Since arriving at Louis Vuitton for the Fall 2014 collection, creative director Nicolas Ghesquiere has overseen the creation of a handful of new handbag designs the company hopes will attract luxury shoppers who feel ambivalent about the company’s traditional monogram offerings. The Louis Vuitton Dora Bag has been the brand’s marquee satchel, and now it’s getting a slouchier update.
The Louis Vuitton Dora Ultra Soft Bag MM feels more casual than its stiff-sided predecessor; the original Dora was a bag that you’d want to carry into some sort of high-powered business meeting, and this version, especially in lush burgundy leather, is a bag that could do double duty in the office and on the weekends. It’s a bag that reflects how women actually live their lives, which has been one of Ghesquiere’s themes at Vuitton.
The dimensions of the original Dora and the Ultra Soft version are the same (14.2″ W x 9.4″ D x 5.4″ H), and the prices are almost the same: $4,700 for the new, single color soft bag in Taurillon leather, $4,650 for the closest equivalent in the original calfskin. If you’re already paying nearly five grand for a handbag, I’d wager that the extra $50 doesn’t matter.
I’ve always felt somewhat ambivalent about the original Dora, but I loved the Ultra Soft as soon as I laid eyes on it. The Taurillon leather provides the bag with just the right amount ofgive to make it look like it’s not trying so hard, which is exactly the ease and versatility most customers want in a satchel of this size. It was the perfect tweak to expand the Dora’s potential audience.Other Brands
When a new season's collections start to arrive in stores, there are a handful of brands whose pre-orders we always look out for, and Fendi is high on that list. The brand has been on a hot streak over the past few years, and based on the Fendi Pre-Fall 2015 pre-orders that have just popped up at both Bergdorf Goodman and Saks, things aren't going to cool down any time soon.
Fendi's new collection is full of exuberant colors in interesting combinations, as well as the irreverent monster motifs that have become the brand's recent calling cards. There aren't many major shape debuts to be found for Pre-Fall 2015; instead, the brand has stuck with fan favorites like the Peekaboo and Petite 2Jours and 3Jours. There are also lots of fun Bag Bugs and small accessories, of course.
Below, take a look at our favorites from the new arrivals. To shop the full selections, head over to Bergdorf Goodman and Saks.
In order to keep its huge fan base satisfied, Louis Vuitton has reinvented its iconic monogram prints in dozens of ways, starting during the tenure of Marc Jacobs as creative director. That tradition has continued under Nicolas Ghesquiere, and for Summer 2015, the brand has released a series of bags in two new prints.
The first is a simple V in either pink or turquoise, which is in line with the use of the V in some of the brand's other recent bags. The second is the Ramage print, which is a bright and swirling in shades of pink and orange, inspired by undersea life. Check out the bags from both collections below.
There are few sacred things in handbag design, but among them is the Hermès Birkin. When Hermès is feeling creative, the brand generally looks to the Kelly to make tweaks and create new versions–we documented nearly a dozen in our guide to Hermès bag styles, and that doesn’t include limited editions. There are far fewer Birkin styles, but now, there’s another to add to the list: the pared-down Hermès Sellier Birkin 40.
According to T Magazine, Hermès leather design director Couli Jobert set out to de-clutter the Birkin down to its essential look, which involved losing the lock and key, hiding the stitching, smoothing the edges and removing the interior lining. The resulting 40cm bag comes only in black cowhide (T didn’t specify the Hermès leather name) with Palladium hardware, and it’ll set you back $14,900.
The timing of this Birkin is perfect; although interest in Hermès bags is seemingly unending, minimalism is very much en vogue for day bags, and any design, even a Birkin, runs the risk of feeling stale as trends ebb and flow. Breaking the Birkin down to its simplest state not only gives aficionados something to chatter about and clamor for, but it reminds all of us that Hermès is successful because the brand is built on a foundation of exceptional design and materials. Most brands’ bags would not fare as well when stripped down to their bones, but the Birkin’s magic endures.