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Womens' louis vuitton bags

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Nick M, May 4, 2004.

  1. Nick M

    Nick M Senior member

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    I have absolutely no intention of buying one, ever, but there are 56 pages on eBay of what I'm assuming are fakes, and I was curious to know how much these little bags are at full retail. The 'pochette', the 'Alma' and the 'Speedy', especially, the ones in white, with the colored logos all over. How can women be so enamored of the pattern and the brand that they'll knowingly tote the fake, and know that everyone else knows it's fake as well? My mind boggles... EDIT: Found them on eLuxury.com. $475 for the little ones, $1100-$1600 for the bigger ones. My mind remains boggled...
     
  2. hermes

    hermes Senior member

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    i have a wife who has a small but growing collection of them

    in most cases, she can spot a fake a mile away, there are tell tale signs for each bag design

    i believe you are referencing the "monogram multicolore" bags (white with the bright coloured monogram) and i do know that an alma in "monogram multicolore" runs in the US$1,200 range v. the alma in the traditional "monogram canvas" which runs in the US$800 range

    the speedy bags depend on size, from US$475 and up

    most on ebay are fakes, from what i understand

    women carry fakes because it's a status thing but some are so bad looking and plastic like that it's embarrassing ..... i even know someone who bought one who was told by the retailer that it was a real one but a 'second' .... but alas, vuitton has no such thing as a second
     
  3. VMan

    VMan Senior member

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    Nick,

    If those prices boggle you, check and see what Hermes bags sell for. There is a waiting list, so some people order bags through Hermes and then re-sell them on ebay and make a small profit. I've seen the alligator Birkin bag sell for $30,000, and just a plain yellow leather Birken sell for $12,000. Outragrous. Those are car prices.

    Regarding ebay, every bag you see is a fake unless:
    1) it is used, and even then there's a good chance it's fake.
    2) it's offered at the same price one would find at a store.

    LV does not sell second-quality bags. All of their factory seconds are destroyed. They also only sell their bags at their stores, and I think a FEW other retail stores. From what I hear, they never go on sale. This would make it impossible for an ebay seller to get a bunch at a lower price to resell - they would have to walk in the store and buy the bags, which would not be profitable.

    A tip for spotting fakes: I heard that on the multicolor bags, the real ones do NOT have a red 'LV' in the pattern, while in many cases the fakes do.

    I hung out with my friend and a girl he's friends with one time. She was complaining the whole night that the Gucci logo fell off her purse. I asked to see the purse and felt the leather - it was so cheap and stiff - felt like vinyl. I guess that was a great indication of it's authenticity.
     
  4. Nick M

    Nick M Senior member

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    So, let's say we lay an authentic LV bag and a well-made fake side-by-side... What's the difference in terms of construction and leather quality? Do LV use only the best materials, Hermes-style? Besides the logo, what sets them apart from the average bag?
     
  5. PeterMetro

    PeterMetro Senior member

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    Nothing. There's the rub.
     
  6. Nick M

    Nick M Senior member

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    Besides the logo, what sets them apart from the average bag?
    Nothing. Â There's the rub.
    Sheer genius. I wonder if the owners of LVMH have a giant money-bin they roll around in...
     
  7. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

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    Seriously, Those are car prices. I mean, I might spend thousands of dollars on a watches but at least its worth something when resale time comes (of course I don't want to resell them). At least the watches are fine miniature works of art, each one finished by hand and are made out of (at least some parts) precious metals. How complicated can it be to make a handbag? Barring precious metals / precious gems, what makes an alligator bag worth $30k? And please do not tell me the brand name; no name is worth that much.

    Jon.
     
  8. VMan

    VMan Senior member

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    Maybe the alligators that the skins came from were hand-fed veal filets prepared by 5-star chefs every day of their lives?
     
  9. Mike C.

    Mike C. Senior member

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    I know a girl who bought the LV dog-carrying case for $1200.
     
  10. kabert

    kabert Senior member

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    Last summer or thereabouts, the New York Times Sunday Magazine contained an article about the making of a Berkin bag, from start to finish, at the Hermes "factory." Quite interesting: at least for the story, it showed how they start with essentially a blank canvas -- pieces of leather. The handles are especially labor-intensive. It appeared similar to a fine men's shoe factory, such as Lobb or EG, where individual craftsmen were responsible for specific tasks (cutting the leather; sewing; making handles; etc.).

    Personally, I've often thought LV bags that have the logo plastered all over it walk the line very close to being tacky and sometime appear to be of the same family lineage as those black leather hats that have "Armani" or "DKNY" emblazoned across the brim in huge block letters. My 0.02.
     
  11. Renault78law

    Renault78law Senior member

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    Perhaps a more knowledgable forum member can confirm this, but I was under the impression that LV bags aren't even made of leather. Parts of it are leather (such as the straps and trim), but I believe the main "bag-part" is made of coated canvas.
    Ah well, what do you expect? The Prada bags that were ever so popular in the nineties were just nylon.
     
  12. ernest

    ernest Senior member

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    Besides the logo, what sets them apart from the average bag?
    Nothing. Â There's the rub.
    how many Vuitto, have you hold in your hand ?
     
