One of the most renowned luxury handbag producers on the planet is Louis Vuitton. The company got its start in Paris in 1854, and since its founding it has become a global empire with revenues of over $10 billion per year. The company’s monogrammed purses can easily be spotted around the world, and wearing a Louis Vuitton handbag is very much a status symbol. While most of the brand’s offerings are expensive, with even small bags costing several thousand dollars, a select few Louis Vuitton purses have record breaking price tags.
Here are five of the most expensive Louis Vuitton Handbags ever created.
The Tribute Patchwork Bag
Year of Release: 2007
This bag caused a huge buzz when it debuted in 2007 for many reasons. While some clamored to get one due to its exclusivity, including celebrities such as Beyonce and Rihanna, others were unimpressed with the bag’s mish-mash of styles. To create the concept for the Tribute Patchwork Bag, Louis Vuitton basically combined different parts of 15 different bags from one of its spring/summer collections. When you look at it, you see a handle from one handbag, a pocket from another, and motifs and patterns from many others — visually, some deemed the purse to be an expensive trainwreck.
Others who didn’t mind shelling out $45,000 for the purse thought it was creative and artsy. The reason the Tribute Patchwork Bag is so expensive is partly because it’s from Louis Vuitton, and also because it’s a limited edition and only 24 units were made. Each one of the two dozen purses quickly sold out, so the only way to get one now is to pay even more for the purse at auction or through private sale. This definitely isn’t one of the classiest Louis Vuitton handbags ever made, but it ranks among the brand’s most costly and most talked about purses.
Crocodile Lady Bag PM
Year of Release: 2014
This handbag is definitely chic, but it’s not particularly remarkable in its design. There are no Louis Vuitton logos covering its exterior, either. The Crocodile Lady Bag PM is an iteration of the Lady Bag PM and what makes it so costly is the fact that it’s covered in exotic crocodile leather. If you opt to forgo the croc skin, however, you can get the bag for many thousands of dollars less.
Louis Vuitton emphasized the silhouette of the bag when it debuted, saying that it was one that the brand had never used before. However, the purse-loving portion of the public had seen the profile of the Crocodile Lady Bag PM in bags from other brands. Still, when Louis Vuitton comes out with a new model fashion aficionados tend to stand up and pay attention, so the handbag had no problem selling.
There were relatively few people who could afford it, but those who could made sure to order one. Because of its price and the fact that it wasn’t mass produced, the Crocodile Lady Bag PM is one of the most exclusive Louis Vuitton handbags ever released.
Crocodile Skin City Steamer
Year of Release: 2015
Over the last several decades Louis Vuitton has lost some of its exclusivity. It’s still a powerhouse brand, but it’s not exactly on the same level as Hermes, Chanel, or Fendi. In other words, it’s not rare to see someone walking down the street with a Louis Vuitton purse, whether it’s a knock off or the real thing. In an effort to recapture some of its exclusivity the brand has started making a habit of dropping super pricey models from time to time, including a new version of their City Steamer handbag in crocodile.
Just as the Crocodile Lady Bag PM proved in 2014, adding croc skin to any purse makes it many times more expensive. At least that’s the case in the world of Louis Vuitton handbags. The special edition purse was a hit, but not many people were able to get one. Of course, few have $55,500 laying around to splurge on a handbag period, but this particular model was reserved for high profile celebs and fashion influencers. The style of the purse is sophisticated and elegant, and even though there’s little innovative about it’s design or profile, it still has a beautiful look.
Louis Vuitton Coquille d’Oeuf Minaudiere
Year of Release: 2012
To be so small in size, the Coquille D’Oeuf Minaudiere carries a hefty price tag. This is one of the most expensive clutches ever made by Louis Vuitton, and on the outside its appearance isn’t anything special. It does look nice, with its cream colored exterior and subtle LV monogramming, but it doesn’t look $101,000 worth of “nice”.
What actually makes this handbag so expensive is the fact that it’s very exclusive and not massed produced — you can’t just go into a Louis Vuitton boutique and walk out with one. The bag is a work intensive piece of art, as plain as it may look at first glance. The pretty cream color of its exterior comes from 12,500 pieces of eggshell that were crushed and painstakingly put together to create the Coquille D’Oeuf Minaudiere’s motif.
The Kusama Pumpkin Minaudiere Jewel Bag
Year of Release: 2012
The special edition Pumpkin Minaudiere by Yayoi Kusama is one of the most expensive Louis Vuitton handbags to be sold in stores. The unique purse was sold at Selfridges department store in London, and its style was the brainchild of a collaboration between Louis Vuitton and famous Japanese designer Yayoi Kusama. The pumpkin shaped clutch covered in Kusama’s trademark polka dots looks refreshingly different, but it still manages to retain an element of class and refinement. One could wear the bag with an evening gown and look fabulous, but only if they had $133,430 to spare to buy the Pumpkin Minaudiere in the first place.