A roundup of Louis Vuitton's most iconic vintage bags from the 1990s.
Have you been thinking about buying a secondhand designer bag? How about a vintage Louis Vuitton bag from the 90s?
Louis Vuitton of the past has the craftsmanship and quality that has stood the test of time. Vintage pieces are special; every vintage Louis Vuitton bag comes with its own history, character, patina, and style.
The 1990s were a pivotal time for Louis Vuitton: the Monogram print was booming. In 1997, Louis Vuitton hired the first-ever Creative Director, the American fashion designer Marc Jacobs to elevate the bags and luggage Louis Vuitton was known for. It was Marc Jacobs that created Vernis and released Damier Ebene. Today, you’ll only be able to find many of these vintage styles on the resale market. 90s revival is in full swing on the resale market!
How to tell if a Louis Vuitton bag is from the 1990s
First, look at the date code! In the 90s, the factory location code was at the beginning, and the first and third numbers represented the month, with the second and fourth numbers representing the manufacturing year. Format: 2 letters 4 numbers (LL MYMY).
Best Louis Vuitton bags released in the 1990s
Louis Vuitton Monogram Alma MM
1992 was the official release of the Monogram Canvas Alma. This Louis Vuitton House icon has structured lines with leather Toron handles, golden brass hardware, and a beautiful natural cowhide base. The Alma looks elegant when carried by hand or on the elbow, especially with a vintage patina. For a vintage Alma, look for a caramel-colored patina on the base and no bottom feet.
Louis Vuitton Monogram Pochette Accessories
In the world of “It” bags, the tiny Louis Vuitton Pochette Accessories bag was on the arm of every celebrity and fashionista in the late ‘90s and early aughts. Made of iconic monogrammed canvas, it was (and still is) originally considered an entry-level item for its affordable retail price. After the 90s, the Pochette Accessories took off in popularity. The LV Pochette Accessories was made in a wide variety of materials like Epi leather, Monogram Multicolore, and limited edition collections like Stephen Sprouse Graffiti.
Louis Vuitton Monogram Mini Sac HL Speedy
This Mini Speedy bag is barely big enough to fit a card case, but that doesn’t stop it from being popular. The miniature version of a Speedy bag is crafted from Monogram canvas with natural leather trim with two handles and a zip closure. The new model Nano Speedy has the same look, but you can’t beat vintage!
Louis Vuitton Monogram Musette Tango
The Musette Tango is one of the more underrated vintage styles from the 1990s. This flap top closure tucks comfortably under the arm and has an adjustable leather shoulder strap. The rounded body creates a spacious interior. If the Musette Tango is too small, look for the Musette Salsa, a vertical version with the same rounded body and flap top.
Louis Vuitton Monogram Montsouris Backpack
The Montsouris backpack by Louis Vuitton was designed in the late 90s, named after Parc Montsouris, one of the largest green spaces in Paris, France. This backpack has a spacious main compartment with a drawstring and a buckle closure. The vintage Montsouris backpack was discontinued and updated with a new design in 2017.
Louis Vuitton Monogram Petit Bucket
The Petit Bucket is crafted of traditional Louis Vuitton Monogram coated canvas with a solid oval base and a classic open bucket shape. The Petit Bucket bag also has adjustable leather shoulder straps and washable faux leather lining. If Monogram canvas isn’t your style, the Damier Ebene Marais Bucket bag was released in 1998.
Louis Vuitton Monogram Ellipse Bag
The Monogram Ellipse bag has a structured shell shape with leather piping. The Ellipse comes in four sizes: Shopping, PM, MM, and Backpack. The Ellipse has a very rigid, structured shape with a sturdy design. The discontinued Ellipse bag will age considerably better than many Monogram bags because vachetta leather is only used on the handles and trim.
In 1996, Louis Vuitton celebrated 100 years of its Damier print
Damier Ebene, French for "brown checkerboard", was actually the first Louis Vuitton design, released in 1896 by Georges Vuitton. For the 100th anniversary of Louis Vuitton's Damier print, the Centenaire Collection was launched in 1996, featuring Damier Ebene with its original natural cowhide vachetta leather.
With the success of the Centenaire Collection, Louis Vuitton released Damier Ebene with brown leather as a part of their permanent collection in 1998.
Louis Vuitton Damier Soho Backpack
Part of the ultra-limited Centenaire Collection, Louis Vuitton released 100 Soho Backpack bags in Damier Ebene canvas with natural cowhide handles, straps, and accents. The Centenaire Soho Backpack was so successful that it was released again in Damier Ebene with brown leather. The Soho Backpack is now one of the most popular vintage Louis Vuitton backpack styles.
