I recently realised that I really didn't have a sort of everyday handbag that I could rely on any more. Having been a fan of the gianormous, hardware-laden, weighs-a-ton "it" bags that were so popular in the late 90s and early 2000s, as fashion (and therefore our collective taste in bags) has changed, I had abandoned most of my huge bags. Instead, I resorted to using my ripped to shreds leather tote that I use for work, or my off white Dooney & Bourke shopper, which is really only appropriate at certain times of the year. So this year for my birthday, I decided that my present to myself would be a new bag.
Enter this, my new Louis Vuitton Speedy bag. I freely admit here that I had absolutely no intention of buying a Louis Vuitton. Although I have always been a fan of the Vuitton Speedy bag (in theory anyway) for it's practicality and classic design, I just really wasn't very tuned-in to the Vuitton brand, thinking of it as something people bought who wanted to be seen with a logo bag. However, having to really think hard about what I needed in a bag, combined with a very well-timed long-term freelance writing job for a handbag retailer (which forces me to research all things handbag, I quickly changed my tune. Several of my writing assignments have now sent me over to Louis Vuitton for research purposes, both on the net and in person, and that is really what clued me in to the history and tradition that is behind the design house. I suppose the fact that they have been around since 1859 should have clued me in, but well...some of us are stubborn and opinionated once we've made up our minds. Anyway, when the pay check from my handbag freelance gig came in, I used it to buy my Speedy bag. It seemed only right.
Having always been a bit of a leather bag snob, a coated canvas bag has been a bit of a revelation. As it turns out, coated canvas is at least as hard-wearing as leather, if not more so. Even better yet, it's incredibly lightweight, so you're less likely to get that heavy handbag shoulder ache. I chose their classic Damier canvas, largely because the pattern is one of their original designs (revived in 1996 for their 100th anniversary - I like a bit of history), and to be honest, I am still a bit logo-shy. The LV logo stuff wasn't made until later on in the Vuitton manufacturing timeline, ironically as an attempt to quash counterfeiting. I think its safe to editorialise a bit here and say that it didn't work.
So here it is. Ta-Daa. The Louis Vuitton Speedy 25 Bandouliére in Damier canvas. I decided to go with the Bandouliére (shoulder strap version) because I really like the idea of having the hands-free option, and I'm sick and tired of tucking a bag under my armpit, 90s style. Plus, it looks really cute when worn cross-body, and the strap is adjustable, so you can put it exactly where you want it. The bottom line is, I was totally wrong in my assumptions about the brand, and I am in love with this bag...which is good, because it needs to last me for a long, long time.
If you want to read a brief history of the Vuitton Brand, there are some excellent overview articles online. Try this one from Vogue, or try the Louis Vuitton website.
Make it Happen.