The $52,000 Ugly Purse

By Manolo the Shoeblogger

Manolo says, while the Manolo is not in the least way opposed to the luxurious items, but sometimes they seem ridiculous.

The Louis Vuitton Tribute Patchwork is this summer’s ultimate status bag, ringing in at $52,500. […]

“We find the customer there is a very sophisticated client,” said Brigid Andrews, Northeast regional vice president for Louis Vuitton. “When there’s something that is this special, I’m really not surprised that we had a client who wanted it for her own collection.”

The company made the bag that special not only by price tag and design — 14 LV bags were cut up and sewn together to make it — but also by offering only five for sale in North America and 24 worldwide.

R&B superstar Beyonce Knowles got one. The other four? Their names have not been revealed. […]

The Tribute Patchwork is Louis Vuitton’s most expensive and exclusive bag to date. Though Washington has long bemoaned its second-class status when it comes to fashion, Louis Vuitton’s president for North America, Daniel Lalonde, said the market has shown an exceptional “appetite for show bags.”

The Tribute Patchwork is handmade at a workshop in France and is made up of pieces of 14 Louis Vuitton handbags, including the monogram denim from spring 2005, the Lady Steamer with Alligator from fall 2006, the Cuir Tresse from spring 2007 and the Talentueux Suhali from spring 2003. Andrews said Louis Vuitton’s creative director, Marc Jacobs, designed the Tribute Patchwork “as a celebration of the history of Louis Vuitton.”

The Manolo’s purse blogging friends have been talking about this for many months now, but the Manolo has heretofore restrained himself.

But now this story has annoyed the Manolo, not because of the price of the purse, but because it is so terribly ugly. This is the example of how price alone, and not quality, nor beauty, is being used to define that which is luxurious.

If this purse were truly beautiful, and not simply the inside-joke, hillbilly patchwork cob-job the Manolo could see paying this amount, but as it stands this is ridiculous.

P.S. Ugly Purse Week Continues!


44 Responses to “The $52,000 Ugly Purse”

  1. Cat Says:

    Wow. That bag is offensively ugly.

  2. Allison Says:

    Maybe Louis V just wanted to hop on the DIY-based repurposed materials trolley by making something that’d look more at home at an underfunded southern baptist vacation bible school arts-n-crafts hour. I think he misread his modus operandi memo as arts-n-crap, though.

  3. Anon Says:

    Looks like Louis Vuitton’s clearance rack got dumped in a trash compactor.

  4. the daleth Says:

    Gives new meaning to ‘wretched excess.’

  5. deja pseu Says:

    Gives new meaning to the saying, “Money can’t buy good taste.”

  6. Gauss Says:

    Way to use all those leftover bags they were not able to sell in past year!

  7. Phyllis Says:


  8. Radish Says:

    Manolo! You needlessly insult us hillbillies! We have much better taste than to carry a bag that truly horrible when there are pleather Hello Kitty bags at the WalMart for $5.96.

  9. Kim Says:

    I read someplace that Rudy Giuliani’s wife has one of these Frankenpurses. She named it “Baby Louis,” and it has its own seat on her airplane.

    Shameful. And silly.

  10. mary Says:

    I must have one…but onlyif the price is tripled. Then it will be worth buying.

  11. KateriBella Says:

    Many little compartments to hold the different styles of dog-doo that one would find walking along the street in Hollywood…at least, that’s the ONLY thing I’d use it for. Sorry, LV, but when your newest “creation” cost more than my house…I shall never again lust after having an authentic Louis Vuitton. I will treasure my knockoff.
    Radish — you are so right!

  12. Susanna Says:

    Yes, but the Marc Jacobs, he was in rehab this year. This explains alot. Really, it does.

  13. Texasexile Says:

    That purse is just too ugly for me to think of a pithy comment to down it. Yeeeeccch.

  14. la petite chou chou Says:

    This is only further evidence that just because you’ve got a name for yourself doesn’t mean everything you create is good.

  15. fluti-3.14159 Says:

    There something just wrong with juxtaposing these two ideas:

    the monogram denim from spring 2005, the Lady Steamer with Alligator from fall 2006, the Cuir Tresse from spring 2007 and the Talentueux Suhali from spring 2003.

    “a celebration of the history of Louis Vuitton.”

    I am new to the fashion (and to the blog of the Manolo), but even so, how can anything 4 years old be deemed historical?

  16. Wendy Says:

    THANK YOU! I can’t believe someone hasn’t said this before. I’ve been reading your blog for a long time Manolo and this is the first time i’ve been so reviled by anything that i’ve posted.

  17. Poochie Says:

    What an obvious scam! Just because it is limited and expensive we should covet it.

    Again – money can’t buy taste…or class, apparently.


  18. La BellaDonna Says:

    Tsk! La BellaDonna, she feels compelled to point out that the mountain dwellers, they have a long history of the skilled patchwork, and of creating beauty out of necessity. This shameful travesty, it lacks the utility even of the humble plastic grocery bag, which is useful for cleaning the litter box. La BellaDonna, she agrees with the Phyllis – Frankenpurse, indeed!

  19. Judith in Umbria Says:

    Say you don’t mean that. I think it is indefensible to pay $52,500 for a purse. Buy a studio apartment in the suburbs for a struggling artist instead.

    This is beyond the pale. I hope if anyone tries to get on a flight carrying one that Keith will make them get off because they are offending other passengers.

  20. Lori Says:

    Imagine trying to find your keys in that hodgepodge.

