Editorial: Wild Things

Combining craftsmanship with rare leathers, Louis Vuitton’s exotic pieces are anything but tame. Photography Matthew Porter
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For many, Louis Vuitton is a name synonymous with the French house’s monogrammed leather goods, the initials of its founder having been emblazoned on everything from steamer trunks to punching bags. To be sure, since its founding in 1854, Louis Vuitton’s offerings have expanded to include not only the bespoke luggage and accessories originally created at Vuitton’s workshop in the Paris Commune of Asnières-Sur-Seine (which is still in operation today), but also a diverse range of accessories, fragrances, and ready-to-wear—not to mention some of fashion’s most coveted collaborations, such as the house’s 2017 partnership with the Soho-based cult skateboard apparel company Supreme.

While Louis Vuitton continues to expand its offerings, the same attention to detail and focus on craftsmanship that made its founder’s creations the talk of the haute société over 150 years ago are still very much at the heart of the house’s mission today. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Louis Vuitton’s range of exotic leather goods.

Given that each skin can vary from piece to the next—whether that be in the pattern of python scales or the character traits of ostrich skin—every exotic bag that is produced at the Asnières atelier is truly one-of-a-kind.


Importantly, though, tradition is always open to interpretation, as with Louis Vuitton’s women’s artistic director Nicolas Ghesquière’s interpretation of their classic trunk. A chic, miniaturized take on the formidable luggage of the Gilded Age, the Petite Malle—available in exotic skin—is the perfect hybrid of tradition, craftsmanship, and 21st-century élan.

Other classic styles available in the exotic line include the imminently chic Capucine (named after the first Louis Vuitton store on rue Neuve-des-Capucines), not to mention the Twist and the City Steamer. And, to celebrate that tradition of craftsmanship, the House will be exhibiting its “Time Capsule” at Los Angeles’ Westfield Century City Mall, highlighting Louis Vuitton’s history through a curated selection of rare items from its archives. In conjunction to that, and also in Los Angeles, the Louis Vuitton “Savoir Faire” experience brings together a collection of unique and custom products that will be available for purchase by invitation only, including their offering of exotic goods.

To be sure, the exotic collection is not for the shy. But then again, when you’re trying to make a statement, why not take a walk on the wild side.

Louis Vuitton’s “Time Capsule” will be open from May 18 to June 10 at Los Angeles’ Westfield Century City. 

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