Louis Vuitton with its over 100 years of history remains one of the most important luxury brands today. In the second half of the 19th Century, as travel by ships, trains, and automobiles became a mainstream part of life, luggage, and accessories needed to be designed to accommodate these new modes of travel. By 1854 Louis Vuitton was designing luggage and accessories specifically for travel. During this time LV luggage was considered practical and durable due to its waterproof exterior as well gaining notoriety as a status symbol for travelers.
In 1896 trunks with the classic brown and tan Louis Vuitton monogram began to be produced. However, it would be in the 20th Century that the brand would continue to expand its popularity, with commercial aviation there would be the continued need for LV luggage and other new accessories. From the mid-20th century onwards clothing and new handbag innovations would continue to delight customers. To this day Louis Vuitton handbags and accessories typically retain 80% or more of their value, with limited edition bags sometimes fetching higher than retail value.
When considering which Louis Vuitton bag to purchase whether you are a seasoned collector or this is your first major investment piece you should look at investing in these iconic LV bags that continue to remain the heart and soul of Louis Vuitton.
1. Louis Vuitton Neverfull
This tote bag was first introduced in 2007 and remains one of Louis Vuitton's most popular bags of all time. This bag is produced in several sizes and materials. Some materials that the bag can be typically be found in are Damier (Ebene and Azur), Epi leather, and the classic coated canvas monogram. In addition, there have been limited editions and special artist's collaborations throughout the production of this bag. The durability and quality of materials make this an excellent bag to use in daily life for the modern woman. Also, typically the Neverfull retains up to 80% or more of their value, with special editions reselling for more than retail value.
2. Louis Vuitton Alma
The Alma handbag can trace its inspiration back to the 19th Century linen travel bags. It was originally designed by Gaston-Louis Vuitton in 1934 and originally called the Louis Vuitton Squire Bag. However, in 1955 the name 'Alma' was coined for the Alma Bridge, which connects two Paris neighborhoods. You can find the LV Alma handbag in Epi leather, patent leather, Damier Ebene, the classic monogram, and the monogram vernis leather and throughout its production has been produced in various sizes from BB to XXL.
3. Louis Vuitton Noé
The Noé handbag was originally created by Gaston-Louis Vuitton in 1932 when a champagne producer asked him to create a bag that could hold 5 bottles of champagne. Since then it has remained a popular bucket-bag style produced in a range of sizes and materials from Damier Azur to Epi leather. In spring 2017 the Néonoé was introduced as an updated version of the Néo.
4. Louis Vuitton Speedy
The Speedy was originally in 1930 as a reinterpretation of the Keepall bag and was considered the first handbag created by Louis Vuitton for everyday use. You can find this bag today in many different materials and sizes from the Speedy 25 to the Speedy 40. Overall the style and shape have remained unchanged for the past 89 years.
When thinking about taking the plunge and deciding to purchase a designer purse you should think about the history of the brand--Louis Vuitton has been around for 165 years and continues to create new amazing on-trend bags while still keeping at its core the iconic bags we discussed above. You should also think about the quality and durability of LV bags, the monogram coated canvas was initially used on Louis Vuitton trunks as a waterproof solution for travel. Another important quality of LV bags is that they typically retain their value on the secondary market or in some instances with special/limited editions resell for more than retail value.
When you decide to purchase a designer handbag it is important to educate yourself about the brand and bag you wish to purchase, especially if you are buying a bag secondhand. Unfortunately, due to Louis Vuitton's popularity, there are bags out there that could be not authentic. The top points you should look at when evaluating a LV bag are the stamping, hardware, and the date code.
1. Louis Vuitton Stamping
This means you should look at how Louis Vuitton is stamped onto the bag. The tail of the L should be very short and Os should be very round and look bigger than the L, the Ts should look to be almost touching. Overall the lettering should be thin, clear and crisp.
Authentic hardware should be in high-quality metals and have clear and crisp stamped lettering. A lot of fake Louis Vuitton bags will have poor quality hardware or even have hardware manufactured in plastic. Keep in mind that when purchasing second hand, authentic hardware will show some wear like scratches depending on age and overall care of the item.
3. Date Code
Another key thing to look for inside LV bags is for the date code, all contemporary handbags from the early 1980s onwards should have date codes either stamped onto the interior lining or on an interior tag. The code will tell you the place it was manufactured as well as the year.
Why buy your LV bag at a second-hand store and not a Louis Vuitton store? If you aren't able to pay retail price for a new Louis Vuitton bag you can find great pre-loved bags for less than you would pay at a retail store. Also, Louis Vuitton does not put their items on sale, therefore, not only can you possibly find a rare or special bag, but you typically find bags for less than retail.