The history of the Louis Vuitton Speedy

The Speedy model from Louis Vuitton, recognizable by its "bowling" shape, its rolled leather handles and its engraved padlock, has stood the test of time and established itself as an icon of the brand. From Georges Vuitton to Pharrell Williams, let's retrace the journey of this coveted bag together.

The birth of Speedy

Designed by Georges Vuitton, the first Speedy was created in 1930 and is officially the first handbag from the house of Vuitton. The Speedy, initially called "L'express", is intended for travelers wishing to have their essentials close at hand. Designed as a smaller interpretation of the Keepall model, its 30 centimeters long makes it both spacious and manageable, making it a huge hit with high society women. Faced with this growing success, Louis Vuitton will very quickly offer a 35 and 40 cm version.

Vuitton family in front of the Asnieres factory in 1888

Audrey Hepburn's Speedy 25

A true fan of the Speedy, British actress Audrey Hepburn expressed her wish to have a smaller model, more practical for daily use. The Speedy 25 then arrived in 1965. Its small size propelled it to the forefront, narrower and more manageable than its big brothers, it was successful upon its release. Audrey Hepburn does not fail to make it known, the star makes the front pages of the biggest magazines always accompanied by her Speedy 25 and causes an explosion in sales. Still very popular today, the Speedy 25 has stood the test of time and established itself as an icon of the brand over the years.

Audrey Hepburn with her Speedy 25

The arrival of Marc Jacobs

In 1997, Marc Jacobs joined Vuitton as artistic director. The famous American designer will bring his touch of madness to this model. Fur, lace, plastic, crocodile... the Speedy then takes on a more rock orientation. This choice is assumed by the house by posing Madonna, Jennifer Lopez, Kate Moss but also the famous boxer Mohamed Ali.

At the dawn of the 21st century, Marc Jacobs will collaborate with artists from around the world for ephemeral collections. We will notably remember the Speedy Graffiti in collaboration with Stephen Sprouse in 2001 or the collaboration with Takashi Murakami who revisited the monogram by offering it 33 different colors. Marc Jacobs has managed to make the Speedy evolve with the times and his collections are still in high demand today on the second-hand market.

The Speedy Shoulder Strap

Since its creation, the Speedy has continued to evolve and has established itself as an emblematic piece of the Vuitton house. Although this model has been revisited for more than 80 years, its original form has never been modified. It was in 2011 that Louis Vuitton released the Speedy Bandoulière. The bag abandons its padlock in favor of a leather strap, allowing it to be worn on the shoulder. In an era where two wheels invade the city, the Speedy often finds itself neglected. Once again, Louis Vuitton has been able to meet the demands of its urban customers by adapting perfectly to their needs.

Arriving at the head of artistic direction for men in March 2023, Pharrell Williams also chose to revisit the Speedy Bandoulière. On the occasion of his first collection within the house, the famous artist offered a men's version of the speedy shoulder strap, made in grained calfskin, this model bears the name Speedy P9. Are we going to see the Speedy in the next collections? Will the Speedy become a must-have for men? Will it be changed again? Only time will tell, but what is certain is that the Speedy is in good hands.

Speedy P9 by Pharrell Williams

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