What's the Deal with the Olsens' $55,000 Backpack?

12/06/2012 at 06:00 PM ET

The Row Damien Hirst Backpack Courtesy Just One Eye; Inset: Sipa

We’re positive we weren’t the only ones whose jaws dropped when we read that Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen‘s fashion line, The Row, is selling $55,000 backpacks.

But this isn’t exactly the Jansport you carried your Trapper Keepers in during elementary school. The extravagant accessory is designed in collaboration with renowned artist Damien Hirst and it’s been dubbed “wearable art.” The backpack is limited edition — as in, there are only 12 of these babies. Each bag features black patent, Nile crocodile leather and is adorned with various designs (like pills or gold circles) courtesy of Hirst.

Initially the price of the backpack was kept hush-hush and The Row declined to release that info. But when we called Just One Eye (the site selling the creations), they shared with PEOPLE.com the five-figure price tag.

But before you go thinking that absolutely no one is going to drop $55,000 on a backpack, consider this: The Olsens released a similar a purse for $39,000 earlier this year — and it sold out. Tell us: If you had all the money in the world, would you buy this backpack? If not, how much would you pay for it?

–Jennifer Cress


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Showing 79 comments

SA on

Interesting. I just read a piece in Bloomberg that said the value of Hirst’s work has dropped quite a bit.

Clara on

I don´t really like those backpacks at all.

Merry Christmas on

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irene on

Ridiculous plus it isn’t attractive.
For those who would spend for this- buy a nice one at a lower price and give the rest to charity!! I’m sure Louis Vuitton has some more reasonable than this if you want high end!

JJ on

A polka-dotted backback is “wearable art”? No thanks.

Journey on

Nile crocodiles killed so that an artist can embellish a piece of art with simulated drugs?

Mary on

Who would pay $55,000 for a bag with pills on it?

tara on

Aside from the absurdity of selling any fashion item for this price, I personally have never understood the desire for a backpack (regardless of the material it is made of) – the only people I can understand wearing a bag on their backs are school children (or hikers) that’s it – period. The only other way to carry a backpack (if you don’t want to carry it on your back and look like a hiker, is the small handle on top, which is very uncomfortable to hold (too small). So IF this type of price tag were acceptable, it should at least have been part of a completely different, usable bag (like a satchel, that can actually be held in the hand or crook of your elbow).

Normi on

H O R R I B L E ! ! ! !

Em13 on

Oh of course it will be sold out. I’m not even worried.

Would I buy it if I had the money? No. I hate this kind of backpack and I’m not a fan of crocodile leather.

Allie on

Not even if I was Bill Gates, would I pay
$55 000 for a BACKPACK. Shame on them for creating such a ridiculous item.

Philip on

Yep, in a country of out of work, financially struggling families, these clueless women design what the world really needs – A $55,000 BACKPACK?!!! Instead of buying such a thing, the narcissists who would do so should buy a far more practical one and then donate the remaining amount to a worth charity or a family in great need, or a food bank. A person who would buy such a thing should be embarrassed to be seen with it!

Bridgette on

Well I guess it’s ok to kill a few crocodiles if you can sell the purses you make out of them for $55k. Way to go MK and Ashley! I don’t remember what the last one was made of but I do remember reading a while back about some other crazy expensive bag of theirs and they caught a lot of criticism for using animal hyde then too. Clearly that did not hit a nerve with them.

Linda on

12/7/12′ – Fri. @9:11a.
Sorry, I am not buying that way too much $$$ but I rather if it is only 5 to 10 dollars that is it! However, that bags are not pretty enough anyway. Sorry to mention that. Another thing, you have to remember there are so many people who can’t afford that $$$ at all.

Mary on

That is the ugliest bag I have seen in a long time.

christina on

That backpack costs more than my house! Ridiculous!

pietra on

i’d buy the knock off for 20 bux

Carole on

”Who would pay $55,000 for a bag with pills on it?”

