Looking to add a little bit of timeless Louis Vuitton style into your handbag collection? As one of the most iconic handbags ever created, the Louis Vuitton Speedy is a highly covetable bag.
Refined, elegant and surprisingly roomy, our experts share an insight into all you need to know about this timeless handbag. From a breakdown of all styles and sizes on offer to tips on buying a secondhand Louis Vuitton Speedy.
When was the Louis Vuitton Speedy created?
Debuted in 1930, the Louis Vuitton Speedy appeared in flagship stores in Paris, New York, Bombay and beyond. It was created before Coco Chanel introduced the liberating shoulder strap for women’s handbags in 1955, so the Speedy was designed to be carried on the elbow or in the hand.
The Speedy was originally known as the “Express”, which aimed to pay homage to the growing interest in cars and new transit options, and the lifestyle changes they brought.
Why is the Louis Vuitton Speedy so iconic?
While it appeared on shelves in the 1930s, the Speedy only became an iconic bag 30 years later. In the 1960s, it was spotted on the arm of beloved actress Audrey Hepburn — and the rest, as they say, is history.
A structural breakdown of the Louis Vuitton Speedy
Of course, the most iconic attribute of the Speedy is its shape. With a flat rectangular base and the two bags’ sides arching together and meeting with a long zip. This boxy shape gives the interior a surprising amount of space, even in the smaller models.
Below we’ve analysed other typical characteristics that you can expect to find on any Louis Vuitton Speedy.
Pockets: One internal pocket can usually be found inside. Older Speedy models may feature none at all, whereas newer models may have one pocket divided into two.
Interior: Most bags will feature a textile lining of canvas or microfibre. The exact colour will depend on the model you choose.
Handles and straps: Two sturdy, rolled leather handles at the top of the bag allow the Speedy to be carried by hand or at the elbow. Later models (the Speedy Bandoulière) will often feature a long shoulder or cross-body strap.
Hardware: All hardware will match colour-wise. This includes D-rings, padlocks, and zips. On several bag models, you’ll find metal feet to protect the base of the bag.
Louis Vuitton Speedy: sizes, styles and materials
Like many high fashion brands, the size, style and materials of their most iconic handbags are made available to suit the tastes and needs of their clientele.
The most classic iteration of the Speedy features the monogram-coated canvas exterior with a natural cowhide leather trim.
LV Speedy size and style options
You can currently find the Louis Vuitton Speedy in the following sizes and styles. Some are now only available via luxury and vintage resellers.
- Speedy 40
- Speedy 35
- Speedy 30
- Speedy 25
- Neo Speedy
- Speedy 18 (very rare)
- Speedy Nano Bag
- Speedy BB Bag
- Speedy Mini HL
Many of these sizes can be found in either the original or Speedy Bandoulière styles.
Speedy Bandoulière or the Original Speedy?
The Speedy was created before the introduction of the shoulder strap on women’s handbags, so initially, you could not wear your Speedy on the shoulder or across your body. While other Louis Vuitton shoulder bags soon emerged, it wasn’t until 2011 that an official shoulder carry Speedy was introduced. Named the ‘Bandoulière’ (French for shoulder strap), this new iteration of the Speedy was immediately welcomed as a classic.
Some of the noticeable design differences between the Bandoulière and the original Speedy:
- Detachable leather strap for crossbody or shoulder carry
- Double zip design for easy on-the-go access
- Additional leather trim at the ends of the bag to provide structure and stability.
LV Speedy materials
Because of its iconic status, the Louis Vuitton Speedy has also been part of collaborations with designers and artists who brought us unique designs like the Multicolore Monogram, World Tour, Graffiti and Kusama Speedy.
Buying a second-hand Louis Vuitton Speedy
Instead of buying new, you’ll be able to find pre-loved Speedy bags in exceptional condition, at a reduced price with luxury resellers. The popular and highly iconic Monogram Speedy 30 and 35 can often be found on luxury resale sites. Making a pre-loved Monogram Speedy 30 perfect for fashionistas on a budget.
Some of the more unique designs, like the Kusama or Multicolore Monogram Speedy, may not be to everyone’s taste. However, because of the small amount that entered circulation, they will usually feature a higher value.
Selling a second-hand Louis Vuitton Speedy
As such an iconic fashion house, the resale value of Louis Vuitton handbags remains exceptionally high.
If you have a Louis Vuitton Speedy that you’re looking to sell or consign, receive a valuation from our team here at Timeless Vintage.