Louis Vuitton Damier Ebene Brera
The Brera was part of the very first Damier Ebene City bag collection. Featuring soft Damier Ebene canvas combined with brown textured leather, the Brera has a square shape and two-way zip closure.
Louis Vuitton Damier Ebene Venice Sac Plat
The Louis Vuitton vintage Damier Ebene Venice Sac Plat tote has a sleek rectangular tote design with smooth brown leather top handles, a zip closure, and a spacious interior. Though the Venice Sac Plat tote is discontinued, it still remains popular amongst LV lovers for its classic design and petite shape.
Epi Leather Bags from the 90s
Though Epi leather was originally released in 1986, Epi leather was released in a variety of bright and neutral colors in the 90s: Black, Borneo Green, Kenyan Fawn, Toledo Blue, Sable, Castilian Red, Cipango Gold, and Tassil Yellow. If you’re into gold hardware, all Epi bags from the 1990s had golden brass hardware.
Louis Vuitton Epi Bicolor Noe
During the 1990s, color combinations were on-trend. Louis Vuitton tapped into this trend and released the popular Noe and Petit Noe bags in bi-color combinations like red/black and green/blue.
Louis Vuitton Epi Malesherbes
The vintage Monogram Malesherbes is a classic top handle bag, similar to the style of Hermes’ Kelly. A perfect combination of a vintage look with a modern flair, the Maleserbes features a flap top and an oval turnlock closure. The Malesherbes was released in Monogram and Epi. If you love the look of the vintage Louis Vuitton Malesherbes, look for a Monceau, Concorde, or Pochette Metis.
Louis Vuitton Epi Saint-Jacques
Louis Vuitton's Saint Jacques is a trapezoid-shaped tote with a zipped top and has two straps options corresponding with sizes: short strap for the PM and MM, and long strap for MM and GM. This rare structured tote bag is a favorite amongst collectors for its sturdy shape.
Louis Vuitton Epi Cannes
The Epi Leather Cannes bag was designed as a beauty case for the travel-centric Louis Vuitton. The rare barrel-shaped bag has a single top handle and a zip-around closure.
Louis Vuitton Epi Keepall
The iconic Louis Vuitton Keepall got the colorful Epi treatment in the 1990s. Vintage Epi Keepall duffle bags are durable and made to withstand world travel, featuring weather-resistant Epi leather, smooth leather, and golden brass hardware.
Louis Vuitton introduces Monogram Vernis in 1998
In 1997, Marc Jacobs was named creative director at Louis Vuitton. Jacobs gave new life to the monogram and introduced the Louis Vuitton Vernis line in 1998, a coated leather embossed with the famous LV Monogram. "Vernis" means varnish in French, highlighting the shiny, sparkly effect of the glossy leather.
Louis Vuitton Vernis Bedford
The Bedford barrel bag is the Vernis version of the iconic Papillon bag. The classic rounded shape with two straps is inspired by the spirit of the butterfly. Vintage Vernis from the first few collections had a tendency for the leather to fade or change color over time.
Louis Vuitton Vernis Houston
The Vernis Houston, named after Houston street in New York, is a classic rectangle tote with leather shoulder straps and a zip-top closure. The vintage Houston can be found secondhand from the 90s in Vernis in blue, pink, lime, beige, and grey.
Louis Vuitton Vernis Thompson Street
Louis Vuitton's Thompson Street shoulder bag has an easy-open flap top with a magnetic closure. Available in the iconic 90s pastel Vernis colors, the name Thompson Street was inspired by the 90s street fashion in Soho, New York.
Louis Vuitton Vernis Lexington Pochette
The Louis Vuitton Lexington Pochette was initially advertised in 'Le Catalogue' in 1999. The original Lexington Pochette came in 5 different colors: blue, pink, lime, beige, and grey. This small clutch has a removable leather shoulder strap and a zip closure.
If you’re looking for a high-quality vintage purse, Louis Vuitton is the way to go. Vintage pieces are special; Louis Vuitton bags come with their own unique history, character, patina, and style but you can only find old pieces on the resale market. When purchasing vintage Louis Vuitton, gentle wear should be expected and reinforces the history of heritage pieces. Look for a place to buy vintage Louis Vuitton bags that guarantees their authentication, like Marque Luxury.