Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Louis Vuitton Purse Shopping

by Cristina

This was an exciting shopping day at Louis Vuitton that I had to share with you guys. I got to go Louis Vuitton Purse Shopping for my next handbag purchase for my 40th and 41st birthdays! 

2020 was a colossal bust for birthday celebrations for everyone except for Capricorns and Aquarius. Last year I had big plans for my 40th birthday that included travel, and a big party. That didn’t happen, and won’t happen this year either.  In light of that, my husband recently surprised me with the offer of buying me a brand new luxury handbag as my birthday gift, and of course, I did not turn that down.  In fact, I very smartly opted to beat the yearly price increases and go ahead and get the bag early. I dove right in and began a ton of research on the next special bag for my small collection.

I love luxury handbags and I always keep up with the luxury handbag designers out of genuine interest. I hadn’t been thinking about a particular new bag for myself anytime soon as the priority had been to travel more. I just didn’t expect an opportunity to make a purchase like this for a long time so I  was floored when my sweet sweet husband told me his birthday idea. 

I like researching bags well before purchasing—both for retail and the resale markets. Because of that I had a good starting place for what brands I wanted to look at already. I have a loose wish list going on this resale site so that I can remember specific bag names, price points and to monitor value increases or decreases.

A few years ago I had my eyes on the Loewe Puzzle Bag (medium, all black or navy) as my next bag, and that was definitely a consideration for this purchase. For some reason I wasn’t feeling it for this occasion, despite the fact that I still really love that bag and it remains on my wish list. I think the reason is that I have carried a camera sized crossbody bag for the past 3 years and was wanting something a little different from that understated shape.  

 I love this season for Louis Vuitton, so this post will focus on my Louis Vuitton explorations! It’s the brand I finally settled on for my purchase. I will do a follow up post on the other brands I looked at and what my impressions where on each bag I tried. You will see what remained on my wish list, and what got removed. There where some stunning bags I tried including a few ‘it’ bags. 

If you too like luxury handbags, this post series will be for you. Whether you are planning your next purchase, or like me, you enjoy window shopping; this post has many lust-worthy bags.

Don’t discount shopping resale from reputable sites that authenticate. There are so many treasures to be found from trendy pieces to longstanding classics. The handbag resale market is incredibly lively and you will often find very current bags available as well as older models of the same bag. 

Louis Vuitton Purse Shopping - Day 1

Louis Vuitton Purse Shopping 2021

Mostly Mahina Leather

The pieces that really drew me in to Louis Vuitton  are their new leather goods collections. Particularly their Mahina Leather which is this laser cut perforated monogram leather you see in the photo above. Mahina is a drummed leather that was first created in 2007, inspired by the phases and crescents of the moon. In Polynesian culture the Mahina is a lunar deity. My SA told me that Louis Vuitton uses a NASA laser to cut these perforations but I haven’t been able to find any more information on this process. 

What I love about this leather is how slouchy and soft it gets once broken in. This buttery soft slouch factor lends itself to more relaxed unstructured styles like hobo bags, bucket bags and totes. I’m really tactile when it comes to bags so although I do love a structured bag too, a soft buttery slouchy bag is my preference.

Louis Vuitton canvas is touted as very durable but leather when properly cared for will last longer. The monogram canvas is hugely popular and I think people really appreciate how low maintenance it is. The resale value on the monogram canvas is the highest from any of their collections. 

 If a structured bag is what you are after, you are better off going with one of their canvas prints, or their other leather styles like Epi Leather (their MOST durable and weather resistant material), or Monogram Empreinte which holds it’s shape firmly.

I came in with a list of bags in Mahina Leather and Monogram Empreinte that I wanted to try, and a few monogram canvas bags. My preference is leather for my bags and I don’t mind the care it takes keeping them looking beautiful. 

Special Design Details Required

The other element that drew me in where some of the new design features. The most beautiful is the braided leather top handles featured on some bags. I also loved the trendy brightly coloured Jacquard Guitar Straps paired with neon bright coloured sophisticated bags.

