Spot the real Balenciaga bag, if you can

Wait, is that…?

When models strutted down the runway during Balenciaga's Fall/Winter 2016 show in Paris last Sunday (March 6), some were surprised to spot a familiar accessory hanging off their shoulders.

The colourful, oversized leather bags bore a striking resemblance to the iconic nylon canvas bags that we often see at markets across Southeast Asia.

Among Balenciaga's latest offerings, our favourite bag has to be the one with the blue, red, and white stripes.

Reminds you of middle-aged ladies hauling off their goods to sell at the flea market, doesn't it?

Meanwhile, amused Thai fashionistas have taken to social media to show off their 'designer bags'.

Many of them have struck poses with 'Sampheng bags,' recyclable bags named after a wholesale market in Bangkok's Chinatown.

Instead of dropping a few grand on one of Balenciaga's oversized tote bags, we think the similarly-sized Sampheng bag is a great deal at $4.

This does not seem to bode too well for designer Demna Gvasalia, who has just taken over the reins as Balenciaga's Creative Director from Alexander Wang in 2015.

However, it's not the first time a high fashion house has been 'inspired' by street culture.

Fashion writers in Asia were also quick to point out a resemblance to the same nylon canvas bags when Louis Vuitton presented checkered tote bags in its Spring/Summer 2007 collection.

So, will this become the next 'It' bag like the Balenciaga motorcycle bag?

We don't think so.

minlee@sph.com.sg