Exotic handbags. Love them or loathe them, there’s no denying that along with a hefty price tag comes intrigue, prestige and exclusivity. Here at PurseBop we couldn’t help but notice that while brands like Hermès receive copious amounts of awe and press coverage for their exotic designs others remain (dare we say) … underrated.
Louis Vuitton has long offered some of its most popular bags in exotic leathers such as crocodile and ostrich. While the brand is perhaps most associated with its famous Monogram pattern and trendy seasonal designs, LV’s exotic offerings should not be forgotten.
Although big business for many luxury brands, exotic designs may be a dying breed. Back in late 2018 Chanel banned the use of exotic skins including crocodile, snake, lizard and stingray for any of its products. Chanel put the shocking decision down to a difficulty in acquiring responsibly sourced exotic skins. While some exotic Chanel products can still be found on resale sites, the brand’s decision to terminate its use of exotic leathers signified an important shift in the industry. Many millennial and Gen Z consumers increasingly favor ethically and sustainably sourced products. The spending power of these younger generations is growing within the personal luxury market. As a result, the way in which luxury brands approach their use of exotics is changing.
Instead of abolishing their use altogether, some luxury fashion brands are focusing on sourcing exotic skins ethically. For example, LVMH, the parent company of a whole host of luxury brands including Louis Vuitton, announced in 2019 its plans to responsibly and ethically source exotic leathers. The company’s new guidelines included providing onsite veterinarians for animals with the hopes of ensuring the preservation of exotic species. Yet another indication that luxury brands are not ready to let go of exotics, Hermès recently announced its plans to build Australia’s largest crocodile factory farm. The farm is set to house 50,000 crocodiles and farm them for their leather which will be used for the house’s signature crocodile bags.
So it looks like exotics may not be completely on their way out at least for now. Louis Vuitton’s exotic designs occupy a noticeably lower price point than its Hermès counterparts. With Chanel no longer a source of competition within the exotics market, Vuitton’s designs are looking increasingly appealing to many luxury consumers eager to keep their love of exotic leathers alive.
The Louis Vuitton Exotics Available to Shop Now
See our selection of the best exotics available to buy now on the Louis Vuitton US website.
Few designs are as eloquently suited to delicate exotic skins as Louis Vuitton’s Capucines bag. First released for Fall 2013, the bag is one of the house’s newer designs yet it is also one of the most popular and has been dubbed an LV classic. Here in vibrant turquoise, this crocodilian leather bag features differing shades of the vivid hue which appear different on each bag. The mini top handle design pairs perfectly with the electric pop of color and eye-catching texture.
While the miniature version of the Capucines remains a favorite of exotic leather lovers, its big sister should not be forgotten! The larger PM size of LV’s Capucines bag also looks effortlessly sleek in crocodile leather. We love the style pictured here in this rich amethyst hue.
Crocodile leather is perhaps what comes to mind when thinking of exotic skins however Vuitton offers a range of exotic leathers including python. This new pink colored version of the skin appears to glisten. A Louis Vuitton artisan applies a ‘golden shimmer’ to the bag by hand giving it an iridescent look.
Twist MM in Lizard Skin – $7,850
Another exotic skin used by the house is lizard. LV’s recent classic the Twist bag is pictured here in a rich emerald hue. The lizard skin appears in varying shades on the bag to create a beautiful finish.
The sophistication of Louis Vuitton’s reimagined hatbox is perfectly suited to the beautifully unique texture of crocodile leather. The Bordeaux color option comes in shiny Niloticus leather found along Africa’s Nile River. This particular crocodile skin features larger scales and therefore offers a unique look which has become in demand within the industry.
Exotic IG Gems
We trawled through Instagram to find the best of LV exotic eye candy!
City Steamer MM in Red Crocodile Leather – @iamrenatabarros
The City Steamer is LV’s go-to carry-all top handle bag. Oozing sophistication and wearability, the style looks gorgeous in this scarlet red crocodile leather.
Bleecker Box in Red, Blue and Green Crocodile Leather – @iamrenetabarros
In case you hadn’t already noticed, here at PurseBop we love a top handle design in an exotic skin! The structured cube style of Vuitton’s Bleecker Box sports an S-lock closure and this exotic adaptation of the bag comes in red, dark blue and emerald green crocodile leather.
Dauphine and Petite Malle in Blue Crocodile Leather – @bohegirl
These popular LV designs in crocodile leathers of varying blue hues instantly caught our attention!
Capucines in Multicolore and Fuchsia Crocodile Leather – @mariaxxd
It is no surprise that more Capucines designs have made it onto this list! This rare multicolore croc version would make a standout piece in any LV collection.
The Rarest of the Rare
All exotics are rare, but some are more rare than others. Here is our pick of the exceptional Louis Vuitton exotic pieces worn by those lucky enough to get their hands on one!
Capucines BB in Crocodilien Mat
This rare exotic Crocodilien Mat material has a look akin to the covetable Himalaya Niloticus Crocodile skin used by Hermès to make its famous Himalaya Birkin and Kelly bags. This precious skin features beautiful gradation, characteristic of an exquisite exotic.
Dauphine Mini in Crocodilian Leather
Showcasing Brilliant Alligator leather, this rare Dauphine Mini bag boasts a uniquely beautiful look incorporating gold, brown and black tones to create a striking finish.
What’s your favorite Louis Vuitton exotic from our list? How do LV’s exotic offerings compare to other brands? Let us know.
Updated: February 12th, 2021