MSCHF: arty genius or business?


MSCHF has shaken up the rules of fashion and online shopping by staging stunts around increasingly WTF products.

The New York-based art collective was all over the most cutting-edge fashion websites’ newsfeeds in February 2021: MSCHF cut up ultra-luxury Hermès Birkin bags to make Birkenstock shoes that sold for up to 76,000 dollars each. Fashionistas snapped them up and purists just snapped at the thought of destroying the iconic handbag.

With a blend of fashion and contemporary performance art, MSCHF gets tongues wagging drop after drop: feats include a pair of Nikes whose soles were filled with holy water that sneaker addicts went wild for and patchwork collector t-shirts made of several collector items by Off White, Kith, Stussy and Supreme.

What’s the idea? “Structured chaos” according to its CEO Gabriel Whaley: “A brand of what? I don’t know,” he recently told Business Insider. Being a company kills the magic. We’re trying to do stuff that the world can’t even define.”

A mini website for each drop seeps us in MSCHF’s absurd world. What’s the latest slice of madness? A body spray for the mainstream brand Axe in stylish packaging reminiscent of Chanel No 5. It couldn’t be more ironic but the crossover worked: it sold out in a matter of hours.

Is it a fast fashion by-product or militant happening?

Is it a drift into an ever-excessive fashion world or the return of exceptional pieces to put an end to fast fashion? Opinions differ. The brand puts its own spin on shopping and jumps on the exclusivity fashion bandwagon to satisfy the desires of millennials who love a bit of quirky humour and irony.

What’s the cherry on the cake? The brand has over 25,000 followers on its Instagram account. There’s only one photo on its account (of the latest drop to date on the MSCHF website) and a basic bio: “Do not follow us”.

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