  13. ernest

    ernest Senior member

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    Nick, If those prices boggle you, check and see what Hermes bags sell for. Â There is a waiting list, so some people order bags through Hermes and then re-sell them on ebay and make a small profit. Â I've seen the alligator Birkin bag sell for $30,000, and just a plain yellow leather Birken sell for $12,000. Â Outragrous. Â Those are car prices. Regarding ebay, every bag you see is a fake unless: 1) it is used, and even then there's a good chance it's fake. 2) it's offered at the same price one would find at a store. LV does not sell second-quality bags. Â All of their factory seconds are destroyed. Â They also only sell their bags at their stores, and I think a FEW other retail stores. Â From what I hear, they never go on sale. Â This would make it impossible for an ebay seller to get a bunch at a lower price to resell - they would have to walk in the store and buy the bags, which would not be profitable. A tip for spotting fakes: I heard that on the multicolor bags, the real ones do NOT have a red 'LV' in the pattern, while in many cases the fakes do. I hung out with my friend and a girl he's friends with one time. Â She was complaining the whole night that the Gucci logo fell off her purse. Â I asked to see the purse and felt the leather - it was so cheap and stiff - felt like vinyl. Â I guess that was a great indication of it's authenticity.
    Seriously, Those are car prices. I mean, I might spend thousands of dollars on a watches but at least its worth something when resale time comes (of course I don't want to resell them). At least the watches are fine miniature works of art, each one finished by hand and are made out of (at least some parts) precious metals. How complicated can it be to make a handbag? Barring precious metals / precious gems, what makes an alligator bag worth $30k? And please do not tell me the brand name; no name is worth that much. Â Jon.
    For 1500 euros you have which nice watch? I means with miniature....
     
  14. arenn1

    arenn1 Well-Known Member

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    I really think that Louis Vuitton is living on borrowed time. They've cheaped their brand so incredibly that their products now completely lack exclusivity. Despite that price tag, virtually every young woman in Chicago owns one. They are a definite "fashion" type items and all fashion trends eventually end. The plasting of their logo all over the bag is something I've always found quite gaudy. I suspect they'll be considered passe in a few years.

    Hermes on the other hand is a definite step up from LV. They haven't plastered the world with flashy stores and pumped up the volume of goods sold. I consider their products much more classic in appearance and would own them myself.
     
  15. Classic

    Classic Senior member

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    My wife and daughter both have a LV purse. They were a gift from a grateful business associate. While my daughter uses hers daily, my wife rarely does. When they first received them, the first question people asked was if they were real. (They are). My wife got so tired of being asked, that now she only uses the purse when we are out with close friends.
    I am not certain about the accuracy of the numbers, but a sales consultant at the Toronto LV store actually told us that more than 50% of the LV purses out there are fakes.
    If this is anywhere near the truth, why would any woman want to have one when the first thought in people's minds is that it is a fake?

    Classic
     
  16. VMan

    VMan Senior member

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    I would be willing to bet that more than 50% are fakes, especially in areas away from large cities. I'd say that 1/6 of the girls at my university carry around a LV purse, and I don't know many college kids who can drop $1000+ on a purse. Some of them just look laughably fake - wrong font, leather looks like vinyl, colors are completely off, etc.
     
  17. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

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    Not having read the article not withstanding...

    Individual tasks that are assigned to different laborers in a factory are standard practice in factories all over the world, from the hand finished wood / leather in Rolls Royce production to McDonalds $0.03 toys manufactured en masse in some south east Asian country.

    It is easier, faster and cheaper to mass-produce items by assigning different tasks to people who are specialized in each area. The reverse version of that type of production, would be the way a suit is made by an individual tailor, who does everything her/himself, this is much more expensive and slower, but you can (usually / hopefully) expect better quality. Not to sound too corny but, you get the right people for the right job. If I ran the bag production at Hermes I would do the exact same thing, thus maximizing profits.

    That written, I am not downplaying the production at Hermes, perhaps the bags are entirely hand made, and are quite labor intensive.

    Of course, if logic were applied to the situation the outcome of the price could not be justified. Take Huntsman as an example (ok, so I chose the most expensive tailor on Savile Row...but at least the comparison should hold water), if I can properly recall, they are currently charging somewhere in the neighborhood of $6000 for a 3-piece bespoke suit (a nice wool 120's from H&S, either DB or SB, the price difference is probably a few hundred dollars, max; if any). Now, you will have at least 3 fittings, which require a few hours of consultation combined (if you are a pain in the ass like I am), during this process, you are measured the suit is first hand drawn on paper, then the cloth is calculated based on the paper drawings (including matching lines everywhere on the suit {as much as possible, but something tells me that a company like Huntsman usually finds a way to be dead on}), then the suit is "pre-made" and held together by basting to see how it is made. Before it is pre-made, the canvas and various layers must be stitched by hand, a process anyone can tell you takes longer than a one-half hour sitcom. Once the pre-made suit has been through the second fitting, then the final suit is made, and if everything is all right, you can take it home. (Yes, I left steps out, just trying to give a general idea)

    Now tens of hours go into making a bespoke suit from one of the finest (arguably) tailors on world famous (read: expensive to own/rent /maintain) Savile Row, and they charge around $6000. The suit will never go out of style, is made to last a life time (or several, how many people on the forum use vintage/family owned suits?) So, of course there is no explanation for Hermes to charge twice that for something that takes a lot less to make, has a lower material / labor cost, will go out of style (next season) and is not made to last as long as people think (they want it to break, so you can purchase another one).

