How Far Have We Come With the Multi-Pochette?

Legitimately functional, or just another fad?

Image Credit: Louis Vuitton

Good things come in small packages… and that’s certainly true in the luxury handbag market. Classics from top brands just keep shrinking. Even our beloved totes (looking at you, mini Dior Book Tote) have been shrunk to microscopic dimensions. Just recall singer Lizzo’s teeny weeny Valentino number that was reportedly smaller than her nail extensions!

And with this hysteria towards mini and micro comes a basic dilemma: where do we put our stuff? Well, if one bag’s not enough, perhaps two or three or more will do. To the cynical among us, it could be a case of create a problem in order to sell a new solution. But, here we are.

So, if bags just have to be small (because that’s the norm) but you still need to carry stuff in it (because how do you not need stuff?), why not just combine a bunch of them together? More specifically, attach one (or more) mini bags and a coin pouch with a cool strap (and also a chain). And that is how folks, you make the Multi-Pochette. But who first come up with this idea? Let’s take a deeper look.

The Timeline of the Multi-Pochette

Arguably the MPA is closest the world has come to having a new bag style since the invention of the Chanel Wind Power Bag (aka the hula hoop). The style was formally launched and named the Multi Pochette Accessoires by Louis Vuitton somewhere during Summer 2019. Immediately, it became a darling of the influencer and celeb set. And once you see a bag simultaneously on Rihanna, Hailey Bieber, Gigi Hadid and Anushka Sharma, it’s difficult not to label it as the hottest bag of the moment! Even two plus years later.

LV’s Multi Pochette Accessories became (and remains) one of the hardest bags to track down on the brand’s website/outlet only bolsters its status. For many, the only way to obtain it is on the resale market at (often significantly) more than its original retail price.

Nevertheless, whether it can be called an “investment” purchase remains to be seen. Fashion is fickle and consumers are always looking to the newest, even if a revamp of the original.

Another version of the MPA released around mid-2020 was the New Wave Multi-Pochette Accessoires, composed of the matelasse-style leather as a spinoff of the house’s historic Y2K design. This, however, only features one small pochette whereas the monogram version has two (a large and a small), along with the coin pouch and strap.

Image Credit: Louis Vuitton

For Spring 2021, a new MPA-style bag graced the runway. With what was dubbed the Utility Crossbody Bag, LV could very well be on the way to make a stylish multi-bag out of a belt-bag! Hot on the MPA’s heels, roughly a year after it secured the style’s enduring appeal, came the Prada Re Edition. Made entirely of nylon, the Re-Edition 2000 features a hobo shaped bag (that too features a chain) and a small detachable pouch (like a phone purse), all with fabric trims and joined by a strap. The Re-Edition 2005 also features a multi-pochette style, but this time with leather trims and at a slightly elevated price point than the 2000. Plus, the Re Edition 2005 is also available in full Saffiano for the leather-lovers out there.

Image Credit: Filippo Fior / Gorunway.com

Now this Prada is actually said to be an archival inspiration of the Prada Tessuto Bandoliera, a popular 90s piece. Does that mean that Prada was the first to initiate the trend? Possibly, but the first to bring it back on the radar might actually be – drumroll – Gucci! In fact, it can be said that Gucci was the first to revive the multi-bag style in the modern day with its “totem three piece shoulder bag”. As can be guessed from the picture (it reminds me of fancy window-blinds), the piece didn’t gain much popularity, and Gucci decided to draw the line there.

Image Credit: @josipellicano

Image Credit: Gucci

In Spring 2019, Chanel also introduced us to various different forms of multi-bagging, like the Side-Pack bags and the Multi-Pouch. However, its actual multi-pochette style bag (with a much steeper price tag than all the others) came after Louis Vuitton’s MPA, and in three different designs:

Chanel Flap Bag and Coin Purse

Image Credit: Chanel

Chanel 19 Wallet on a Chain and Coin Purse

Image Credit: Chanel

Chanel Waist Bag and Coin Purses

Image Credit: Chanel

Why the MPA is MIA From LV’s Website

(Or, what makes it so popular?)

The appeal of the multi-pochette style, right upfront, is in its functionality. You can keep up with the small bag trend, yet still accommodate more of your belongings. Moreover, it only takes one hand or one shoulder – rather than carrying multiple bags separately.

While some may complain that a coin pouch is now redundant, it’s actually a great place to store your earpods/headphones which generally get lost inside your bag. The best part though is possibly that you can detach and use every different element separately – so essentially you can achieve a different look for running errands or night outs with the same bag! Additionally, its resale performance continues to remain positive – always a plus point if you don’t end up loving it as much as you thought.

Some Downsides of the Design

Since each part can be detached, and since each different piece can be bought separately, the very first question that arises is whether it’s cheaper to buy the whole than in parts. Fashion bloggers have reported that it is, in fact, cheaper to purchase the elements separately and put them together. What with the price increases from Louis Vuitton (many of them with the MPA front and center), these claims seem all the more likely. However, it has also been said putting them together individually “doesn’t quite achieve the same look”, so it really is a matter of personal preference at the end of the day. Additionally, given its unconventional design, whether it will continue to remain a strong resale player remains a question that only time will answer.

All of the individual parts of the MPA- Image Credit: littlemissmelanie.com

So there you have it, a rundown of the multi-pochette style all the way to the present day. In fact, multi-bagging seems to be growing lately (especially in Chanel’s recent campaigns). And with COVID-19, we’ve all learned to pare down to our essentials, and having the option of actually separating them into individual pouches is a great way to compartmentalize your belongings!

So, do you think that the multi-pochette is a closet staple, or a trend on its way out?

Written by Sajid Bin Mohammad

Love, PurseBop
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