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The World's Most Expensive Handbag

By Sandeep Goyal
December 06, 2023 16:29 IST
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Want to buy the Millionaire Speedy?
Well, you probably can't, because it's MTO -- meaning 'made-to-order' and is specifically for extraordinarily special VIP LV clients, says Sandeep Goyal.

IMAGE: Pharrell Williams with the Millionaire bag, his wife Helen Lasichanh and their son Rocket, Stefano Pilati are seen before Kim Jones Menswear ready-to-wear Spring/Summer 2024 collection show for fashion house Dior Homme during Men's Fashion Week in Paris, June 23, 2023. Photograph: Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters

Louis Vuitton's new Artistic Director Pharrell Williams captivated the fashion world earlier in the summer with the announcement of his new Speedy duffle bag, reportedly priced at a cool $1,000,000 -- hence dubbed the 'Millionaire' bag.

Pharrell's Millionaire Speedy, Louis Vuitton (LV) said, would be a one-of-a-kind bright and bold bag completely handmade by one of the luxe brand's experimental exotic leather ateliers.

The bag itself features a body constructed of yellow crocodile leather with flipped white monogram and matching tan accents, while the hardware on the carrying option, like the rivets, buckles, and chunky Cuban link carrying chain, come in yellow gold.

Finishing up the design of the bag is an 'LV' padlock set with VVS pavé diamonds.

The bag hit the market a couple of weeks ago. The new offering comes in five different colours -- rouge (red), vert (green), bleu (blue,) marron (brown) and the signature yellow.

Want to buy the Millionaire Speedy?

Well, you probably can't, because it's MTO -- meaning 'made-to-order' and is specifically for extraordinarily special VIP LV clients.

So, what do you think? Are customers actually going to buy this bag, or has this been priced just to create hype?

Los Angeles Clippers player P J Tucker posted on Instagram that he has already placed an order. So, the bag is for real.

What differentiates the Millionaire Speedy from the regular Speedy duffle bags that can be bought for $1,490 -- $1,620 at Louis Vuitton's stores is the material and the workmanship -- and yes, a pair of Louis Vuitton 'Millionaire' sunglasses that come as a bundled accessory.

Funnily enough, the inspiration for the Millionaire came from Canal Street in New York City, where vendors peddle counterfeit Louis Vuitton bags on its sidewalks.

By the way, Mr Williams' creation is not the only bag to cost such a hefty amount.

Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld and singer Madonna had joined forces some time ago in a collaboration that resulted in a remarkable achievement at the famous AmfAR dinner auction held annually at the Moulin de Mougins -- they managed to sell a bag for an impressive $261,000.

Mr Lagerfeld crafted an ultra-luxurious black version of the 'Diamond Forever' bag, especially for this occasion, which featured a white gold double 'C' clasp adorned with an array of 334 diamonds, totalling 3.56 carats.

The bag was held by a white gold chain, complemented by alligator skin lining.

IMAGE: A man holds the Mouawad 1001 Nights Diamond Purse' on displayed at the Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition. Photograph: Fadi Al-assaad/Reuters

And then there was the Mouawad 1001 Nights Diamond Purse priced at $3.8 million.

Designed by Lebanese jeweller Robert Mouawad, this heart-shaped bag broke the record to become the world's most expensive handbag in 2010.

It was crafted with 381.92 carats worth of yellow, pink and colourless diamonds, and it took 10 artisans to cover the bag's surface with 4,517 of the precious gemstones: Truly fitting the description of 'a girl's best friend'.

Interestingly, Debbie Wingham made headlines in 2019 with the unveiling of the world's most expensive handbag, valued at an incredible $6.7 million.

The purse adorned with a staggering 8,000 diamonds features an interior lined with an Hermès scarf, and fastens with a pair of $40,000 Cartier earrings.

However, the true embodiment of luxury lies within the bag's core: A genuine Emu egg reinforced with enamel made from blue diamond dust.

Bags have always been fashion and gossip triggers.

Remember when Sarah Jessica Parker shouted, 'This is not a bag, it's a Baguette!' in her role as Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City, elevating the Fendi Baguette handbag to a pop culture icon?

Similarly, Reese Witherspoon's Elle Woods paired the roomy Bottega Veneta Intrecciato Montaigne bag with her bright, monochrome outfits at Harvard in Legally Blonde while Sandra Bullock wore her own Birkin in The Proposal.

Created by Silvia Venturini Fendi in 1997, the Fendi Baguette, back to the Bradshaw example, was inspired by French women carrying the bread loaves of the same name under their arms.

With a long silhouette, the bag fits under the arm as snugly and comfortably as a baguette does, and has over 1,000 variations, reappearing in Fendi's collections with new identities over the years.

But my all-time favourite really is Holly Golightly, played by Audrey Hepburn, famously carrying the Chanel 2.55 during the last part of Breakfast at Tiffany's.

The iconic handbag was created by Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel herself -- featuring a long chain strap, the handbag has a quilted texture, centring a 'Mademoiselle' turn-lock, a timeless design popular to this day.

Famously, in The Devil Wears Prada, Miranda Priestly's (played by Meryl Streep) first appearance sees her walking out of a taxi carrying a grey Prada Spazzolato handbag.

Featuring a silver press lock and embossed Prada logo, the Spazzolato Logo Print Framed Bag in Quarzo has a unique vintage-inspired tote bag silhouette.

Complete with a leather clochette with keys to its lock, as well as a luxurious leather interior, the bag offers an intimidating yet classy vibe, perfect as a work bag -- that is if you'd like to embody Miranda!

Sandeep Goyal is managing director, Rediffusion.

Photographs curated by Manisha Kotian/
Feature Presentation: Ashish Narsale/

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