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Prada is Selling a £340 Paper Clip – And People Are Mad About It

Prada’s 6.5cm ‘sleek money clip with engraved lettering’ costs a hefty £340, and is made from 925-carat silver.

Buyers can add an extra smack of wealth to their cash. Credit: Prada

Clippy is no longer the web’s most offensive paper clip. Nearly two decades after Microsoft axed the leery animation, social media users are directing their pitchforks elsewhere. That is, straight towards the relaunched Prada ‘money clip’. 

Designed by the sleek Italian fashion house, Prada’s ‘sleek money clip with engraved lettering’ costs a hefty £340. Its assets? Well, the 6.5cm clip is made from 925-carat silver and carries the infamous Prada logo. Presumably, silver makes it sturdy – good for clutching cash. And, naturally, the branding does a fair bit of talking. 

£340 is more than 1% of the average household disposable income in the UK. WHSmith sells 200 silver-coloured paper clips for £2.99, online and in-store. 

A WHSmith paper clip costs a startling 99.996% less than a Prada money clip. Credit: WHSmith website.

Unsurprisingly, such drastic up-marketing of stationery has raised many an eyebrow. One X-user writes, ‘If you ever feel stupid, just remember someone spent $400 on a Prada engraved paperclip…’ 

Another replies, ‘I like that you can sell scrappy fashion to rich people by just upping the price.’ 

Some commentators, however, have no qualms with the product nor the price tag. ‘Prada’s $400 paper-clip-shaped money clip is making a statement,’ Wisdom Quotient claims. ‘Luxury at its quirkiest!’  

American designer Vigil Abloh collaborated with Jacob & Co. for his spin on workplace resources. Credit: Jacob & Co website.

Aggrandized stationery is, in fact, hardly a groundbreaking addition to the designer accessory scene. Virgil Abloh stole headlines in 2020 for his Office Supplies collection. The Off-White CEO adapted the paper-clip shape into 18-karat gold earrings, bracelets, necklaces and rings. A single bracelet was priced at £35,217. 

“A paperclip is less than five cents. Done in diamonds, it exudes a different value, but it offers the same intrigue to the brain when you look at it,” Abloh told British Vogue. “I love the conundrum. I love that your brain can ping-pong between values based on form and materiality. That’s why I call it an object of art rather than a piece of fashion.” 

Balenciaga creative director Demna Gvasalia is also partial to normcore designs, triggering DHL-gate by using a modified delivery service uniform in the Vetements Spring/Summer 2016 show. Fashionistas swiftly bought up the £185 mock-DHL top at most major retailers. In a bizarre snapshot, DHL chairman Ken Allen can even be seen sporting the Vetements T-shirt. 

Gvasalia’s collective designed DHL-inspired jumpers, T-shirts and bottoms. Credit: Shutterstock/ Hadrian.

Designers parodying working-class tools and uniforms do, of course, come with ideological baggage. As Rachel Tashjian writes for GQ, luxury shoppers tend to be ‘people who have a lot of money, and a lot of time to spend it. Rich people.’ For such an elite demographic to wear stain-free, diamond-studded renditions of lower-class resources is acutely uncomfortable. 

People have, however, been quick to chuckle and gawk at the Prada paperclip on social media. X and Threads discussions on the subject are riddled in cry-laugh emojis. There is now even an @pradapaperclip Instagram, though it is lacking slightly in the follower department. 

Written By

Penultimate-year undergraduate at the University of St Andrews, studying MA English and Modern History

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