Its name is homage to the earliest days of the Maison Louis Vuitton, born in rue Neuve-des-Capucines in 1854. It incorporates all of the elements of excellence in the making of fine leathergoods, which has been seen in Asnières since 1892. This excellence is expressed in fine leathers, timeless designs, and unequalled know-how. A new signature bag, which displays a discreet elegance, the Capucines, is the embodiment of the Maison and its values. It is worthy heir descended directly from the exceptional genealogy of Louis Vuitton city bags.
The marriage of two precious leathers lies at the heart of the Capucines bag. The rounded, strong texture is made from bull-calf “Taurillon” leather while the supple, silky feel of calfskin that echoes the texture in the body of the bag. A contrasting, all-leather duo pairs hide with hide in the purest tradition of fine leathergoods.
Discover Louis Vuitton’s luxurious Parnasséa leather goods collection
The design is timeless, with changing colours from season to season; its suppleness gives a relaxed feel complemented by a host of curves and rounded lines. The strong shape holds with the natural beauty of leather complemented by fine jewellery features. Capucines plays with contrasts and opposites, demonstrating the Maison’s many expert talents.
At first this bag does not reveal its lineage. It has mastered the art of the understatement, even the famous Louis Vuitton Monogram is not on show. Only the true connoisseur will be able to discern a homage to age-old trunks in the engraved rivets, they alone will recognise the Maison’s fine jewellery features in the chapes, the outline of the quatrefoil clover petal in the cut-out of the flap, and perceive a reference to the early days of the Maison in the bag’s name, when it was established in rue Neuve-des-Capucines, not far from Place Vendôme, between the Louvre, the emperor’s residence, and the Haussmannian Opéra district.
Nothing in in the Capucines elegant restraint hints at its complexity. Over 250 individual handcrafted operations and thousands of steps go into creating the Capucines bag. Invisible, but ever-present know-how that is expressed in every detail and which gives it the sophistication and refinement that stand the test of time.
The grain of the hide must be even, the fibres intact, the thickness ranges from 2 to 2.4 mm, and the texture is and smooth and velvety to the touch. The leather specialist examines, weighs up and caresses the leathers: a patient selection that rejects wrinkles, a uneven grain and any marks. This is a sensual and painstaking exercise balancing the search for perfection with ultimate respect for natural materials.
The edging of the Capucines defines the leather, protects its, and highlights the colour. They are beautifully curved with a perfectly smooth silky feel. Performed by hand, finishing of the edging requires four successive layers; each one is air-dried before being heated to 46 degrees, and not one degree more, making them strong with the perfect finish.
See the Louis Vuitton ad campaign that spotlights its two key new leather goods: the W and the Capucines handbags
Tiny stitches that have been carefully hand-sewn by the leather craftsman are barely visible, almost undetectable. They attach the interior snap hook and closure tab. Discreet and virtually imperceptible, they snake between edges and rivets. A sensual yet technical detail that only reveals its intricacy to the eye of the aesthete.
This is the queen of detail stitching, crafted in saddle stitch; it dictates the uniquely distinctive structure of the Capucines bag, blending suppleness and strength. Created freehand in a single operation, it tacks between reinforcements and gussets without ever deviating from its path. It is the culmination of millimetre-precise control and an exercise in craftsmanship that relies entirely on skillful intelligence.
Never seen in this interpretation Louis Vuitton’s initials have been sheathed in bull-calf leather and inserted into claws set into the very grain of the leather. This is an unprecedented step for the Maison and has been carefully developed by its leading leather craftsmen. It is a pure demonstration of the confidence of years of craftsmanship that encourages new expressions to enrich each new Louis Vuitton creation.
Images via Louis Vuitton / Gérard Uféras