In the1990s, the distinctive LV logo was such an established sight on the fashionable streets of Dublin that being young and naive, I assumed it was just a popular utilitarian brand that the well-heeled had a penchant for.
It is cheaper to buy Louis Vuitton products in France or Europe in general. Goods originating in Europe are subject to fewer transportation costs and import duties in comparison to those countries outside the Eurozone. Monaco offers the most competitive retail price for Louis Vuitton in the EU.
During the early 90s, the city frequently played host to what we used to refer to as upper-middle-class ‘ladies who lunched’; they seemed to wear a little too much Dior ‘Poison’, they reeked heavily of garlic and fish chowder soup, but were always immaculately dressed. Such charming poise, whilst delicately flaunting a bag, wallet, belt, and/or scarf emblazoned with the distinctive Louis Vuitton initials.
Louis Vuitton seemed to encapsulate the zeitgeist of Irish society in the 90s: subtly, quality and pedigree. At this time in our social history ‘celebrity’ was local, inconspicuous, and rarely did we look beyond the pond for inspiration. ‘Influencers’ were homegrown Irish designers or models glimpsed briefly as they flit from boutique to office.
A Refined Image
Louis Vuitton reflected an understated and respectable image which I associated with my grand aunt Gertie, a violinist with the National Concert Hall, who was never to be seen without her favorite LV Sac Vendome. She wore fine leather gloves and carried this monogrammed bag in her hands on the shorter strap, never on her shoulder. Its distinctive pattern trimmed in chestnut leather always reminded me of the Ace of spades, the highest value card in a deck, in being approximately 10” by 7”, it was a neat size and was of course expandable.
It was the expandable nature of this Sac Vendome which attracted my fervent interest. On her visits, my grand aunt Gertie always enjoyed a grandiose welcome, as any prodigal daughter might on her return to her native home. However, I remember feeling distracted by the promise of what lay inside, as I surveyed the expanse of the Sac Vendome which aunt Gertie invariably nursed on her lap, I was always keen to ascertain if she had brought our favorite toffee bonbons or the lesser favored butterscotch toffee. The bonbons were fat and round and yet it was not easy to see them bulging or pushing through the side of aunt Gertie’s Sac Vendome and I remember, even then as a child, taking stock of this notable characteristic of quality.
Louis Vuitton’s time-honored heritage is undeniable. However, in the early 1990s, although LV was a brand that garnered global respect, it was not something I or young people in general aspired to have back then. How things change!
The reality today is very different. So celebrious a reputation does Louis Vuitton currently enjoy that to own a bag or piece of luggage is considered the highest luxury and at the top of many ingenue’s ‘mustav’ list.
In fact, Louis Vuitton projects a strong, confident image and is now profiled as a young, dynamic, and sophisticated brand.
The Hunt is on!
Hunting out specific styles from high profile luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton has become an industry all on its own. Stylists and personal shoppers can be engaged to source the most desirable and most unusual of designs, succeeding where the mere mortal might not as a consequence of having contacts in the business. Therefore if your quest is for the latest, most desirable, and yet most difficult to find a bag, commissioning a personal shopper or stylist to assist in this task is recommended.
On the other hand, the best support and guidance can be sought in the Louis Vuitton flagship stores themselves; the staff will patiently guide you through your choices and advise you as to the best course of action in your quest; whether it be adding your name to a list or contacting branches globally to find that much sought after design.
To the globe trotter shopping around really does make a saving. The Speedy 30 currently retails on the Louis Vuitton Monaco site for 910 euro, which is, according to ‘louisvuitton.com’, lower in price than anywhere else across Europe or the rest of the world. In Ireland, France, and the rest of mainland Europe the same bag can be purchased for 1,020 euro which is the second-best price available for this particular style.
It pays to do your research before splurging and if going on a trip to France or indeed Monaco then it is worthwhile factoring in the idea of investing in a Louis Vuitton. This is especially true if this was a purchase you have always intended to make anyway. Purchasing a Louis Vuitton bag while on vacation in Monaco will make a saving on your trip overall. Within the brand, there are annual price increases of varying percentages each Spring which means that if you wish to buy LV it is wisest to do so in the autumn/winter just before a price increase is applied.
Another bonus to the holiday shopper is the ‘Cashback’ system whereby a percentage of the initial outlay can be recouped. If the shopper is a visitor to the EU and ordinarily lives outside the Euro tax zone, the VAT can be reclaimed. The shopper can complete the forms within the store, they should have their passport with them, in addition to proof that they are visiting the EU in the form of a return ticket home. On the return home the visiting shopper takes their receipts, purchases, and a filled-in refund form to the customs officer who will stamp the form as proof of export.
A product in high demand has obvious drawbacks for the consumer: waiting lists for popular styles, annual percentage price increases which are frustrating while waiting for that specific design, and of course repetition, who wants to look the same as everyone else?
Nevertheless, Louis Vuitton bags are undoubtedly an investment and can currently be rapidly liquidated as an asset should lean times descend. It seems that many are content to wait to possess that longed-for style. As for price increases, well it appears that is irrelevant as any LV will retain value once carefully cherished. In fact if well cared for, stored in original monogrammed cloth dust bags, presented in distinctive LV packaging, and supported by proof of purchase, the Louis Vuitton bag will prove to retain if not appreciate in value and the initial financial commitment will prove an investment in the long run.
If originality is important to the consumer, the company champions individualism by offering the discerning shopper the ‘Louis Vuitton Heritage’ range with a selection of alternative options to choose from. The individual can personalize their purchase by making their selection from a range of interior color lining choices to equally extensive color choices in wrap-around braids and personalized initials which sit prominently on the exterior of the bag.
When shopping for a new Louis Vuitton it is important for the buyer to be clever about how and where they acquire their bag. Long term it pays to retain the original receipt as proof of purchase in addition to the receipt and packaging, especially as they appear to be such a fundamental feature of retaining value on the second-hand Louis Vuitton market.
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