTheGo tote, a full-sized version of which currently commands a retail price ranging from $3,100 to $4,300.

The auction, hosted by Joopiter, an online auction house founded by the multi-talented American musician, record producer, and designer Pharrell Williams, attracted considerable attention. Although Williams presently serves as Louis Vuitton’s creative director of menswear, it has been disclosed that MSCHF did not seek his approval, nor that of the luxury brand, to utilize their logo or design for the Microscopic Handbag.

Kevin Wiesner, the chief creative officer of MSCHF, amusingly shared with The New York Times that they crafted an incredibly small bag for Pharrell Williams as he is known for his affinity for oversized headwear. This facetious remark exemplifies the collective’s satirical approach to its artistic endeavors.

Established in 2016, MSCHF has gained notoriety for its unique “drops,” artistic projects that cleverly satirize and capitalize on consumer capitalism. The group previously faced legal action from Nike over its provocative “Satan Shoes,” a limited series of 666 modified Nike sneakers adorned with satanic symbols and infused with drops of real human blood. Eventually, the dispute was settled out of court.

Notoriously teasing the art world by challenging its excesses, whether through selling forged Andy Warhol drawings or dismantling Damien Hirst paintings, MSCHF has now directed its attention towards luxury fashion. In 2021, the collective caused a stir by tearing apart four Birkin handbags and repurposing them into sandals aptly named “Birkinstocks,” which were offered for a jaw-dropping price of up to $76,000 per pair. More recently, their whimsical rubber boots, aptly named “Big Red Boots,” gained viral popularity after being sported by prominent figures such as Doja Cat, Iggy Azalea, and Janelle Monáe.