A few months ago, I treated myself to a new bag. Mama literally got brand new bag! What a thrill! After moving into our new house three years ago, my entire salary pretty much went into making our house a cozy home.
This year, the purse strings finally loosened up and I bought myself a bag that I had been dreaming of for years: the Louis Vuitton Monogram Petit Noé (pronounce “no-ay”). I really liked this bag’s shape, as it is very in style right now, yet incredibly classic. Furthermore, this is one of Louis Vuitton’s (LV) oldest styles and it has an interesting history…and I’m a sucker for history.
The Noé was created in 1932, along with other Louis Vuitton icons – the Alma, the Keepall and the Speedy. The Noé was born due to the request of a champagne producer who needed a practical bag to carry bottles of champagne. The Noé was designed to literally be a “bucket-shaped bag” which could carry four upright bottles of champagne and a fifth upside down in the centre. The drawstring would secure the bottles from rattling around. The name of the bag, “Noé”, is in reference to a biblical hero who planted vines on the mountains of Ararat upon leaving Noah’s Ark after the Great Flood. Cool.
The original Noé was made of pale-coloured leather mimicking the colour of Champagne, but has since been made in many different types of fabric, including Damier Azur and beautiful Epi leather.
At the beginning of this year, I ordered my beloved bag brand new from the Louis Vuitton website. I was sorely let down after the monogram canvas cracked after about a month of use. I quickly sent it back for a full refund. I was not about to exchange it for another for the fear of that happening again.
Since this was a big purchase, I did a lot of research on the bag including reading countless reviews on LV merchandise in general. There seemed to be an unsettling trend in all of the reviews – that today’s Louis Vuitton merchandise – specifically the Monogram line – just isn’t the same quality that it used to be. I read many sad stories of cracked canvas, popped stitches, broken handles, and cotton linings that were just not up to par. I also read that vintage Louis Vuitton bags used to be lined in leather! Who knew? When I read that, I immediately decided to buy vintage.
I checked out a few Petit Noés on eBay, but I’m never quite sure if the items are authentic our not. I perused http://www.malleries.com/, but they did not have any Petit Noés and then I scored my perfect little bag on Fashionphile. Fashionphile, an online consignment shop specializing in designer goods is particularly great as they provide detailed descriptions and many photographs for each item they sell on their site. They also have a ranking system for their merchandise’s condition: Fair, Good, Very Good and Excellent.
My bag was listed as “Good” condition. It was rated so due to a couple of black marks on its leather base and a water mark on the strap. Other than that, the bag looked brand new to me. I was thrilled. According to the date code, my bag was made in France (some LVs are made in Spain and the US) in August 2007.
I would say that the only downfall to ordering from Fashionphile is that the prices are in American dollars, and our poor Canadian dollar just doesn’t measure up. Also, if you are a first time international buyer, they require you to send a scanned copy of your credit card statement to their customer service department! I found this shocking and upsetting. I called their Customer Service to try to get out of sending this type of sensitive information out into the ether, but they would not budge. They claimed it was to protect themselves against fraudulent purchases and allowed me to black out all information on my statement except my name and the Fashionphile purchase itself.
Shipping was excellent at a mere $14.95 US. This is the third bag I have purchased from Fashionphile and I have yet to be disappointed with the quality of the bags. Overall, I would say my buying experience with them has been pretty good.
What designer bags are you after? Have any of you had any disappointing experiences with the quality of LV products? Let me know in the comments!
Also, if you are interested in an in-depth view of the bag, here is the YouTube video I filmed on it. Watch away!
*History lesson courtesy of http://www.ilvoelv.com