"Pliable and built like the Keepall, the Speedy was, for a long time, a pure travel accessory designed for personal effects that the traveller wanted to keep to hand in their immediate vincinity. It’s also equipped with a padlock, like all the travel items. Then, from an accessory product, it became a handbag in its own right, retaining its Toron handles in natural cowhide leather and its riveted chapes for solidity."
Quote by Xavier Dixsaut, Director of innovation at Louis Vuitton.
One of the greatest it-bags of all time, and in fact the very first handbag of Louis Vuitton is called by its name the “Speedy”. This Louis Vuitton bag dates back to the early 20th century. It was designed in 1930 as a smaller interpretation of the hugely popular Keepall bag. Thanks to that era's travel revolution, it was referred to as the “Express”. The original size of the Speedy is 30 cm wide, which makes it manageable yet roomy.
Pictures of Audrey Hepburn with her Speedy 25 - via Pinterest
In 1959, Audrey Hepburn asked Vuitton to turn the popular Keepall travel bag into a miniaturized day bag that she could carry regularly. And at Audrey’s request Louis Vuitton introduced a smaller version of 25 cm wide, which is still a very popular size today. The Speedy wasn't the iconic bag it is total until the Speedy 25 of Audrey Hepburn was introduced. It was then turned into a regular production piece that has since become a signature style for the brand. While the Keepall was intended for the globetrotting elite, the Speedy was designed for everyday use. Nowadays, the Speedy is also available in 35 and 40 cm. The numerical size names refer to the width of the bag's front panel in centimeters.
Picture the difference between Speedy sizes - PurseBlog via Pinterest
In 2011, the Speedy Bandouliere was introduced. Bandouliere means "with a strap" in French. The Speedy got a small makeover to introduce a long shoulder strap, so the bag could be worn on the shoulder and cross body. The Speedy Bandouliere has a two-way zipper, so it's easier to open the bag. The easiest way to see the difference between a Speedy and a Speedy Bandouliere is the additional strip of leather trip running up on the sides of the bag.
Pictures to show the difference between the Speedy and Speedy Bandouliere - via Pinterest
In 2015, Louis Vuitton decided to redesign the Speedy Monogram, Damier Ebene and Damier Azur so it can keep up to modern use. Amongst others an interior zipper pocket and different stitching on the handle base were introduced.
The classic version of the bag consists largely of sturdy canvas with vachetta leather handles and piping. Vachetta leather is untreated and unprotected premium cowhide leather, which over the years and due to usage darkens to a dark brown leather. This process is called patina and is a good indicator of an original Louis Vuitton item. The canvas is waterproof, remains scratch-free and does not tear, the perfect material for a ‘heavy duty’ bag. The Monogram Speedy still holds its original design: it consists of one piece of classic canvas around the body. A Speedy purchased new in store comes with a lock and key, since the Keepall came with a lock and key too.
Pictures of Louis Vuitton Speedy, closeup of Vachetta leather and the lock - via Pinterest
Should you have any further questions about the Louis Vuitton Speedy or have any comments or remarks, please feel free to reach out to us via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or via Instagram. We're happy to help!
Written by Dieuwertje Bruijstens