Is This Any Way To Treat A Birkin?

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Some people may go great lengths to get their hands on a piece of luxury, and others may even settle for a less-than-luxurious option, just for the sake of a label. However, photographer Tyler Shields takes a different extreme approach to high-end accessories. In his latest project, Shields and girlfriend Francesca Eastwood (yes, Clint's daughter), showed a red, croc Birkin bag who's boss with a "$200 chainsaw and 4 dollars of gasoline," according to Shields' web site.

This is not the first time that the photographer has gone a little pyro on a coveted luxury item; he's also destroyed a pair of Louboutins with fire and a chainsaw — his ammo of choice, we presume — for another photo project. The pictures of the Hermès blaze are certainly provocative, but we're not sure if we'd be able to light the match ourselves.

On one hand, we really applaud the artist's effort to show that sometimes bags and shoes (even Hermès) are just things. And we see his larger point that even the most sought-after luxury goods are not holier than thou. However, considering the sky-high price tags attached here, destroying a Birkin bag is still extremely wasteful — even if you're the kind of person who really does feel like money is no object.

Jump over to TylerShields.com to view the entire collection of photos from the fiery shoot, and tell us if this kind of destructive behavior is careless, particularly in this economic climate, or if this example of a chic casualty is just the kind of message we all occasionally need as a reminder of the real cost of materialism.

Photo: Via Tyler Shields