Posts Tagged ‘louis vuitton’

louis vuitton popincourt haut

Louis Vuitton, despite being an overpriced luxury brand, still makes some of the most desirable handbags on the planet.

Writer W. David Marx says about 30-40% of Japanese women in their 20s and older own some sort of LV item, with maybe 15% owning an LV handbag. Not quite the “mythic 94.3%” figure touted before, quite erroneously, but still impressive.  China is “in love with Louis Vuitton”, said Eoin Gleeson way back in 2007. In the Philippines, owning an LV handbag is a sign of status and almost a rite of passage. Those who don’t have wealthy mommies and daddies – or sugar daddies – to give them LVs save up to buy at least one of the iconic bags, a Speedy 30 being the usual “first Vuitton”.

LV sells not only the items themselves, which are well-made and with care can last lifetimes (they are often passed on from mother to daughter), they also sell the experience. The LV shop at Greenbelt 5, Ayala Mall, Makati, pampers their customers with hors d’oeuvres and flutes of champagne on black trays carried around by smiling uniformed waiters. The salespersons are friendly and welcoming and, best of all – patient.

Even the assistant store manager herself (Ms. Angela Poblador) assists clients, never losing her cool no matter how many bags you ask to see from the stockroom. She even offered to email the Hongkong branch to find a model I inquired about. In less than a day, she had the information I needed to make a decision. Now that’s luxury service. And in the home stretch, that’s what convinced me to get my first Vuitton. It’s not a Speedy, though.

The unboxing! LV bags come with their own buttercream-yellow dustbag printed with the brand name in brown. The bag is nestled in a large, chocolate-brown box also marked with the brand name on the lid.

Not a Speedy, this is the model I’ve wanted for six years – the Popincourt Haut in Monogram Canvas. This was the only one such left in the store. Angela says they sell only three or four of these a year. Uncommon? That I like. In six years, I’ve only seen two women carry this model, unlike the LV Neverfull, which, because of its comparative affordability, you’ll see on the shoulder of every other woman at the mall. 

The “Pop Haut” is a variation of LV’s old Triangle bag, designed to keep knitting in. (It was oriented horizontally and long enough to accommodate knitting needles.) The straps are adjustable, so you can choose to carry it as a shoulder bag or even as short-handle tote.

The Pop Haut’s zipper pull is adorned with two heavy brass spheres.

I find the Pop Haut’s austere structure appealing, with its simple, clean lines. Unlike the Speedy, it doesn’t slouch when full. This bag has perfect posture. The vachetta leather trim is pristine; over time, it will acquire a honey-brown patina.

There are no feet at the bottom; care must be taken when placing the Pop Haut down on a surface.

A leather label is sewn into the chocolate-colored cotton lining.

The Pop Haut is comparatively roomy inside, with dimensions of 10.5L x 9H x 5W (inches). It has space for everyday basics. It can fit a Kindle and a Samsung Galaxy Tab. I like how the zipper opens a couple inches past the end of the bag, allowing one to spread it to its fullest, making it easy to put things in and take them out. For me, fashion should also be functional. 

There’s something satisfying about owning a luxury item, whether a bag, a fountain pen, or other object of personal desire. Quality and cachet always attract and remain in style.

taste more:

tory burch nylon ella tote

After three months, my long-awaited Tory Burch Nylon Ella tote in Butterfly Pink finally fluttered home courtesy of my Los Angeles-based cousin Ivy Ortuoste.

And it is all I dreamed it would be – except much, much bigger than I thought. This bag is ENORMOUS. It can fit everything you can possibly want to bring around for a day. It’s even large enough to be a weekender bag!

The trim is leather – handles, medallion, and corner reinforcements.

The material of the bag itself is nylon in a wonderful “look at me” shade of hot pink.

Side snaps allow you to reduce the bag to a manageable size; it then takes a pleasing triangular shape.

Behold its cavernous interior! It can accommodate legal-size  documents, how’s that for a working bag? It has two pockets for cellphone/PDA, and a large zippered pocket for valuables.

Detail of pockets and stitching.

Detail of medallion logo affixed to canvas lining.

Detail of zipper and stitching.

That’s Ivy (carrying a Louis Vuitton Palermo) on her visit to Manila last June 3; me with my new TB Ella tote; and my wondrous offspring Ik and Alex (toting a Kipling messenger bag).

As you can see from the ‘carry’ picture above, the Ella tote is capacious and cheerful in its pinkness. It’s a great bag for work and weekend in terms  of function and style.

It is no longer available at the Tory Burch website, but they have many new designs.

taste more:

dana thomas: deluxe

Journalist Dana Thomas exposes the sleaze beneath the rarefied world of high-end goods in Deluxe: How Luxury Lost its Luster.

Luxury in all its forms and styles have existed ever since income, class, and economic status have divided people between the haves and the have-nots. With some groups of people having much more resources than they need to survive, the surplus goes towards manifesting and reinforcing their higher stature in society through extravagance and conspicuous consumption. Recall Cleopatra and the perfumed sails of her pleasure ships; Nero and the tons of roses he rained upon guests at parties; the Mughal, Chinese, and Persian emperors who surrounded themselves with finely crafted objets of silk, precious metals, gems, and porcelain.

Modern-day luxury, says Thomas, resides in brand names and the inflated prices they command. Handbags from Louis Vuitton and Prada, perfumes from Patou, and clothes from Burberry are sold in gleaming glass palaces, enticing shoppers with an aspirational dream.

Since not everyone can afford haute couture from Chanel or hand-sewn luggage from Hermes, many luxury brands create products at lower-price points at which consumers can buy into the dream. These include small leather goods such as wallets or key chains. For scents, eau de toilette is cheaper than parfum. For clothes, most signature brands carry a pret-a-porter line.

However, says Thomas, in the mad rush by large luxury conglomerates to increase net profit, corners are cut, of which the consumer, clutching her hard-earned cash, is unaware. For instance, handbags are among the high-margin products that brands push with aggressive advertising which touts the “It” bag of the moment. Thomas saw handbags produced at $120 and sold for $1,200. Louis Vuitton is said to sell its handbags at ten to thirteen times the production cost.

What stylish woman wouldn’t want a collection of the latest by Vuitton, Balenciaga, Gucci? Luxury goods are beautifully designed and well-made.

But won’t those markups make you think twice before forking over your money, especially in these tough economic times?

I’ve always wanted an LV Popincourt Haut and an Hermes Birkin. But Thomas’ book is an eye-opener. My resolve? To buy Filipino. We have lovely things – Fino Leatherware makes bags that not everyone is carrying on their arm or slung over their shoulder. Via Venetto shoes are pretty. Ivarluski Aseron and Kate Torralba are just a couple of the many talented designers who create couture with a Filipino flavor.

In the end, though, it is all a matter of choice and personal conviction, as to what your dreams are, what is truly aspirational for you, and what you would pay to buy into your dream.

taste more:

joan de jean: the essence of style

Here’s an interesting read I picked up at Fully Booked last May 2007 along with Victoria Finlay’s Colour: Travels Through the Paintbox.

The Essence of Style is by Joan de Jean, who has written seven other books on French literature, history, and culture. She is a professor of French at the University of Pennsylvania, and also holds positions at Princeton and Yale.

De Jean traces the reasons why Paris is the fashionista center of the world, and why Hermes, Vuitton, and Creme de la Mer are must-haves despite their exhorbitant prices.

Apparently it was all Louis XIV’s fault. This maitre of style ruled the French court with his highly original and decorative ideas on dress, etiquette, and urban planning, which to this day have repercussions on the monde of haute couture.

taste more: