Thai officials deny Balenciaga copied common Thai plastic bag

Coconuts Bangkok

Posted at Mar 10 2016 04:20 PM

A bag from Balenciaga Fall/Winter 2016 collection versus the classic Thai plastic bag commonly used by merchants.Photo from Coconuts Bangkok

Following widespread mockery and memes by Thai netizens who noticed similarities between Balenciaga’s posh designer bag and Thailand’s humble shopping bag, the Department of Intellectual Property Thailand said Tuesday that the fashion house did not copy the design of the Thai plastic bag.

After Balenciaga debuted its Fall/Winter 2016 collection at Paris Fashion Week on Sunday, photos of its colorful striped totes hitting the runway gave a lot of amusement to Thai netizens who said the resemblance of the new “It Bag” to their common plastic bag was uncanny.

The plastic bag is commonly used by merchants to store wholesale goods, as often seen at JJ Market, Platinum Shopping Mall and Chinatown. The bag is also associated with rural life.

To Thai netizens the difference between the two is also the price point: the Balenciaga bag reportedly costs almost THB100,000.

Department of Intellectual Property Thailand director-general Nantawan Sakunkarn, who carried the cheap Thai bag to a press conference Tuesday, said the case was not considered a copyright violation because the material is obviously different.

Photo from Coconuts Bangkok

She added Thai travelers going to Europe did not need to worry about their cheap plastic bag being mistaken for a forbidden fake bag as the two products are not even close, Thai PBS and Sanook reported.

This article was originally published on Coconuts Bangkok.