The 20th century was the age of speed, from the Model T Ford automobile and the Wright Flyer right through to Apollo and men walking on the moon. All this filtered into other areas including art and design. The Express handbag, soon to be renamed the Speedy, was introduced by Louis Vuitton in the 1930s.
The Speedy was innovative at that time for its sleek and super-practical style. By then, the company had been around for 80 years, with an estanblished brand image in part based on its signature monogrammed canvas that was originally inspired by designs from the Far East. It was a classic city bag, with lots of space, feminine but not girlish, sophisticated but supremely discreet. An essay in understatement, with a gloriously simple geometrical concept – it is reminiscent of the doctor bag – enhanced by the décor on the canvas, leather reinforcements and the Toron handles, with a comfortable grip for the hand.
It quickly became a classic, and it has continued to be crafted right up until today, each piece meticulously hand-stitched. The body of the bag is made from the coated monogrammed canvas, a hallmark from the start of the Louis Vuitton story. Detailing and handles are in cowhide leather that is naturally tanned, and which ages superbly, acquiring a lovely deep amber patina (I believe LV usually refers to it as the ‘patina.’). The finishing touches, such as the brass hardware and the red edge-dying, have helped to project the Speedy into the realm of fashion legend.
Today, handbag lovers the world over are celebrating the introduction of a new version of the Speedy. Named the Speedy Bandoulière, it has all the qualities needed to become a new style icon. It incorporates all the features of the Speedy, along with some new and innovative touches. While an optional shoulder strap has long been available as an addition to the Speedy, the Bandoulière has an integrated, removable and adjustable cowhide shoulder strap, enabling the bag to be slung across the body for an easy grab and go while you are on the run It can of course be carried normally, and in this case the strap becomes a distinctive detail. Made in four sizes, with widths of 25, 30, 35 and 40 centimetres, you will no doubt find the perfect way to wear your Speedy Bandoulière...