I love how Louis Vuitton is constantly reinventing classic shapes and making older beloved styles look like entirely new designs. 

The braided leather top handle on many of the Mahina bags had me completely obsessed with a few bags in particular. I checked the local store inventory online to make sure my top favourite bags where in stock before going in because I sort of had an idea of what I wanted, and just needed to narrow down my selections. You now need to pre book an appointment to shop in order to keep the store very well spaced out. I appreciated coming in and knowing I had that time dedicated to me and I didn’t have to wander and wait for someone to help me. 


The perfect bag for me has to have versatility. Not every bag in my closet has to be practical in every occasion, but my ‘daily’ bags do.  For this particular purchase and at this price point I wanted a daily wear bag. I like to wear my bags as much as possible and I don’t want to wait for special occasions to use them.

I like a bag to have the option to carry it crossbody, or by top handle. I like space for my essentials and I like something that I can dress up and dress down. I think all of the bags I tried here today fit that criteria well, so it was a matter of personal style preference amongst all of these pieces. That’s where my analyzing steps out, and I go with my heart. 

The Beaubourg Hobo MM

This Beaubourg Hobo MM  was number one on my list and ever since I spotted it online I could not stop thinking about it. I saw many other bags I loved from other brands, in amazing colors, but I constantly felt the need to compare them to this bag to see which I liked better.  That was a good indication that this was the one, but without trying it on in person I could never make that decision. the bag looked really big online and I was worried it would be too huge for my shorter frame. I also wondered how comfortable the gorgeous looking strap would be. Initially it was sold out online, but then it briefly appeared in both my local stores, and then it went down to just one bag at one store. 

When I went in for my appointment, my SA Yvonne (Holt Renfrew Vancouver) looked at my list of bags I wanted to try and got started pulling them. She knew this was the one I was most interested in seeing, but she made me wait and pulled it out last. I think in retrospect this was a very good thing because I got to really consider each and every bag before it while I worried about wether or not this one was even available. Yvonne was fantastic and gave me a lot of great input. 


The Muria Bag stole my heart. It was the first one to come out, and like the Beaubourg MM, all other bags that followed where compared to this one. I don’t normally gravitate to bucket bag styles but this one stunning.  I actually didn’t have this one on my list, Yvonne just brought it out to me knowing I liked the leather and the handle. 

This bag is fairly roomy and you can carry it multiple ways. I love a bag that you can wear crossbody, on your arm, or carried by a top handle. The Muria  comes in the gorgeous Mahina leather and has the braided leather handles that I love so much. This bag has a sturdier base at the bottom so while the rest of the bag begins to slouch, it should retain it’s bucket shape. I loved this light color called mist, but the color I really love in it is chocolate which is unfortunately sold out. I loved holding this bag. It’s so soft, and feminine and pretty.  This bag is smaller than Beaubourg, but it’s still roomy enough to fit a larger wallet, a phone, a bottle of water etc. Lots of space for extra things. The bucket shape is divided by a centre zipped pocket where you can keep your wallet safely hidden. 


Bag #3, the Carmel Bag features Mahina leather, a braided top handle and it comes in the gorgeous chocolate brown color which is a special edition color. My friend Carolyn recommended I try this one and she was not wrong. It’s just stunning. I especially loved how it looked carried on my arm. I also loved that it has the same bag tag and  LV charm that the Beaubourg Hobo has.    It is a very spacious bag and super chic. There is no crossbody strap with this bag, jus top handle to sling it over your shoulder or onto the crook of your arm. You could technically buy a long strap to add to it but I don’t think it would look right.     

