I wonder how Spanish designer Cristóbal Balenciaga would have felt about this collaboration between the fashion house he started in 1919 and Bang & Olufsen; the two brands were the favorites of the royal families in their respective countries. This wouldn’t be the first collaboration between a high-end fashion house and audio manufacturer but the Balenciaga Speaker Bag actually makes sense and is something we can envision catching in a cafe along the French Riviera.
We’re pretty sure thieves would try their hand at liberating one from a table if the opportunity presented itself because this handbag doesn’t come without a hefty price tag.
Note: Instead of the usual PA system, the music for the show was actually provided by the runway models carrying the speaker bag.
Speaker and Handbag Merge
The speaker bag is crafted to resemble the sculptural form of Balenciaga’s other handbags. However, the speaker bag is both a fully functional bag and portable Bluetooth speaker, a new hybrid product that pushes the boundaries of design and combines the worlds of fashion and wearable technology in a new way.
From Bang & Olufsen’s CEO Kristian Tear “…Working with Balenciaga has been an incredible experience and will also shape how we drive products and experiences that will disrupt the technology market in the future”.
From Miku Silvanto, Bang & Olufsen’s Chief Design Officer: “This bag is a testament to what happens when two very special companies with an unparalleled heritage of craftsmanship join forces. Both design teams are dedicated to excellence, and I think we together created something unique…Couture is custom, exclusive, culture-creating, and an art of making by extremely skilled craftsmen. From our aluminum factory to Balenciaga’s atelier to an entirely remarkable product. You have to see, hear and feel it and we are so excited to show it today”.
Speaker Bag Product Design
Here are some of the product design elements in this limited production run:
- Each bag is milled from a block of solid aluminum, before being pearl-blasted, anodized, and hand-polished at Bang & Olufsen’s Factory 5 in Struer, Denmark, over a period of several days for the perfect satin finish.
- The one solid block of raw aluminum allows for continuous flow all the way from handle to base.
- The front of the Balenciaga I Bang & Olufsen Speaker Bag features Bang & Olufsen’s signature portable speaker styling.
- The speaker hole pattern is meticulously placed to ensure the best sound quality without compromising on a sleek aesthetic.
- Behind the aluminum body is a powerful portable speaker, offering up to 18 hours of battery life and multipoint connectivity.
- At the speaker bag’s rear, a door opens to reveal a sizeable compartment wrapped in Balenciaga’s Italian lambskin leather which is assembled by hand.
- The bag is finished with a set of speaker controls placed under the handle.
- Balenciaga and Bang & Olufsen logos are laser-etched into the top of each piece.
Note: Although a lot of design information has been made available, no information on additional operational features or speaker/amp specifications of the speaker system has been provided.
Price & Availability
Only 20 pieces of the speaker bag will be available to purchase at the newly opened Balenciaga Couture store in Paris will be available. If you have to ask what the price is you probably can’t afford it.
Related reading: Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 Portable Bluetooth Speaker Review