I’m sure you’ve heard about and seen on Instagram that Louis Vuitton has come out with brand new packaging in August 2016! This is a quite an unusual feat for a classic fashion house to completely revamp their packaging. I believe it’s the first time in decades for Louis Vuitton.
The luxurious packaging that comes with a high end purchase is, after all, half the experience. I’m sure I’m not the only one to hold this true and fall for cute packaging. I’ve been known to buy some items mainly because I love the packaging (usually makeup) :).
Say goodbye to the iconic rich chocolate brown packaging and hello to a lighter brighter color named “Safran Impérial” which translates to “Imperial Saffron’. It’s a bold yellowish tangerine-orange color.
This new shade is highlighted by a beautiful vibrant royal blue, a complimentary color (my make up addict followers will check their color wheel). This color has been used on ribbons and personalisation details since 1854 by LV.
This combination of colors gives Louis Vuitton a new signature packaging meant to lend a modern vibe to the house’s history.
But let’s first delve into the history behind this new color.
This lighter tone isn’t actually a new shade for the Louis Vuitton house and ties neatly back to its origins as a packer. Close to the natural color of untreated leather, Imperial saffron was first seen in the « Citroën » trunk, commissioned in 1924. This trunk was created for an expedition in Africa launched by the French automobile firm « Citroën ».
The color has since been spotted from time to time usually on the brand’s luggage. More recently, it was showcased on the “Volez, Voguez, Voyagez” exhibition poster at the Grand Palais Museum in Paris in 2015.
Now let’s move into the comparison.
The shopping bags
The new lighter colored shopping bags are made with thicker paper than the old brown ones. Their handles are now cotton ribbon which allows for greater resilience during transport. The new formats are easily folded and slipped into a suitcase or travel bag.
The old handles were made of rolled and braided silk cotton handles in the same rich chocolate brown as the boxes. There was no contrasting color, so the over all effect was subdued and classic.
While I like the stronger paper which is slightly and elegantly textured with crisscross lines reminiscent of saffiano leather, I still prefer the old silk rolled handles to the new raw cotton ones. I feel raw cotton while maybe aiming to a more organic vibe is less luxurious.
The Louis Vuitton brand name is now written in a contrasting dark blue that is a lot easier to pick up on than the previous dark brown on brown.
The boxes, crafted in the same bright yellowish orange color with a slight texture, are made to be more resilient. I never had problems with my brown boxes but a few forums have threads mentioning wear on the corners or even splitting over time.
The main difference is that now the bigger sized boxes boast magnetized closures which are a lot more convenient to get your bag in and out of. The flat pack boxes are also more conservative of space. This is a good thing because keeping all the packaging is important if you wish to resell your item on the pre-loved market.
Another difference on the smaller draw boxes are that instead of having a brown leather pull tab on the drawers, they are replaced with the same raw cotton blue ribbon found on the shopping bag handles.
I enjoy the new boxes over the old ones. However, I miss the leather pull tabs that I found more luxe than raw cotton. What do you think?
When purchasing from the store as a present, all items are packaged with a ribbon and a gift card. Even when it isn’t a gift, you can to ask your sales associate to gift wrap your purchase if you so desire.
The ribbons used to made of dark brown leather cords nicely tied around the boxes. The gift card was an envelope with a cut out in the shape of the iconic Louis Vuitton monogram flower. The cream colored paper that peaks through is illustrated with Louis Vuitton motifs.
The gift card is on the smaller side in the same thicker Imperial Saffron color with a slit on the side and a cream envelope shaped paper in it.
The new ribbons are this beautiful royal blue (did I mention blue is my favorite color?) silk with Louis Vuitton written in Imperial Saffron.
The silk is a nice touch and its very classic when wrapping a gift. I do think that the new gift card is less original than the previous brown one.
The Dust Bags
The new dust bags are slightly lighter in color than the previous ones. They are more cream colored while the previous leaned towards yellow. All in all the change is quite slight.
The receipt envelope
All Louis Vuitton purchases are provided with a receipt and proof of purchase in a nice envelope with a slit in the front for your sales associate business card.
My SA drew my attention to the fact that the new Imperial Saffron envelopes were designed with a flaw : the slit is actually shorter in length than the old brown ones and therefor aren’t big enough for the SA business cards to fit in them! Haha! This made me smile because even prestigious fashion houses can make very human mistakes. I’m sure they’ll be correcting this design error soon and I’ll look out for it.
Let me know if you notice the same thing in your country.
Yay or Nay?
So what are my final thoughts?
According to Michael Burke, chairman and chief executive officer of Louis Vuitton the new packaging isn’t supposed to be just “fashionable.” “It’s supposed to have quite a long life cycle,” Burke says in an interview with WWD. “In most cases, brand colors play off of black and white. We wanted to be different.”
That makes me instantly think of the biggest fashion house in the world Chanel, duh… Come to think of it, Prada also uses white and black packaging (emphasis on the white). I totally understand and agree with being different. Fashion is all about expression after all.
I really loved the chocolate brown packaging, because I love chocolate 🙂 and because it matched perfectly with Damier Ebene canvas – my favorite by the way as stated in my review of the Louis Vuitton Clé Pochette and the Caissa Card Holder.
However Damier Ebene canvas does contrast quite nicely with the Imperial Saffron color and I commend Louis Vuitton for being a bit more conscious of the environment with a nod to more sustainable packaging.
Which packaging do you prefer? Be sure to let me know in the comments.
I’d love to chat with you on :