Girolata MM

*similar option is the Hina MM

Here is the Girolata MM which is a tote style stepped up (way up) from the perennial favourite Neverfull MM. It’s smaller than the Neverfull but it’s a much more manageable style and shape. And much more elegant. The soft Mahina leather with the curved sides really hugs into my body in a way that my Neverfull does not. My Neverfull can be squished in and its soft but it protrudes  out from my arms. This is a more compact version. The leather drawstring closure is so practical and it changes the shape of the bag for a different look. I love the way the front of the bag pleats in and out with soft curves.  


Of all the Mahina leather bags, the Haumea Bag was the softest and plushest, and the most structured. I think it’s probably because of the thicker calfskin leather at the front without any perforations. This bag is really beautiful and has tons of separate storage. The outer two slip pockets have a magnetic closure to keep everything secured and to keep the profile streamlined. The inside of the bag is a large cavernous pocket. You could probably fit a 13” laptop in it. Although the bag does taper in on the inside. This is the ideal business work bag. The pink Bois De Rose and Beige Galet where both great color options.

Scala Mini Pouch

The final Mahina option is this precious little  Scala Mini Pouch. I believe it is a special seasonal edition so once it sells out it’s done. This was a frivolous add to my list because it was not a contender for the birthday gift from my husband. It was too small for that and just a fun little crossbody. BUT this dainty  little bag is so adorable and it immediately caught my attention online when it popped up a few days ago. The Scala Mini Bag arrived in stores that very morning and had already sold out in the mint color which is the one I wanted to see the most. I managed to find the last one for my area,  Vert Lagon at the other LV store nearby. Currently the black and the pink are in stock online but the green is sold out and showing available stock in a few Ontario stores. I think this will probably restock in a few days though. There has been a lot of chatter about it online but I don’t think it sold out as fast as it appeared to online. 

This bag is deceptively roomy. I can fit my overstuffed wallet in it, my phone, my vitamin case, my keys and still I have room enough to root around in and add lipgloss and whatnots.

I know it’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. This one is going to be polarizing. I’m torn on the vibes I’m getting from it. It either has a vintage granny look to it, with the Easter colors, or it has a sexy retro glam look. Either vibe, I love it. This bag is for your Worthers Originals and your red lipstick.  It reminds me of  this buttery soft Bottega Veneta pouch which is most definitively sexy retro glam

I’ve always liked the idea of the the little LV Pochette bags but the thin little chain straps aren’t practical for me and the canvas versions where never exciting enough for me to run out and buy. This one though, is perfect for me.

It has the perfect leather adjustable, removable strap that you can wear crossbody, shortened to wear on your shoulder, shortened to wear as a crossbody against your chest (like a bum bag) held without the strap as a clutch, or you could even get a different chain strap to use it as top carry. 

You probably guessed by now that this came home with me. It was a frivolous buy that I am very happy about. I opted for the green because for a bag like this I wanted a fun pop of color. All of my bags at home are black (or neutral monogram) so I wanted the pretty green. If I didn’t care about getting another black crossbody bag I did love the black. The pink was pretty as well but I didn’t gravitate to it the same way. 

The Petite Malle Supple is one of my top online picks that I wanted to see in person. I love the edgy style! I really wanted to see it in the Empreinte leather in either black or creme. This bag is beautiful in the monogram contrasted with black, but it’s especially stunning in the leather without any contrasting.

I love how this bag looks on, held by the top handle, at the crook of the arm or even crossbody. It’s stylish every way you carry it with perfect attitude. The jacquard guitar strap is perfection and so comfortable to wear. I love and all the extra little design features from the chain strap, the luggage tag and the reinforced corners. I also love the single top handle on one side which really balances the aesthetics of this bag.  It’s quite a roomy small bag. It’s compatible to my Gucci camera bag in size, but taller and a bit wider. I need to see this bag in all three colorways at some point. It’s staying firmly on my wish list for a potential future purchase, probably at resale. In the meantime I’ll continue to lust after it. 

Montaigne BB

The Montaigne BB in leather is a bag I was seriously considering.

