Mama Mia

This handbag is inspired by a year's worth of quarantine pasta meals

“Fuck it. It’s a handbag now.”

Nik Bentel

Here at Input, we are no strangers to wild bagsbe them real, entirely (and expensively) digital, or nightmarish... but it’s somewhat rare that we’ll come across a handbag that is as weird as it is desirable. That’s the case with conceptual artist and designer Nik Bentel’s upcoming “pasta handbag,” which manages to put a fresh spin on an extremely mundane, everyday object made even more mundane after a year-and-a-half’s worth of quarantine dining.

“Fuck it. It’s a handbag now” appears to be the accessory’s tagline, which, you know what? We agree: Fuck it. That rules.

Created by artist and designer, Nik Bentel, the pasta bag is somewhat self-explanatory, although actually seeing it is a necessity to truly get the full, starch-saturated effect. Bentel recounts that he came up with the idea after a year-and-a-half’s worth of quarantine-influenced meals while staring at his “100th bowl of penne pasta.”

Shared experience — “During the most brutal months of the pandemic, just about everyone had a similar experience of staring at the box of pasta, so why not try to reimagine the box’s purpose into something a little more exciting,” he explains.

Look, there’s no denying it — this is a pretty badass bag. Made from quality leather, the instantly recognizable Barilla design is printed on the bag using a UV printer, and features a bulky gold link chain and accents. Check out below for a better look, but mark your calendars: Bentel’s Barilla pasta bag will drop on August 11 at 10 a.m. ET in a run limited to 100 units priced at $159 each. After that, no more will be made, although Bentel notes this is part of his ongoing “storytelling projects” series which sees new releases every few weeks.

Is Barilla still canceled? — You might vaguely recall the weird, homophobic shitshow started by Barilla’s CEO back in 2013 when he randomly proclaimed that he would never depict LGBTQ+ pasta eaters in the company’s commercials, “not for lack of respect, but because we don’t agree with them,” which makes approximately zero sense, but okay.

In the fallout, however, it seems the company has genuinely made some large strides towards apologizing for its intolerant owner — spending of $5 million a year on inclusivity and diversity training, working with LGBTQ+ rights groups both in America and Italy, and hiring a chief diversity and inclusion officer. That said, you still don’t need to worry about giving the pasta giant any of your money if you don’t want to: Bentel’s pasta bag is explicitly “in no way affiliated with Barilla.”