Irina Shayk’s Messy Birkin Is One of the Biggest Fashion Statements of the Season

Miu Miu spring 2024.

Courtesy of Miu Miu.

In the tradition of Jane Birkin’s life-long schlepper, or Mary-Kate Olsen’s red wine-stained Birkin, an overcrowded bag is a power move. It says: “I am not overly precious about my belongings, regardless of how much I spent on them. My life is bursting with business and purpose.” I imagine Miuccia Prada was poking fun at fashion’s supposed lean into “real” clothing with all this. After all, you don’t get more relatable than shoving a couple of extra knickers into the bottom of your bag, “just in case.”


Some models were sent out with orange, blue and yellow plasters on their toes. Others carried handbags stuffed with rogue heels and spare pairs of underwear. On Miu Miu’s spring 2024 catwalk, these were the effects of a life well-lived. Of the daily chaos that collects around being the kind of working woman who does her makeup on the train and logs onto Zoom five minutes late.

It was an “embracing of unique characters,” as Miuccia Prada put it in the accompanying show notes, and “the joy of life.” Both the designer and her stylist Lotta Volkova understand the inherent glamour of being a time-poor twenty-something papering over the cracks of a hedonistic weekend with a pack of Compeeds. So too does Irina Shayk: her beat-up Birkin is overspilling because she has a life. Such a life, in fact, that she has somehow packed a live animal into the bag.

Balenciaga spring 2024.

Courtesy of Balenciaga.