Louis Vuitton’s Most Famous Request
It was 1854 on Rue Neuve des Capucine in Paris, and luggage maker Louis Vuitton opened the doors of his first shop. Best known for canvas trunks and wardrobe cases, Vuitton quickly expanded his product offerings to meet the burgeoning demand of his elite (and often royal) clientele. Following Louis Vuitton’s tragic passing in 1892, his son Georges became the new head of the burgeoning French luxury house. Under the helm of Georges and his son Gaston-Louis, the brand continued to innovate, delving further into the world of handbags. And, in 1932, they received the brand’s most iconic custom order to date: a vessel to transport champagne. This request came directly from a champagne producer who wanted a functional leather bag he could gift to his clients. Considering the uniqueness of this order, the producer had only two requirements: that it hold the weight of multiple bottles without breaking them and be indestructible, withstanding the test of both travel and time.
The Ultimate Champagne Carrier
Eager to take on this challenge, Gaston-Louis began construction, and the timeless Noé was born. Meeting both of the client’s demands, the Noé’s radical design would be cemented as a house signature. With its sturdy bucket-shape and rectangular base, the Noé could fit up to five bottles of champagne, secured with a drawstring closure (preventing any bumping or potential shattering). And, as the bag’s ultimate ode to this bubbly beverage, is the meaning behind its name. The french word Noé directly translates to “Noah” – a nod to the biblical story of Noah’s Ark. Beyond his most notable role as savior of the world’s animals during the great flood, Noah can be remembered as the first winemaker of all time. When returning to dry land, Noah discovered his affinity for consuming wine, and the rest was history.
Beyond its practical champagne-carrying capabilities, the Noé took off as a coveted luxury handbag. Embracing the bag's popularity, Louis Vuitton expanded size and material options. The iconic model was made available in Petit, BB, and Nano sizes. And, beyond LV’s classic monogram canvas, the Noé evolved into Damier Azur, striated Epi leather, and special edition prints.
NéoNoé: The Noé’s Lustworthy Little Sister
In 2017, Louis Vuitton’s signature Noé was re-imagined most drastically, luring in a new generation of handbag lovers. With a smoother structure, contrasting interior lining, and removable top handle, the NéoNoé embraces a sleek, minimalist silhouette. Only three inches shorter than the original Noé, the NéoNoé MM is remarkably spacious. Additionally, the slightly smaller NéoNoé BB is perfect for everyday wear. Staying true to Louis Vuitton’s collaborative DNA, the NéoNoé has been adapted for novelty, limited-edition themes. From a pattern design by Jeff Koons to the graffiti-inspired Crafty collection, the NéoNoé is the classic Noé’s lustworthy, must-have little sister.