It’s no secret one of the reasons people shop for pre-loved designer items is to score a rare or limited-edition piece. Whether it’s from a designer collaboration that sold out almost immediately, was once owned by a celebrity, crafted from a rare material (like the Himalayan Birkin), or brings back feelings of nostalgia from years ago, no one wants to feel like they missed out on a piece of the past.
While the secondhand market has made owning a piece of hard-to-find luxury easier than ever before, there are shoppers who feel like the previously unattainable bags have become too common and now they’re searching for even rarer pieces to avoid blending in with the crowd.
Even though we know scoring a Birkin, a croc Kelly, or a Chanel Jumbo Classic Flap Bag is a big win, sometimes the items that might double in value over time are the increasingly rare, limited-edition designer pieces. Collaborations such as Louis Vuitton x Takashi Murakami, Louis Vuitton x Richard Prince, and Louis Vuitton x Stephen Sprouse have seen their investment value skyrocket over 200% in the past few years.
So, while you should definitely continue searching for and stocking up on the Holy Grail of handbags, these days it’s the rare preloved Louis Vuitton bags that are capturing the hearts of collectors everywhere.
LOUIS VUITTON’S GREATEST INVESTMENT BAGS
Launched on January 6th, Louis Vuitton created their 2nd limited-edition capsule collection with world-renowned Japanese artist, Yayoi Kusama. Featuring instantly recognizable motifs like the Infinity Dots, multicolor Painted Dots, Metal Dots, and a Psychedelic Flower design, this new ready-to-wear collection reinterprets Louis Vuitton’s most iconic pieces and infuses them with the artist’s signature designs.
The artful dots adorn a limited quantity of Louis Vuitton’s timeless pieces like the Cappucines, Neverfull, and the Speedy, ensuring their retail and secondhand values will continue to rise. As the newest collaboration with Louis Vuitton, these pieces have been selling out quickly.
But let’s take a look at the first Louis Vuitton x Kusama collection from 2012, and all the other Louis Vuitton bags you need in your closet.
LOUIS VUITTON X YAYOI KUSAMA WAVES
In 2012, iconic artist Yayoi Kusama launched her first collection with Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs featuring her sci-fi optical illusions, artistic pumpkins, polka dots, tentacle-like nerves, and waves featured on a wide range of shoes, bags, dresses, and scarves. Following the success of her collaboration, Kusama took her Infinity Mirrors on tour, and it quickly went viral, with people waiting hours in the snow and heat to get pictures for social media.
This collaboration was Louis Vuitton’s most extensive with an artist to date—and today the items featuring her signature motifs are fetching top dollar.
LOUIS VUITTON X STEPHEN SPROUSE
Marc Jacobs convinced the fashion house to let 80s fashion designer, Stephen Sprouse, create a graffiti version of Louis Vuitton’s monogram and it was Louis Vuitton’s first successful collaboration. The Louis Vuitton x Stephen Sprouse collaboration was the first time Vuitton’s monogram had been updated, and it’s since become a pop culture phenomenon.
Launched in 2001, bags featuring the Louis Vuitton Graffiti pattern were sold out in an instant and they’re still in huge demand. Stephen Sprouse’s Roses Collection wasn’t launched until after Stephen’s death from lung cancer in 2009 and features a bright and feminine rose print.
LOUIS VUITTON X JEFF KOONS
Famed artist Jeff Koons (known for his balloon sculptures) launched his controversial collaboration with Louis Vuitton in April 2017, and it immediately generated a lot of buzz. Inspired by his “Gazing Ball” paintings, his prints are recreations of many iconic masterpieces by world-famous artists including da Vinci, Titian, Rubens, Fragonard and Van Gogh. These prints adorn Louis Vuitton bags like the Speedy, the Neverfull and the Keepall.
Each design features the artist’s name in metallic lettering with Koon’s initials on the opposite side of Louis Vuitton’s monogram. While many people turn up their noses at this collaboration, there is no denying that as a limited-edition item designed by one of the greatest artists of our time, it’s well worth the investment and a total collector’s piece.
LOUIS VUITTON X TAKASHI MURAKAMI
In 2003, Marc Jacobs joined forces with Takashi Murakami to not only create the Multicolor Monogram but also introduced us to some of the most in-demand designs on the secondhand market today. Following the success of the Monogram Multicolor collection, Murakami went on to create other successful collaborations such as the Cherry Blossoms, Panda, Cerises, MOCA Hands, and Monogramouflage. The partnership ended in 2015, making it the longest-running collaboration that the brand has ever had.
LOUIS VUITTON X RICHARD PRINCE
The Spring/Summer 2008 shows featured a beautiful collaboration with artist and photographer Richard Prince, and the result was a stunningly beautiful and equally rare Watercolor collection. Richard Prince created the effect of a watercolor monogram pattern in soft pale hues which looks like someone took a paintbrush and painted directly onto the black or white canvas.
LOUIS VUITTON X SUPREME
In 2000, Louis Vuitton sued Supreme for plagiarizing its signature Louis Vuitton monogram logo, but then at Paris Fashion Week in 2017, they joined forces to create one of the most iconic collaborations ever that transformed the relationship between high fashion and streetwear, Together, they produced everything from handbags and clothing to skateboard trunks which each piece featuring a unique blend of their logos, signature colors and craftsmanship.
LOUIS VUITTON ICONOCLASTS COLLECTION
Released in 2014, Louis Vuitton’s “Celebrating Monogram” project was created to honor the iconic logo. Six iconoclasts were created, and each designer was allowed to produce whatever they wanted, as long as they used the Monogram canvas. As a result, each piece in the collection had certain characteristics that identified the designer who created it. The fashion designers were Karl Lagerfeld, Frank Gehry, Cindy Sherman, Marc Newson, Christian Louboutin, and Rei Kawakubo.
These limited-edition pieces are incredibly rare (especially the Louis Vuitton Iconoclast Christian Louboutin Shopping Bag) making them a must-have collector’s item and investment piece.
Content and images for this blog post have been referenced from LePrix.