Before I begin, let me say that I have absolutely no understanding of fashion, and I couldn’t care less about anything to do with it. And here I am writing on a Louis Vuitton handbag so quirky that it has already managed to evoke some really strong opinions, especially on Twitter. But you see, I am an av-geek, and this handbag’s airplane shape immediately caught my attention. I grew up wanting to be a fighter pilot. Sadly, that dream never materialized, but airplanes still interest me to the extent that I talk about them all day long or even write on an LV handbag and risk being called a complete fool. This airplane bag by Louis Vuitton is a part of its 2021 Fall/Winter men’s collection and costs a whopping $39,000, which is just as bizarre as its cartoonish shape.
The Louis Vuitton airplane handbag reminds me of a conversation I had with a fashion writer who asked me not to strictly from a utilitarian perspective and think of it more as art. Designed by Virgil Abloh, the handbag is a part of the American designer’s sixth collection for LV, named ‘Ebonics.’ The bags in the collection brought back the slogan “Tourist vs. Purist,” he wrote when he entered Louis Vuitton in 2018. “It’s my organizing principle for my point of view when I make things. A tourist is eager to learn, who wants to see the Eiffel Tower when they come to Paris. The purist is the person who knows everything about everything,” the designer explained. But beyond its deeper meaning expressed through poetry and inspiring words, I think the airplane bag is interesting, even if it is a bit wacky. The aviation geek in me was trying to figure out the aircraft model that might have inspired the shape of the handbag, and the closest thing I could find was the C130 military airplane (although it has four turboprop engines). I own a few t-shirts and aviation-themed caps, but I can never imagine myself getting myself an airplane-shaped handbag. But, what do I know about fashion!