Balenciaga and Bang & Olufsen release Speaker Bag that plays music
Fashion brand Balenciaga has created a limited-edition bag in collaboration with Danish audio brand Bang & Olufsen that it describes as "part bag, part Bluetooth sound system".
The Speaker Bag, which was shown at Balenciaga's 51st couture fashion show in Paris, can be used as a portable speaker or a traditional purse.
"This innovative device is part bag, part Bluetooth sound system," said Balenciaga. "It can be used as a portable speaker, a functional purse, or both, as a true hybrid product."
During the show, models including American celebrity Kim Kardashian and British supermodel Naomi Campbell carried the bag along the catwalk while it played music to the audience.
The accessory has a solid aluminium body, which holds a built-in portable speaker and an inside compartment wrapped in Italian lambskin leather.
The limited-edition collection comprises 20 bags, each of which was milled from a block of solid aluminium before being pearl-blasted, anodised and hand-polished at Bang & Olufsen's aluminium factory 5 in Struer, Denmark, to give it a satin finish.
Crafted to resemble the sculptural form of Balenciaga's handbags, the bag was then sent to Balenciaga's studio in Italy where its interior was completed.
The front of the Speaker Bag features a pattern of speaker holes through which music can be played, and the bag can be opened at the back and used to store personal belongings. Sound can be adjusted via a set of controls under the handle.
Balenciaga and Bang & Olufsen's logos have been lasered into the top of each Speaker Bag, which comes in black or silver.
"The front of the bag features Bang & Olufsen's signature portable speaker styling; a perfect pattern of speaker holes meticulously placed to ensure the best sound quality without compromising on a sleek aesthetic," explained Bang & Olufsen.
"Behind the striking aluminium body lays a powerful portable speaker, offering up to 18 hours of battery life and multipoint connectivity."
According to Bang & Olufsen, the bags aim to blur the boundaries between speakers and bags with "an avant-garde, boundary-pushing design".
"Although the speaker bag is a bespoke creation with an avant-garde, boundary-pushing design, the fundamentals of sound quality and customer experience is considered at every point," it said.
"It is a true hybrid that pushes the perceptual boundaries of design and combines the worlds of fashion and technology in newfound ways."
Models at the Balenciaga show also wore striking, futuristic black face shields made in collaboration with car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz that hid their identity.
Made from ink-tinted, coated polyurethane, the face masks were hand-moulded to fit the wearer's face and engineered to optimise airflow.
Bang & Olufsens has created a number of products that aim to be as unobtrusive as possible, including a TV that can be folded away to "reduce its visual presence" and a sound system made of hexagonal speakers and acoustic panels that can be arranged in different layouts on a wall.
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