Louis Vuitton celebrates its haute maroquinerie service with a worldwide launch event in Singapore. Kay Fong discovers the world of possibilities this bespoke service offers
ick a shade of python, then accent it with a precious stone such as agate. Or would you prefer a stunning piece of crocodilian leather, its beauty augmented by hand-painted strokes. Then, there are exquisite ostrich and lizard options for a classic appeal. And we haven’t even started on fur yet.
The journey of creating something that is truly unique, with access to an extensive range of rare skins and Louis Vuitton’s renowned savoir faire is part of the magic of its haute maroquinerie service. The maison’s origins lie in crafting bespoke trunks for its clientele of well-heeled bourgeoisie under the stewardship of its eponymous founder. While it continues to equip its jet-setting clients with customised trunks to accompany them on their travels, Louis Vuitton has also extended this tradition to its haute maroquinerie service, where its most exclusive customers are given the opportunity to add a touch of their own style and personality to the maison’s iconic bags.
Established in 2011, this service allows customers a chance to explore different colours and textures of leather, enabling them to put their own stamp of creativity on the maison’s covetable bags, including the Noe, Triangle, Lockit, Milaris, Neo Steamer and the latest addition, the new classic Capucines.
With the inclusion of the Capucines bag style in the haute maroquinerie service in September 2015, Louis Vuitton allows customers to explore their creativity with a style that takes its name from the very foundations of the brand, as the maison opened its first boutique selling trunks on rue Neuve-des- Capucines in Paris in 1854.
The style itself was first seen on the runways in 2013 and is known for its single or tricoloured design. While the shape and form of the Capucines is one that is classic, it has also lent itself to playfulness and dramatic colour, with interesting variations in material combinations. The ultra-wearable shape and soft leather give the bag an almost-casual feel, making it easy to carry every day.
Ultimately, however, the bag is all about heritage. As expected with Louis Vuitton, the beauty lies in the details. The outline and engraved rivets subtly reference the brand’s signature, age-old trunks, while the quatrefoil clover petal and rings connecting the bag
and the handle are subtle nods to the brand’s jewellery collections.
Despite its classic shape, the bag has great potential for originality, as the crux of the haute maroquinerie service is that the potential lies in the hands of the customer. Whether you prefer your Capucines in a mini BB or medium MM size, the possibilities are endless. There are countless permutations available, with 26 calf leather and 16 crocodile leathers to choose from, and the option of 27 goatskin or lambskin colours for the lining.
You can opt for gold or palladium hardware for the final touch, and for a dash of flourish, you can also opt to emboss your bag with a 25-character personalised message. This service is offered at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands flagship store, Ngee Ann City and Ion Orchard boutiques, and the process can take from five to 12 months. The bag is truly a feat of handcraftsmanship, and requires over 300 complex steps that include selecting by hand only the finest quality leathers, finishing the edges, and stitching the leather.
On September 22, Louis Vuitton hosted in Singapore its first-ever worldwide, largescale event for its haute maroquinerie service, and offered a wide range of exotic, bright-coloured leathers. The use of exotic skins is quite an achievement given the delicate nature of these leathers, which must be manipulated carefully to maintain the Capucines’ trademark suppleness.
The Capucines is the perfect canvas to customise a bag unique to an individual. Its place firmly cemented in the maison’s history, its future can only move forward creatively, in the confident hands of Louis Vuitton’s leather craftsmen.
The use of exotic skins is quite an achievement given the delicate nature of these leathers
What goes into the making of a Louis Vuitton haute maroquinerie bag?