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A Bucket Bag Originally Intended to Carry Champagne

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First of Its Kind, Last of Its Kind

The latest iteration of Louis Vuitton’s NéoNoé design features smaller proportions and a multicolored patchwork of shearling.

  • Oct. 20, 2020

THEN: a 1960s Vogue photograph of a model carrying Louis Vuitton’s Noé bag on the platform of the Mistral, an express train from Paris to Nice.Credit…Archives Louis Vuitton Malletier/Seeberger NOW: the newest NéoNoé bucket bag, available at select Louis Vuitton stores. $4,450, louisvuitton.com.Credit…Photograph by Anthony Cotsifas. Styled by Marci Leiseth

The house of Louis Vuitton opened its doors in 1854 as a luggage and packing shop and quickly became known for its crafted canvas steamer trunks and wardrobe cases. Over the decades, they manufactured traveling goods for royals, fin de siècle explorers and their jet-setting clientele — and created custom carrying kits for everything from books and cigars to perfumes and polo gear. Perhaps their most famous special order, however, came in 1932, when Gaston-Louis Vuitton (the founder’s grandson) received a request from a champagne producer who wanted him to design a leather bag he could give as a gift to his clients. He had only two requirements: It should bear the weight of multiple bottles and stand the test of time. Gaston went to work, and soon the Noé was born. With its tapered rectangular base, the versatile bucket bag could fit five bottles of bubbly: four standing upright and one flipped upside down in the center. A drawstring closure prevented them from breaking or clanking.

Like the Speedy and Keepall bags, the NéoNoé, an update to the Noé, has become a house signature, appearing in its checkerboard Damier print, striated Epi leather and, of course, in its signature coated canvas. That iconic monogram debuted in 1896, combining the interlaced LV initials with three stylized floral motifs — a pattern inspired by decorative quatrefoils found in 13th-century Parisian cathedrals and the botanical shapes seen in Japanese mon, or family crests. The latest iteration of the NéoNoé, part of the forthcoming Monogram Winter collection, features slightly smaller proportions. Constructed around a grained cowhide black leather base, its oversize monogrammed logo is created with an intarsia technique in which panels of dyed cream, blue, caramel and pink shearling are inlaid to make a patchwork in the house’s iconic pattern, bringing a touch of high-flying aviator style to the effervescent classic.

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