The past week has been one of my biggest splurges yet, with several trips to Giorgio Armani and Prada. And the week culminated with the purchase of a new Robusto II briefcase at Louis Vuitton, value US$3,300.
Vuitton? Me? Have I lost my mind? What happened to the Giorgio Armani project? Fear not, gentle reader. My goals remain Giorgio Armani pure, and I will give a broad update on where that project is after the first six months in further posts next week.
With hand on heart I can say that I did not intend to shop at Louis Vuitton. But I have recently been searching for a new business briefcase, and I was looking for something that would see me through the rest of my career – another 10-20 years – and something that offered the same principles I am building through my Giorgio Armani wardrobe: elegant, stylish, timeless, with modern yet noticeably classic design.
And as I walked along Maximilianstrasse in Munich, one particular case in the window of Louis Vuitton kept catching my eye: a beautiful, simple, elegant case that seemed just right. This bag turned out to be the bigger Robusto III (three sleeves), but I was quickly informed of the Robusto I and II, and the II was simply gorgeous.
Even after careful inspection, and realization that I was unlikely to find a better case, I was still highly skeptical of purchasing from this brand. All the logos at Vuitton were a bit off-putting, not to mention the thronging, somewhat grabby customers – what looked like a mix of the offspring of Arab oil magnates, Russian oligarchs and 6’2″ Bayern Munich footballers. I returned 3 times to look again and again, never quite commiting.
But I honestly could not imagine a better quality briefcase, and after 48 hours reflection I am now the owner of a Robusto II Taiga (dark grey) in textured cow leather. It is possibly the most discreetly logo’d item in the entire Louis Vuitton range – if you are not looking for the logo you will not notice it, which for Vuitton is really saying something.
Quite funnily, as I arrived for the purchase, I was carrying bags from both Giorgio Armani and Prada (more on these trips in other reports), and the assistant – a charming young man – was most surprised that I was not noted on the customer list. This oversight was quickly corrected, and I was warmly welcomed into the marketing database of another luxury brand.
Taking the underground train home carrying a heavily-laden Louis Vuitton bag made me realize the power of this brand. I have never seen so many people looking at me in my life…