    So, if I can't figure out how they charge $12k, can someone tell me how they charge $30k? (My mind cannot grasp the concept.)

    Jon.
     
  18. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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    Louis Vuitton just celebrated their 150th anniversary with large scale parties in New York, Pairs, Hong Kong, and Tokyo. That monogram pattern was created at about the same time. Firstly it was used on the luggage, and then diversified into smaller items. The Monogram Mulitcolour was introduced in 2001 by Marc Jacobs in colloboration with the Japanese artist Takashi Murakami. Hence the even rarer Murakami Vuitton's with various artworks superimposed over the original Vuitton canvas. Similar to when Vuitton commisioned Stephen Sprouse for their Graffiti line a few years back.

    The Monogram canvas collection is not leather. It is a special coated canvas. However they also have the Monogram Glace, Laser, Epi, Taiga, and Cuir Natural which are fine leathers. Prada used to use a fine nylon for their bags. Now they have become ubiquitous items of average quality. It is because of Miuccia's husband who insists on higher prodcution efficency, and lower costs. But their seasonal items are still of a fine quality.

    Hermes' leather goods are usually things that don't go out of style. One sees Hermes items from the 30's auctioned at Chrisities, and etc. For example the Hermes Kelly, and Birkin are iconclastic items. And yes, there is a waiting list which I believe is closed now. The people will get their bags in about 2 to 4 years. Hermes utilizes a special type of calfskin called Barenia, and sterling silver crafted by African tribesmen which is then sent to their workshop outside Paris to be finished. Their alligator skins are sourced from Lousiana, and Florida. Which is then sent to the French workshops for finishing, etc. Besides the fact that there is also a lifetime after-service available.

    But as logoed as Vuitton is the luggage is quite fine especially the hardsided suitcases. Goayrd, and Valextra I would reccomend to for lugagge.

    And authentic Vuitton's all have a serial code hidden inside which can be taken to the shops to decipher the date manufactured, etc. Some fine fakes have these but the code makes no sense.
     
  19. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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    Vuitton never goes on sale. They are sold only in company boutiques, certain duty free shops, and booths in department stores. However in Japan there are small luxury items stores that sell authentic Vuitton. But only in Japan.

    In Japan where people lined up at 2 AM. in winter for the Dior Homme opening. And then again lined up the entire city blocks for the Vuitton, and Prada openings. The Prada store was literally empty of merchaindise after the grand opening. And where lotteries are held to determine who can buy an Hermes bag for about $1,000,000 Yen, and where a man carried his Hermes bag wrapped in an Hermes towel for fear of getting bodily oils on it.
     
  20. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

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    Perhaps a more knowledgable forum member can confirm this, but I was under the impression that LV bags aren't even made of leather. Parts of it are leather (such as the straps and trim), but I believe the main "bag-part" is made of coated canvas. Ah well, what do you expect? The Prada bags that were ever so popular in the nineties were just nylon.
    The Monogram canvas collection is not leather. It is a special coated canvas. However they also have the Monogram Glace, Laser, Epi, Taiga, and Cuir Natural which are fine leathers. Prada used to use a fine nylon for their bags. Now they have become ubiquitous items of average quality. It is because of Miuccia's husband who insists on higher prodcution efficency, and lower costs. But their seasonal items are still of a fine quality.
    Hermes' leather goods are usually things that don't go out of style. One sees Hermes items from the 30's auctioned at Chrisities, and etc. For example the Hermes Kelly, and Birkin are iconclastic items. And yes, there is a waiting list which I believe is closed now. The people will get their bags in about 2 to 4 years. Hermes utilizes a special type of calfskin called Barenia, and sterling silver crafted by African tribesmen which is then sent to their workshop outside Paris to be finished. Their alligator skins are sourced from Lousiana, and Florida. Which is then sent to the French workshops for finishing, etc. Besides the fact that there is also a lifetime after-service available. But as logoed as Vuitton is the luggage is quite fine especially the hardsided suitcases. Goayrd, and Valextra I would reccomend to for lugagge. And authentic Vuitton's all have a serial code hidden inside which can be taken to the shops to decipher the date manufactured, etc. Some fine fakes have these but the code makes no sense.
    I live in South Florida. Alligator skin is a dime a dozen, in other words, not the hardest thing to find; I have personally met two wholesale dealers and I know what their cost is. You can usually find an alligator inside each one of the man made lakes in the various neighborhoods at one time or another. Florida alligator is not cheap, but it is not worth $30k; I can have the entire upholstery of a car done in alligator and it won't cost me $30k. Jon.
     

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