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Drugs & Health Blog

Fashion Inspired by Rx Drugs? Mary Kate and Ashley's Pill Bag

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Image from JUST ONE EYE.

Sara Bellum

Child actresses turned luxury fashion designers Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen recently announced the release of patent Nile crocodile skin backpacks, some of which are covered with fake prescription drugs, as part of their fashion line.

These limited-edition backpacks—only 12 were made—were designed by renowned artist Damien Hirst and will cost an astronomical $55,000 each.

Prescription Drugs as Fashion?

While the price might be outrageous, what about the message? Prescription and over-the-counter drugs are already among the most commonly abused drugs by 12th graders—does this bag glamorize the problem?

In an interesting twist, the retailer has said that a portion of the proceeds from these bags will be donated to UNICEF—a children’s rights organization that works on issues such as immunizations, childhood development, gender rights, and HIV/AIDS transmission around the world—but it is unclear how much will be donated.

What do you think? Fashion is about creativity and expressing one’s individuality, and in the world of couture and high fashion, designers like to push the envelope…so is this “fashion statement” from Mary Kate and Ashley enough to influence how someone thinks about drug abuse? Or, is a purse just a purse? Does the fact that a portion of the proceeds will go to charity influence your opinion?

For more information about prescription drug abuse, check out PEERx.

Comments posted to the Drugs & Health Blog are from the general public and may contain inaccurate information. They do not represent the views of NIDA or any other federal government entity.


I guess its good because some of the money is donated to a good cause but it sends out a message saying ''prescription pills are fashionable'' .I feel that its a bad idea,its just another way to advertise drugs.

Adding prescription drugs to a handbag is insensitive as well as disgusting. Thousands of parents are mourning the loss of their children due to prescription drugs. We have an epidemic in this country - prescription drugs to heroin. Every 19 minutes we lose someone to an overdose. I don't care if they give all the money to Unicef. This is a slap in the face to the parents who lost their children - and are fighting to bring awareness to the rest of America - about what is really going on in our neighborhoods.
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good fashion but think you should add mor details on the bag saying no to drugs im in a class called choices teachin kids not to do drugs write back NEW YORK YANKEES ROCK!!!!!!

Just awful simply awful!!!!!!!

for 55 thousand dollars those drugs better be good!

this is wierd

absolutley today and every day we are burying one of their generation because of these pills

Seriously? Looks like something a preschooler would design with the exception that a normal preschooler would have more sense than to promote drugs. Most children have a deeper concern for morality. What idiot would spend that kind of money on a bag anyway? Just donate to your favorite charity and pick a bag that matches your style. Now I suppose if you are an adict and are crying for help---buy the bag and best wishes on your recovery.

What an insensitive, money-mongering idea.

ugly bag
If there was a message attached to it promoting being against pre scription abse then I could see the point. But the price and message is insane.
I don't think the bag looks that bad (actually, it looks kinda cute), but I wouldn't buy it, not even if it was only $5.50 instead of $55,000. I think it's saying 'drugs are cool,' which is just ... no. I think it would be a little more tasteful to use candies. Candies are colourful, small, come in various sizes, and most people wouldn't shun you if popped 'em like candy... mainly because it IS candy... Should I decide I want something like this, I'm going to Walmart and gluing Mike&Ike's over a 4-dollar handbag. :P #PracticalCheapsake
Come on! Aren't there any socially responsible fashion companies anymore?!?
These bags display the insensitivity of these young women to the many young people who will take this as the acceptance to pop pills. They have had thier own problems along these lines. Surely they would be more thoughtful before introducing such a tasteless item irregardless of the cost to the world at large.
I totally agree.
This is not cool at all.
A purse is a purse. If you're not going to let it influence you good for you. It's their opinion on how to make their fashion.
I do not support this.It makes drug abuse look cool .