At the risk of generalising, I think it’s fair to suggest that tradies aren’t typically known for showing up to work in the most expensive threads. I’m not sure exactly how much your standard hi-vis sets you back, but I can’t imagine it’s much more than a few bucks. However, few have asked the question; is there a market for the secretly fashionable tradie who wants to flex on all his co-workers on site? We don’t know the answer to that, but luxury fashion label Balenciaga are apparently keen to find out.
The Balenciaga Reversible Parka is the Spanish brands’ attempt to appeal to the inner fashionista in the builder/warehouseman with a bit of extra cash to throw around. The jacket doesn’t exactly scream luxury at first glance; in fact, it kind of just looks like any old hi-vis jacket you might be able to pick up at Yarntons, or secondhand at your local opp-shop.
However, it does have a few features that make it a bit more desirable than your average. The jacket is made from a ‘ripstop’ material which, as the name would suggest, is specifically manufactured to prevent tears and rips in the fabric that tradespeople or labourers might be more susceptible to. It comes with a foldable hood, which is nice for anyone putting in yakka outdoors in the unpredictable New Zealand winter. It’s also reversable, which technically means you’re kind of getting two jackets for the price of one (we’ll get to that price in a moment), which is a nice little bonus.
Now, about that price. For the pleasure of wearing a somewhat more durable and more comfortable Balenciaga hi-vis jacket, you only need to front up a modest $5,625 AUD. Yep, you read that correctly, a cool five grand for a hi-vis with some nice inner lining and a big Balenciaga logo on the back. Still, no one will know that you spend your entire holiday budget on a work jacket when you’re wearing it, but everyone will know you’re the flashiest bloke on site.
Not a tradie but want to get amongst the trend of Balenciaga’s absurdly expensive versions of items you can buy locally for under $50? Why not have a look at their $2,000 NZD “messenger backpack” (Balenciaga’s take on the UberEats driver satchel)? Or how about the $3,000 Balenciaga lunchbox (looks a bit like a chunky briefcase for children)? Say what you want about them, but Balenciaga is practically a establishing themselves as the premier name in the industry of ‘absurdly expensive blue-collar fashion’.
All images courtesy of Balenciaga.