There's a reason Louis Vuitton have remained at the very peak of the luxury fashion game, and it's in no small part due to their highly sought-after designs, and tight reign on where their collections are sold.
From the brand's heritage as a trunk maker in the early 1800s, when a then-16-year-old Louis Vuitton arrived in Paris by foot and started apprenticing for Monsieur Maréchal, to its larger-than-life cult status today, the Maison has garnered a reputation from its earliest days as purveyors of fine French craftsmanship, and pioneering, timeless style.
These days the House is as popular as ever, vintage pieces and new season off-the-runway designs both highly sought after – their collection collaborations with artists like Takashi Murakami, Jeff Koons and Yayoi Kusama among some of the most notable. Pharrell's Louis Vuitton Menswear debut in Paris this year was another brick in the solid foundations of the House, who seem to simply go from strength to strength.
But when a brand is as ubiquitously popular as Louis Vuitton, it can be hard to decide where to buy it. Which vintage peddlers are worth their weight? And is it better to experience in-store service at one of their bricks-and-mortar locales, or to try your luck online? We're here to tell you where to buy Louis Vuitton, whether you're in search of a new-season must-have item, or a rare vintage find.
Of course, the best way to find new season pieces that you never have to question the authenticity of, is to visit one of Louis Vuitton's many flagship stores around the world. As online shopping becomes increasingly more prevalent, there's something equally as alluring about an immersive, experiential retail experience. Art installations and the option to personalise purchases with customised tags, are just some of the perks of shopping in store. While there's always the chance that the item you're looking for might not be in stock, it's still well worth the visit in our opinion.
Of course, Louis Vuitton's online store is your next pit-stop, offering the largest selection of current-season pieces to get your hands on. While the experience is certainly less exciting and personalised than being served in-store, there's the added bonus of a wider selection – and of course being able to complete the transaction from the comfort of your bed. You'll still be able to get a hold of a retail assistant over the phone, or via email or chat if you have questions, and you can select from a myriad of shipping options – including to click and collect in your nearest store.
Luxury online retailer Farfetch has a pre-owned section of their website that currently lists a myriad of iconic Louis Vuitton bags from the last few decades. Here you might just find rare collectibles alongside some vintage finds. Each listing details the condition of the bag, and multiple, high-quality images of the item in question. There's also free returns on most items, exclusive member offers and flat delivery fees (plus an express shipping option available to Australia, for orders over $300).
The RealReal have carved out prime real estate for themselves in the neighbourhood of vintage re-sale. They were one of the first to sell authenticated, curated vintage at a global scale, and there's a reason they're still at the top of the game. Not only is buying vintage and second-hand a great way to up your sustainability street cred, but you're much more likely to find original and timeless pieces. The RealReal offer a curated selection of Louis Vuitton bags, clothing and accessories on their site. If a price is a little too high, add it to your 'Obsessions' board and you'll be notified if the sale price goes down.
Vintage consignment stores
If you're lucky enough to live near a designer or vintage consignment store – it's a good idea to take a look through their archives. Brands like Kiko Vintage in Sydney, SWOP, Blue Spinach and Trading in Style are known for being treasure troves of rare, vintage designer pieces that you won't find just about anywhere else. Because they're lesser-frequented than big-name resellers like The RealReal, you're also less likely to have to make a snap decision or risk losing the item to another online shopper.