People who take pills

kenna on

Wow- My 8 year old could make a better design than that

ALT on

seriously: if someone was going to pay $55,000 for a designer backpack, I would hope it would be at an auction and the proceeds would go to a deserving charity!!! $55K would do a LOT for children who need coats or filling empty belly’s.

jean hasser on

why all the fuss over the expiring Bush tax breaks? These extravagances are as insane as the U.s.A.. military complex and its spending policies and the greedy wall street enterprise..

My Thoughts on

Looking at those backpacks, I only have one word… GAUDY

Aimee Nau on

It’s tasteless due to the fact that one of them was with Heath Ledger when he died from the accidental overdose.

Sophia on

That’s shameful! That’s how my it cost me to go through graduate school…much better investment than dead animal hide.

thecarpetbaggernyc on

Reblogged this on thecarpetbaggernyc.

Cassie on

Absolutely Rediculous

EPS on

Just one more reason to not like these two. Total lackf compassion for other living creatures. Animals were not put on this earth to be used in this manner. You two are shameless.

Valerie Payton on

They should be ashamed, in todays economy …… U G H!!!!!

powerhouse on

In the hard economic times we live in…lets just hand over more money to two women who could feed a small country with the bank accounts they already have..discusting..and we wonder why the stock market crashed….

OhHappyDay! on

Ridiculous! What is the damn purpose of a $50,000 backpack? Utterly R I D I C U L O U S !!!!!

Joanne on

Waste of money

little Tx on

OK he’s my thought. I love the twins but….. this is silly! People that will spend this much on a backpack have more $$$ than brains. Just sayin

Karin on

Pills????? Really!

Bellaboo on

Is this some sort of therapeutic art project for Mary-Kate? This is all sorts of tacky after what happened to her really good “friend” Heath Ledger. Not cool at all.

sylvia on

Absolutely not! There is a man near San Francisco that makes leather bags that are so gorgeous. And that is where I buy my bags. Anyone who has the kind of money that can spend $55,000 on a bag should donate an equal amount to a charity.

Jess on

Ewwww. Just what they would create. . . A creation that demonstrates their addiction

guest on

There is only one word to describe this-RIDICULOUS!

tatianafromitaly on

Horrible and vulgar price, the backpack is in dubiously good taste …Perhaps a few “noveaux riche” will buy it otherwise, I will stick to my Birkin from HERMES…

Kathyanna on

This is seriously ridiculous! 55,000 for a backpack with pills?! No thank you! It would be worth it if they would donate 1/2 of the profit to some type of charity or something…

AJ on

I actually think those look kinda cheap.

Amy on

This actually makes me want to cry. I volunteer at a homeless shelter and the residents carry every single thing they own in a backpack, and the ones who are not lucky enough to have a backpack carry their meager possessions in plastic bags they find in the garbage. $55,000 would buy a whole lot of $25 backpacks for people who desperately need them. I would like to have a heart to heart conversations with these two young ladies and expose them to this reality.

kristen on

I would pay money for them to let the crocs live!

whatever on

didn’t she help kill Heath L? They think it’s cute to put a bunch of pills on a backpack

Lindsey on


Elizabeth on


Like I want to wear the hide of an animal skinned alive and who died so those two clueless twits can make a buck. People, we have to stand up and say enough!

john the baptist on

I would probably pay $10 for that backpack, and that’s only if I didn’t have any other bags available.

B on

I would not buy this bag for $1.
How utterly RIDICULOUS.

And to the one going on about salvation down there… you know you’re on People.com, right? Are you lost?

Click on my name above, or Google “hysterically ever after” to read my blog about motherhood x 3, postpartum depression and all the ups and downs that come along with it!

Gina on

What is this world coming to? I would invest that money!

Lizzy on

I would spend fifty-five cents on those horrible things.

Lizzy on


Kelly on

I don’t take exception with the price tag, as those blessed with money are not usually blessed with the know how to manage that money. I take great exception with the fact that one of these bags is adorned with “pills.” We have a rampant problem in this country with the abuse of prescription drugs, so I don’t feel its ok to advertise pills as art.

guest on

@philip I agree!!

