This artist makes fake Birkin bags that weigh 100 pounds

Here’s a fake handbag that’s even more substantial than the real thing. Artist Barbara Ségal sculpts extraordinarily accurate stone copies of some of the most expensive handbags in the world, including Chanel quilted bags and even Hermès Birkins. The only difference between the art and the real thing? Ségal’s weigh 100 pounds.

“[Stone] transforms it into an almost religious item of worship,” Ségal told the Post. “It’s turning [the Birkin] into a historical relic.”

Some women who carry them certainly feel that way. A Birkin bag sold in May for more than $300,000 in Christie’s in Hong Kong, making it the most expensive handbag ever sold (the record had previously been held by a $298,000 bag sold through the site Privé Porter). From the Hermès store, bags typically range in price from $12,000 to $200,000.

Much like their “real” equivalents, Ségal’s bags are also not cheap: they start at $45,000 and run up to $65,000.

But these works of art are arguably worth their price. Each of them are just as exquisitely wrought as an Hermès Birkin, and Ségal takes around three months to make each one. She shapes every element of them so that they are perfectly accurate — from the locks to the leather folds.

On her website, Ségal says the project is an exploration of “society’s long-standing obsession with status symbols and my own ambivalent relationship with them.  The stone purses underscore the inherent contradiction of man’s, and woman’s, never-ending quest for ephemeral prizes.”

At least her art, like the Birkin, will never go out of style. [NYP]