The Roy family and their elite inner circle employ a strict policy of stealth wealth gatekeeping. Interlopers become instant targets for not adhering to the invisible set of sartorial rules the Waystar Royco crew follows.
Enter the Hall of Fame takedown Tom Wambsgans lobbed at the tragically middle-class date Greg Hirsch brought to Logan Roy’s (played by Brian Cox) birthday party in episode 1 of season 4. The young woman’s crime? Bringing a tote-sized, logo-explicit Burberry bag.
“[…] she’s brought a ludicrously capacious bag,” Wambsgans says. “What’s even in there, huh? Flat shoes for the subway? Her lunch pail? I mean, Greg, it’s monstrous. It’s gargantuan. You could take it camping. You could slide it across the floor after a bank job.” He’s offended just by being in her presence.
Costume designer Matland explained the sartorial choice in an interview with The Ringer. “We wanted her to look like she didn’t fit in, whatever was going to make her stand out in the crowd. And in this crowd, anything that was too present, too obvious was going to get her kicked out of this house.”
Choosing a bag with Burberry’s conspicuous plaid print was intentional. “We knew that [the bag] had to define what someone who is, let’s say, middle class, might aspire to help tell their story that they are moving on up. She carries this bag because she thinks it makes her look important and it backfires. We knew it had to have some sort of logo, and we didn’t want the logo to be so rarefied that she wouldn’t be able to buy it. So our goal was to drop it down to her standards of what she thinks is the most glorious and refined — but it isn’t.”
It is worth noting that the bag in question retails for over $2,800. It is an expensive bag from an iconic, legacy luxury brand that most of us would consider a privilege to own, but not the Roys and those in their .0001% orbit. To them, it’s worthy of sneers and shame. The bag itself isn’t a metaphor for gauche taste, but rather it serves as a reminder of the cruelty and callousness of the Roy family and their associates.