Hairpin turn: how a Miu Miu hair clip went from being ridiculed to selling out

At the end of April, Italian fashion label Miu Miu went viral again, this time for its hair clips. The most discussed patent leather version of the hairpin will set you back 3,250 RMB (448.95 USD) if you buy it in China and costs 420 USD Stateside. Compared to the diminutive size, netizens joked: “Do you gain immortality with it?”, treating it like a video game item. However, like almost always, the ridicule does not seem to faze luxury buyers.

On Weibo, China’s Twitter equivalent, the topic “Miu Miu’s 3250 RMB hair clip sold out” (#miumiu3250元发钱卖断货#) landed at number 21 on the Hot Search list with 48.77 million views. According to reports, out of the 12 colourways for the patent leather version, only the black and red are currently in stock while all 9 colourways for the lambskin version are now out of stock. The viral topic also brought back discussion of the 5,600 USD embroidered silk and wool panties, which broke the internet last November.

From Burberry’s hot water bottle to Balenciaga’s hairpin and tape bracelet, luxury brands often make headlines on Chinese social media for the slightest of things. In fact, it is usually the smaller accessories that, paired with the pricing, shock netizens.

It would seem this kind of mock controversy serves as user-generated awareness for brands. The blinged-out panties launched many articles around the brand last year. It also coincided with Miu Miu’s revenue growing 89% year-on-year (YOY) globally in Q1 2024, with 233 million EUR (250.75 million USD) in earnings. This helped its parent group Prada gain a 16.5% YOY growth while LVMH and Kering faced a decline. Although it might not have been its strategy, for the brand that aims mostly at the younger audiences, going viral has certainly been instrumental for the growth of Miu Miu.


Join our newsletter