Greeneyez on

I dont care if i am a multi millionaire I would never drop 55G on a back pack. Why would anyone pay for pills on a back pack..I feel badly for any moron who spends money on this garbage<To kill any kind of amimal for this use is discusting.

itsallgoodnroanoke on

I want to meet the 55,000 fools that buy this! LOL Can’t wait!

Julie on

Seriously? A bag with pills on it? Who came up with that lame idea? My 7 year old daughter could come up with a better idea for wearable art than pills. Is it just me or do I see a potential law suit coming on them in their near future?

Kel on

SHAME ON THEM! This is a HORRIBLE waste of money, they could at least donate the profits…smh.

kp08 on

I really think that this article did them a disservice by not mentioning that this is for charity. All proceeds are being donated to UNICEF.

Samantha on

If I had this backpack, I’d throw it on the shelf in my closet with the rest of my purses and tote bags. Total waste of money. Sarcastically here: the one with the pills … I wonder what that implies?

Samantha on

With regard to ALL proceeds from the sale of these backpacks going to charity .. not true. Here are the facts: “In the only related good news, a portion of the proceeds from the ridiculously overpriced backpacks will go to UNICEF. However, how much is at the discretion of Hirst. So, one penny could be donated, or thousands. It’s impossible to know. But when you sell a bag for $55,000 a pop, it does make you look a little less greedy when you throw a few bucks to charity. If only they had been feeling charitable to the crocodiles.”

Taylor on

Its just plain sad. Lets ignore the disaster hurricane sandy created, ignore the starving children in this country and abroad, and all the mojor problems of the world. 55,000 dollars could be a house for someone.. it could feed hundreds if not thousands of families.. instead.. lets buy a backpack!

IVY on

Ok when I find pills in my purse that fell out of its container….that’s art? Dude I’m a genius. I owe myself $55,000.

deebaby on

Absolute dreck – both the backpack and it’s designers.

myriam Bryks-Fuchs on

i would not pay anything for this
people can live a year on $55,000.00

Donna Glaser on

Surely this must be a joke? Please, someone tell me this is a joke?

donna on

they are genius, and whoever buys them are less than genius

Pearl on

I don’t have the money to buy it.. I probably would not buy it if I did have the money..but I think it is absolutely beautiful!! I am sure it will sell out fast.

Mandy on

Damien Hirst is a hack, this backpack is just another one of his rediculous and overpriced pieces of “artwork.”

Tracey on

It would be great if all of the proceeds from the sale of these 12 backbacks could go towards multiple charitable organizations, then imagine the possibilities…….

amy kabisch on

YUCK!!! Not if I had all the money in the world.

maggie on

Yeah – Right — I’m sure there is a HUGE market for that lovely accessory

Amy on

That’s roughly the amount I received in legal settlement a few years ago. To think I could have had this lovely backpack! How terribly sad am I to have to admit that I squandered it on a house, graduate school tuition and car repairs.

Anne on

If I had all the money in the world, I’d hire a decent editor for this magazine’s online forum.

WiddoMouse on

Purchase a $55 back pack and give the remaining $54,945 to a charity that feeds hungry children. Everybody wins.

Ali on

Carole – I take a healthy amount of pills just to be able to stand upright and I wouldn’t be caught DEAD in that thing!!!

Lisa D'Ambrosio on

Hopefully people who can spend this much on a backpack are giving plenty to charity …

aja on

Who would pay $55,000 for a backpack you ask. Well, if the backpack was covered in laxative pills LeAnn Rimes would buy it!

Lisa on

$55k on a bag is a bit extreme for me especially on a backpack!!! I rather buy a couple of Hermes or Chanel.

l on

they both SUCK<BIG TIME!!!!

Nikki on

I am a fashion fanatic, but seriously; Who cares????


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