I did what I said I would never do, and now I must confess: I impulse bought a bag… in Paris. Not just any bag, though. This lovely orange lady (pictured above) is one of 47. Yes, you read that right. There are only 47 in the entire world, and according to my Louis Vuitton SA, Omar, this is it. As if it couldn’t get more intense, this specific breed of bag (color and style) would never make it to the States, either, according to Omar.
I’ll start from the beginning. The day after walking up and down Champs-Elysées (and having a slightly disappointing experience at the flagship Louis Vuitton), my mother and I stumbled upon another Louis Vuitton store. Oddly enough, it felt even larger than the actual flagship on the iconic street across town. We had to go inside.
Less than a minute later, my mother came to a full stop in front of a gorgeous, white top-handle bag. I had never seen a Louis Vuitton like it. It was sleek, structured, practical (various interior dividers and pockets), and not plastered in the LV logo. It was (and is) perfect.
Then I walked a bit further into the store and found a smaller version in Louis Vuitton’s iconic orange hue. It was an absolute stunner. By that time, Omar had graciously introduced himself to my mother and me, a sharp contrast from what we had experienced the day before. In fact, we actually told him about our frustrating experience. He apologized and offered us each a complimentary espresso, without knowing if we were even interested in a purchase.
Ultimately, Omar explained that this specific store (the Louis Vuitton Maison Vendôme) is geared toward locals. It’s also where much of the brand’s jewelry and dresses are made, all by hand. That’s why the store itself includes items, such as intricate hand-stitched purses, that cannot be found in other locations. He also mentioned that unlike other designers, Louis Vuitton offers various price points to appeal to as many shoppers as possible (which I’m sure many of you already knew), and because of that, a majority of the stores offer more of the popular, monogrammed items versus trends straight from the runway.
That brings me to the bag. (Well, bags. My mom bought one, too.) It can actually be found on the website right now (in MM and PM). It’s official name is Rose Des Vents, and the catch is, the colors my mother and I purchased (white in MM and orange in PM) are “limited edition,” according to Omar. The day we walked in the store was actually the first time the bags had ever been displayed. Not only that, my mother and I were the first to purchase them in France. (Hard to believe, I know.) While the bags will slowly roll out across the world in black and a green kaki, white and orange will be much harder to come by. Omar didn’t know exactly where all 47 were sent, but he said only four of each were scattered across France.
The description online reads as the following: Louis Vuitton brings grained calf leather together with smooth calf leather in the fancy Rose des Vents MM handbag. Signed with a gold-tone LV padlock and a calf leather key bell, there’s a slender top handle for elbow carry and an adjustable strap for cross-body wear. Inside compartments and pockets make it a practical and sophisticated everyday bag. And, truthfully, I couldn’t agree more.
For me, this bag is the perfect storm: It is unique and somewhat rare; it features the brand’s iconic color; and it’s unbelievably understated compared to other LVs. Plus, this is actually my first Louis Vuitton and my first bright-colored bag. (Milestones, people!) Even if there were more than 47 orange Rose des Vents journeying throughout the world, I still think I would have bought it. It’s not so much the rarity of the bag that gets me – it’s the significance it will forever hold. I purchased it myself, and it will always remind me of my mother’s and my beautiful trip to Paris. (Plus, now we’re matching!) For that, I say this was worth the impulse.