  21. la petite chou chou Says:

    Keys? That’s what that little red thing on the front is for.

  22. me Says:

    You know people are going to buy it because they want to seem “sophisticated.” IMO, true sophistication lies in knowing what is truly beautiful and what is only labeled beautiful.

  23. damselfly Says:

    Rosie O made her own version of this bag when she was still on the View…now Rosie is no designer but it was pretty close I must say!lol!

  24. Kate Cavendish Says:

    Didn’t Coach do something like this a couple of years back also? And with every ugly print that the company had produced? And even if the print weren’t ugly, it became so in the hideous new juxtaposition of textures and colors. These bags aren’t ugly-pretty, a la early 90s Prada or Beatrice Dalle; they’re just u.g.l.y.

  25. anon Says:

    This bag reminds me of that unfortuante tumor, the teratoma.

  26. Jackie Lurie Says:

    REALLY? $52K for THAT?! Could it be a prank? I can just hear it in the board room…
    “Let’s make a bag that’s SO UGLY that we couldn’t GIVE IT AWAY, then price it out off the charts…then take bets as to who will buy it!”

    My guess is that we’ll be seeing Paris Hilton sashaying around with one by next week!

  27. Anonymous Says:

    $52K…that’s a sin…with all the world strife, somebody would actually give away thier money for that?

  28. Anonymous Says:

    this is by no means the most ugly, tasteless, and it is for sale on the market really you have got to be kidding. I think it need to be buried in the yard with all the other doo doo out there. If anyone is out there want to buy this think twice if you want to be given change by some pan handler because he will feel you need the money more than he does even if he hasn’t eaten in a week!!

  29. LindaJo Says:

    Think maybe for $52,000 someone could do something good with that kind of money… Help feed the hungry, save some animals, offer a chance to higher education. There is much need in our very own country. Anyone spending this kind of money on themselves for show should hang their head in shame.

  30. mollydog Says:

    I Hate To Think What The Person “Who Does Buy This Bag”
    Will Be Like
    A Bag Tells Alot About The Person Who Owns It.

  31. Karen Says:

    I won’t address the comment in the article about ‘hillbilly patchwork’ directly, as I find it totally offensive as a biggoted turn of phrase. but as an accomplished professional quilter I have to comment on this Frankenstein Purse. It’s not patchwork in any sense of the word. Well in one sense only; in that it is not any kind of patchwork but truly is it’s a piece of work. Louis Vuitton et al need to ponder this thought: “Just because you are troubled does not mean you are an artist.”

  32. CaribbeanSoul Says:

    Beyonce bought this ugly and insanely expensive bag? She should be ashamed of her vain self.

  33. will Says:

    Money buys a lot, but it don’t buy taste.

  34. Teresa Says:

    The only good thing that can be said about someone paying that much money for such a ridiculous piece of trash… at least their money is now in general circulation. Such silly people should never have access to that amount of cash. Ever. They need keepers.

  35. Megs Says:

    karen – have to agree with you. No self respecting quilter would ever create such a hideous “patchwork.” I hope this makes some people realize that just because a “name” creates it, doesn’t make it good. And the reverse is also true…just because someone isn’t a “name” doesn’t make their work bad.

  36. Richard Riley Says:

    Apparently this season the Emperor is buying Louis Vuitton.

  37. Phyllis Says:

    I wonder if you can get it in a right or left foot, to match the shoulder you wear your bag on.

  38. Paula K. Wirth Says:

    That bag is SO four years ago!!!

    I’m impressed, tho, that they were able to successfully market it, so they could convince rich trend-setters to wear something so totally last season!!!

  39. Essence in N.C. Says:

    Leave “B” alone, because on that day there was nonthing else to buy in the whole world so she was forced to buy all those “pocket books” in her attempt to be extra unique. She does not even have to buy the matching wallet or change purse, its all in one.

    But the truth is she could not decide which ones she wanted and said put them all together.

  40. Handbag Hottie Says:

    Ack, my poor eyes. I must go wash them now. That purse is awful, I cannot believe anyone (let alone Beyonce) would pay $52,000+ for that. Here, LV, I’ve got a couple old purses in my closet. Let me cut them up & then sew them together for you. Anyone think I’ll get even $5 for it. I don’t think so!!!!!

  41. Ray - LoveMeLoveMyPurse Says:

    I like the bag, although at 52 grand I think I’ll stick with a Coach Purse! I’d love to see the bag in hand. I wonder if the little bag on the front is an actual little bag or just a piece of leather. It seems there is a lot of detail in the bag. I wouldn’t consider it a very fashionable bag but it’s definately collectible! I doubt the owner will be sporting this bag on her typical outings, if ever at all. I know I’d have it in an environmentally controlled vault for most of it’s life! More intriguing to me than the purse is who the owner is. Who buys this kind of bag? What do they look like? Where do they live? And the biggest question in my mind…what is their favorite food? Maybe I don’t want to know afterall.

  42. IAN Says:

    Aren’t all LV bags ugly?! I mean really that monogram crap has got to go. Brown on brown?! Ugh! It may be finely crafted and expensive but jesus are there bags UGLY! Especially the white with pastel mongram shit.

  43. tooba waheed Says:

    deja pseu, you are damn right!! and so are u IAN, although i would say not all of their bags,about 99% of their bags are ugly, frankly speakibg i can’t stand to loook at them. but what the heck. people are still going to pay for this ugly crap, just to show off how much money they have.

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