Fashion

You Can Now Paint Anything On Your Louis Vuitton Hard-Sided Luggage

The special service is in Manila until Sunday.
IMAGE Louis Vuitton
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Well, actually, it won’t be you who will be applying the splashes of color on the famous leathers of Louis Vuitton. It will be the masion’s in-house artist who was flown in from Singapore to appease the most discerning connoisseurs of beautiful things.

Personalization, after all, is the last frontier of luxury. Why have a Bisten suitcase covered in the iconic Monogram when you can have a Bisten suitcase whose iconic Monogram skin is adorned with the likeness of, say, your precious kitty, Bobo?

Yes, you can have a cat, a hat, a cat in a hat, your brat with a cat, or whatever else your heart desires painted on these stuff carriers. And we advise you do just that: be fearless in your choice of illustration. When you are paying for the bag (already expensive) and the service (makes it more expensive), you have the right to do whatever you want.

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The whatever-you-want part can start with the bag. According to our luxury tipster, the Paris fashion house receives very specific requests when it comes to its hard-sided luggage. There was a client who wanted a chest for her collection of Barbies and still another who wanted one made as a final resting place (read: coffin).

Other more vanilla orders include a trunk for whisky or cases for cufflinks, perfume, ties, belts, or, really, all of the above, as seen in a sketch of an accessory chest with a bevy of drawers and cubby holes for jewelry, watches, sunglasses, and other manner of finery. The small pillows where you rest your timepieces are also included. The house can do anything.

Photo by CLIFFORD OLANDAY.
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But back to the service: Once you’ve picked your vessel, you can now discuss designs with My Nguyen, one of the talented artists of Louis Vuitton (her official designation is expert advisor, personalization and special service—very cool). You can show her an image of Bobo and ask her to render your feline friend as if she was peeking out of a zipper. Or you can combine a set of images sourced from LV’s vintage ads like a bellhop who looks like Tintin (but is not!). Or you can relay a vision and My will interpret your dreams as colored brushstrokes on supple leather.

The artist’s story is as interesting as her creations. My, who was once a sales associate, does not have formal training in the arts, but only a passion for painting. Few knew of her talent, but when LV needed more people to do its personalization service, the store’s artist revealed that she can do it, too. Now, My spends her days in a corner of the shop floor so that clients can see her drawing and painting—and maybe become interested enough in the idea to partake in it. In fact, clients who get the service do sit with her to pore over their design until all dreams are fulfilled.

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Photo by CLIFFORD OLANDAY.

We spy such dreams on a table covered with swatches of leather. Apart from the blue-eyed cat, there is a peacock hanging out on the folds of curtain, flowers in obscene bloom, the Philippine jeepney, a family portrait (yes!), and our old friend Vivienne, who for My’s visit in Manila, is currently being painted in a suit inspired by vibrant Filipino festivals.

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Okay, now a caveat: There are two limitations to the service. As of the moment, it is only available for Louis Vuitton’s canvas leather specifically on its hard-sided luggage. My explains that other precious leathers won’t take on the paint, while a smaller bag that is always handled by hand will not be good for the art.

These is fine because, for Christmas, what you want (for yourself!) is something big, beautiful, and boldly designed. Something that can fit a cat, maybe? A large suitcase in painted skin?

Louis Vuitton’s personalization service is available until November 24, Sunday at Greenbelt 4.

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Clifford Olanday
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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