Saturday, January 10, 2009

What I Have Against Louis Vuitton

(Screengrab via NOTCOT)
After this last week full of  stalking mentions of LV's new Stephen Sprouse collection, I was left wondering why I felt so detached from and unattracted to the line despite my neon and street art leanings. While what seemed like everyone else and their moms were screeching their desire for the bags covered in faux graffiti, how was it that I didn't give a flying fuck beyond the curiosity I have for collaborations? You see, I've never bought into the Louis Vuitton brand because I've bought into it, ya dig?

I was born lacking the gene that makes one crave "It" bags, but one day in October of 2006, I fell for a wallet. It couldn't be just any wallet, of course; it had to be the $275 coin purse from Louis Vuitton's limited "Groom" collection, hearkening back to the days of the Grand Tour and commemorating LV's old bellboy ad and of the 1920s. The artwork was TinTin-ish, which attracted me, but it was the challenge of the motto which clinched my obsession: "Montre-moi tes bagages, je te dirai qui tu es," which translates to "Show me your luggage and I'll tell you who you are."

Successfully seduced by the vintage, first-class appeal of the piece, I headed straight into Louis Vuitton on Michigan Ave in Chicago and plonked down $275 + 9.25% tax for something which didn't even fit paper money (I tried, it always got stuck in the zipper).

I stared at the disk of my undoing for 13 days, and on the 14th day I took advantage of LV's 2-week return policy and returned that shit. Not quite. I exchanged it for the $200 yellow credit-card holder of the same collection, even though the orange of the coin purse held more appeal. At least, however, I could use this one.

So I proceeded to use it as normal, like a wallet. It only took a few jealous and inquisitive cashiers and some refilling of my transit card to make me extremely conscious of the attention this wallet warranted. I had meant it as a purchase for myself, a kind of secret indulgence, but then a friend bought the same one and mine continued to attract unwanted attention. 

A hate for the blatant LV logo, which had previously to the wallet purchase been only apathy, really took hold when I went to Shanghai and visited those dens of iniquity, the underground fake shops. More than a year and a half after the Groom collection had sold out of stores, there they were. Naively, I had thought the Groom collection's small range and extremely limited release time would keep it under wraps. The embarrassment and shame of my first coin purse purchase returned with avengeance, and spoiled me forever from liking logo-covered products. (Thank God) I reserve the ability to respect some luxury brands who yield to the popularity of be-logoed items, but LVMH will always be outside of it. 

Now, you ask, how do you get through Fashion Week and other events without a big, honking leather bag in your grasp? I still buy the occasional luxury item, but they are completely under the radar. A purse from 10 Corso Como, for example. Its provenance and cost will always remain my little secret, and it doesn't set me up as a target for mugging. 

There is a major advantage in investing in classic bags such as this: they resist being dated to a certain season. Walking down the street, I know how long ago people bought their Fendi Spy or the perforated LV Speedy. It's not fun for me and I assume it's no fun for them, trying to maintain their rich appearance with a Murakami multicolore which was marketed at 16 year olds with high school graduation money in 2003. I'll stop now before I hurt someone's feelings.

1 comment:

Lila Delilah said...

This is so true. I have an LV tote and my daughter points it out every time she sees another person with the same style.

Finally, I responded telling my daugther that's the reason why i dont like my tote. However, it fits my lifestyle with ease.

BTW the grooms collection was v. cute.