Iconic Bag in Focus: the Louis Vuitton Speedy

If you ask people who aren’t into handbags what luxury brands they know of, one of the first ones they will say – without missing a beat – is Louis Vuitton. It says a lot about the brand that even those who aren’t in the know are still aware of its name and perceive it as a luxury brand.  They wouldn’t be wrong – in fact, according to research firm Millward Brown, Louis Vuitton was the world’s most valuable luxury brand in 2014, beating out the likes of Hermes, Chanel, and Gucci.

It shouldn’t be surprising then that some of the most iconic bags come from Louis Vuitton.  Among the most recognizable handbags in existence is the LV Speedy, which was one of the first handbags for daily use that the fashion house released back in the 1930’s.  Prior to that, they were in the business of manufacturing luggage and travel bags but they later on expanded to include handbags (and other items).  Now, the Speedy is ever-present in Iconic Bag Lists (and rightfully so), and comes in a variety of sizes and materials.

What made the bag so popular?  How did its appeal stand the test of time?

The bag is virtually indestructible.  It’s water-proof, tear-proof, and scuff-proof.  LV started out as a travel bag and luggage manufacturer after all, so they know how to make durable bags that can survive the strains of traveling.  Its design is simple and functional – given the different sizes it comes in (25, 30, 35, and 40 – the numbers indicate the length in centimeters), there’s almost surely a Speedy for your needs.  It also comes in a number of materials and prints – monogram canvas, damier ebene canvas,  damier azur canvas, monogram multicolore canvas; it was once available in epi leather; a variation of the Speedy that comes with a strap was even released in recent years known as the Speedy Bandouliere (which also comes in leather).  To me, two of the biggest selling points of the bag are that it’s lightweight and carefree.

My Speedy 35 was one of my first designer purses.  Back then, I even thought of going one size bigger with a Speedy 40, but now, I think the opposite – if I were to buy a Speedy now, I might go with a Speedy 30 instead. My Mom’s is a Speedy 30 and I think it’s the perfect size for me at this point in my life.  That’s not saying I like my Speedy 35 any less – it’s still one of my most loved bags.  I liked it so much I ended up getting a wallet to match it (I know, I know). 😛

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I got mine monogrammed to give it a more personal touch.  I know that supposedly makes reselling harder, but I don’t sell my bags anyway so that’s not a problem. I’m actually a big fan of personalization, and I tend to put my initials or my name on whatever bags I can.

Even iconic bags have cons (perceived or real).  One of the complaints I’ve heard about the Speedy is the fact it’s so common and you can see it wherever you go; another one is the fact there are so many counterfeits out there, that people might think you’re carrying a fake even if you’re carrying the real deal.  I say this – I don’t buy my bags for other people –  I buy them for myself.  So I don’t care if people might think I’m carrying a fake – what matters is I know I’m carrying an authentic bag.  When the general public starts paying for my bags, that’s when I’ll have them dictate what bags I buy.  Until that day comes, their perception will not be a factor in my purchases. 🙂  Now, if the Speedy really just doesn’t appeal to you – then don’t buy it, of course. But if you really want it and the only reason you are not getting it is because of the aforementioned items regarding people’s perceptions of it which are seen as cons… try not to let those cloud your judgment, and go with what your heart tells you. 😉

This iconic bag has stood the test of time, and is considered a true classic now.  The Louis Vuitton Speedy is a piece worth having in any bag collector’s collection. Functional, durable, dependable, timeless and versatile – it is truly worthy of the title “icon”.

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