Again, I hoped to see this in Empreinette leather, but the only one available was this canvas monogram with vachetta leather. I’m really not a fan o the vachetta leather as it is untreated raw leather that shows every single mark. It’s meant to patina over time into a shiny caramel color, but there are growing pains. This bag has a thick rolled handle made of vachetta, and the leather carries down the side of the bag. I was anxious putting my clammy hands on the handles of this bag.

The leather version of this bag doesn’t have the strips down the front so it’s a much more refined look. This bag is structured but not stiff. It has three compartments. The middle compartment being zippered. Because of the compartment divisions on the inside you have less usable space than you would expect for this size. It still fits everything I would need it to fit. It’s just narrower pockets.  I love the the boxy a-line shape of this bag. In person I wasn’t feeling this bag in this version so it eliminated it from my wish list. It is a lovely bag though and one I would consider in the future in leather, or a seasonal print. 

What bag did I get??

It was a very tight race between the Beaubourg Hobo, the Muria, and the Petite Malle Souple. I chose the Beaubourg which was the one I kept thinking about and looking at online over and over again. It feels really special and substantial. It feels the most ‘me’ out of all of them. Either of the three would have been the right choice for me and all of them had the practical features I wanted.  After placing it on hold and considering it for 24hours we went back and purchased the one my gut told me was the one. I love it so much!

The Beaubourg Hobo MM is quite a roomy bag but the size isn’t too large. A structured bag of this size could easily be too overwhelming. Because it is a hobo it molds into my body more and it will just get slouchier as the leather breaks in. The beautiful top handle and the folded sides provide this bag with definition. The dark brown adornments enhance the bag without standing out from the bag. I’ve linked to an earlier version of this bag in monogram that comes in a ‘mini’ size. Although It’s only a bit smaller. That one is also very cute! It has colourful contrasting accents that pop out more against the monogram. 

I love the combination of brown on black, and the very subtle perforated monogram print throughout. It’s not immediately identifiable as an LV bag at first glance, you just see the hint of shadows from the perforations. For some people, not having the visible monogram logo is a negative and for others it’s a bonus. I don’t mind visible logos and monograms but I also don’t mind a more subtle bag. 

I haven’t ever seen this bag before, and there are very few pictures of it online or even reviews.  I’m so excited to start carrying it. I will just as soon as I get over the fear of the newness. 

Oh and this little thing...

Isn’t the Scala Mini Pouch such a cute accessory piece to the larger full size Mahina bags? It’s almost like having a little matching wallet that doubles as a purse.  For those of you interested in the provenance of LV bags, this mint green one is made in France. It’s my first made in France LV bag. Everything else I have is made in Spain. I don’t seek out the ‘made in’ tags before deciding on a bag but I know a lot of people prefer it. 

Which bag did you like best? Do you own any of these or a similar style from a different brand already?

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Anonymous January 30, 2021 - 2:11 pm

I simply could not pick a favourite … so many beautiful bags! I just loved this post! Thank you!

Cristina January 31, 2021 - 9:37 pm

Thank you so much for the feedback! I’m glad you liked the post.

AB January 31, 2021 - 4:59 am

Thank you for this detailed blog! I absolutely love both of your choices. Beautiful, classic and timeless. Enjoy!!

Cristina January 31, 2021 - 9:36 pm

Thank you! I’m glad you liked the post.

Paula February 1, 2021 - 7:34 am

Beautiful choice of bags. Congratulations on your purchases, they are stunning. Thank you for the post, well presented and thought out. Especially all of the added links.

L February 8, 2021 - 11:36 am

For Canadians the duty for the resale site must be hefty on such high priced items?

Ashley February 11, 2021 - 10:41 am

I’ve been debating buying the Scala mini pouch. How are you liking it so far?

Cristina February 12, 2021 - 11:51 am

I am loving it and really glad i got it, although I have not carried it outside yet. I plan to hopefully this weekend. The first few week and a half after getting the bags it was pouring rain.


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