Ever since Louis Vuitton graced us with Nicolas Ghesquière as creative director in 2013, we have been witness to a resurgence in its Monogram line – with a twist! So while classic styles like the Speedy, Neverfull and Keepall continue to reign supreme (pun intended!), there’s a formidable demand for many of its less ubiquitous bags too. The Popincourt (this reminds me of Mary Poppins) or the Artsy, which boasts the likes of Angelina Jolie in its fan-base, come to mind, and what I seriously love about these particular designs is the house’s juxtaposition of various colorful leather trims with iconic monogram, creating an instantly distinct look.
One of the earliest creations by Ghesquière for Louis Vuitton was the Montaigne, a sleek but spacious carryall that’s got its own PurseForum thread spanning the course of seven years and 242 pages! So what is it that makes this purse paradoxically both under-the-radar and yet so popular?
Situated in the heart of Paris’ Golden Triangle and home to some of the most distinguished names of high fashion, Avenue Montaigne is dubbed the home of Haute Couture. In fact, Dior also recently paid homage to this extremely fashionable square with the creation of its Montaigne 30 bag, but Louis Vuitton’s tribute was launched much earlier (in handbag years!) back in 2014. The Montaigne Club started almost exactly at the same time, and it is still going strong.
Featuring a central zipped compartment with a padlock and two large open ones, the Montaigne comes in three different sizes- the BB, the MM and the GM, ensuring that there is a Montaigne for everyone. You can carry it in three different ways too – as a top-handle, in the crook of the arm or as a shoulder bag. As for the BB, a crossbody option is available too thanks to its extra long detachable strap, which ensures maximum versatility. And when it comes to colors and materials, Ghesquière has truly gone wild with the Montaigne – you can opt to get the iconic Monogram Canvas or the Empreinte leather that’s available in 5 different hues! In fact, Louis Vuitton introduced a Monogram Vernis edition as well that was the perfect dressy day bag and came in seven different colors! You can still hunt them down on resale sites. Currently, the Louis Vuitton website has a special bicolor Empreinte edition in giant monogram as well in both the MM and BB sizes – get them now, I have a feeling they’re going to sell out quick!
So as you guys can see, the Montaigne comes in so many different shades, materials and sizes so there is truly no reason why you shouldn’t get one. However, why is it still one of those designs that as Amanda (we miss you!) said, capital-F fashion people sort of ignore? Given just how roomy the bag is, which is masked by its elegant, structured design, I believe this purse truly deserves more attention. Whether you schlep all your belongings in the GM to work, or sling the BB to a girl’s night out, there’s a perfect Montaigne for everyone.
In fact, to the delight of the members of the Montaigne Club, we have actually seen a few famous faces with the bag: author, yoga instructor and wife to Alec Baldwin, Hilaria Baldwin, has the Vernis MM, while beauty blogger Alexandrea Garza and actress Holly Madison have a shared love for the Empreinte MM in noir.
Not only that, I see the Montaigne as the perfect gateway into the world of high-fashion, the most suitable bag to choose as your first luxury purchase. Not only do you see Speedys and Neverfulls everywhere, making the Montaigne a nice way to stand a little apart from the crowd, but also because it’s a highly functional, stylish piece that you can use daily for years to come. Not to mention, you can still get a great return on the resale market if you fall out of love with the bag (retaining roughly 80% average resell value!). Who wouldn’t like the sweet taste of enjoying a bag and getting a great deal back on a sale, right?
No wonder it’s so popular with everyday purse lovers, if not with Hollywood’s A-listers. And when it comes to Louis Vuitton, special editions are always a must! The Montaigne is also available in a special, braided leather handle version if the Vachetta isn’t really your style, and you can surely track down some pieces from the Masters LV x Koons collection (the Mona Lisa version was the quirkiest!). I’m eager to see further collaborations involving the Montaigne.
2021 is a promising new year in that at last we see the light at the end of the tunnel, but is that end near? That’s hard to tell, and as cases continue to rise, visiting the Parisian thoroughfare of Avenue Montaigne may be a distant dream for so many of us. However that shouldn’t stop us from treating ourselves to our first, or second, or third (let’s not kid ourselves, we can never have enough LVs) purse from the holy grail of handbag brands. For so many of us, buying a Louis Vuitton is a landmark moment, a sign that “I’ve made it!” and the Montaigne, with its strength, functionality and sophistication, represents just that.