Personally I think that lots of people see the Louis Vuitton monogrammed range almost as a stepping stone into the world of luxury bags and accessories, being as you can actually still get a good quality handbag for less than £500 and it is fine for those who can afford Chanel and Hermes to sniff at mere mortals who may be over the moon with their first LV purchase but we are all individuals and everybody has a budget of some description.
My first designer handbag was Gucci. I was 21. This purchase was closely followed by a highly sought after Louis Vuitton which I carried proudly to the office. My boss told me "that bag will last you a lifetime", I used it everyday for about 6 years. It didn't, but it was the start of a love affair that was to continue for a very long time.
When my eldest daughter was in the sixth form (6 years ago) she lost my large LV monogrammed purse after she decided to take it to school one day. She had gone to Sainsburys to buy doughnuts, came back to the common room, ate her treat, went back to class and left my purse on the table. Obviously we never saw that again. I was so distraught, I don't know how I didn't kill her. I had bought the purse myself a good few years beforehand and it was about £200 if I remember rightly, a lot of money for a purse back then . OH went out and bought me the purse pictured above which remains in excellent condition, as does the key purse which is now about 11 or 12 years old.
I do still use my Louis Vuitton goods. The two purses on a daily basis, both years old now and I am not ashamed to say that when the "Neverfull" tote bag was released, it went straight on my Christmas wish list as I am a sucker for a huge bag that I can fill with everything but the kitchen sink!
I no longer use it on a daily basis as I did when it was new, but it makes for a great beach/poolside bag when on holiday and I also use it for shopping trips as its huge capacity means I don't have to cart loads of carrier bags around, naturally I requested the largest of the three sizes available. I was at first worried that the thin straps would snap under the strain but OH had asked instore and was told that it had been tested to take a certain weight (neither of us can remember how much) which makes this bag extremely functional especially if you are a "mum on the run" with loads of "stuff" to cart around.
Although I recently wrote an article about fake goods, I never worry that people might think that my items are fake, because I know they are not! Although I did have a client when I worked at the Salon a couple of years ago who walked in my room, saw my " Neverfull" hanging on the back of the door as she closed it behind her and said "oh you have the same bag as me, have you been to Turkey aswell?". If looks could have killed, I swear mine would have sent her six feet under!
Many items in my LV monogrammed collection have been sold over the years and these are just the pieces that remain. If they get too grubby (the base of my Alma was disgusting) and I know I would never use them again, then I get rid and it doesn't worry me, I don't feel sentimental about pieces that may have been bought as presents but I also understand why some people wish to keep hold of things they now never use on the basis that they were bought as gifts.
I also understand that people do expect these goods to be of the highest quality, but I have had a previous issue with Louis Vuitton over a bag with a broken strap which some of you may well remember, but for those of you who weren't reading the blog in the Spring of 2010, my husband took the bag to the Royal Exchange branch in the City, who promptly sent it off to Paris and after a couple of weeks, this is what we got back. A note saying the bag was unrepairable.......
when any fool can see the strap has only come out because the stitching has come undone.....
I felt awful because I acted as though I didn't believe OH and felt that he could have done more, so I decided to go up to London myself and try the Bond Street store where it had originally been bought and I ended up thinking that I was going to get thrown out by security as my voice got higher and higher with rage and anger, as the manager told me that it was unrepairable, what a load of rubbish.
If I took it to a cobblers they could stitch it easily so why the hell can't LV? I don't want to lower the value of the item by getting the repair done elsewhere, so the bag remains upstairs and unused. Sad really, as across the body bags are so handy when travelling or shopping.
So although my husband lives by the motto "buy cheap, buy twice" there will always be times when something of expense and quality will break, come unstitched, whatever. You just have to hope that if anything like that does happen, you will get a better response from the retailer/manufacturer than we did.
So where do you stand on Monogrammed goods? Do you think you should stop using them as you get older? Or are you a younger designer goods lover who wouldn't be seen dead carrying something with a logo?