Whether you're new to the world of Louis Vuitton or if you've curated a beautiful collection of LV pieces, you know that the Speedy is an iconic and memorable bag. It's a must-have for any lover of Louis Vuitton and it has been arm-candy to fashionistas since the 1930's. Everyone at Couture Boutique is very familiar with these beautiful bags and how to make sure they're in tip-top shape and authentic. That's why we've put together the ultimate guide to the Louis Vuitton Speedy bag for you to use as a reference alongside our Louis Vuitton authentication guide and cleaning blog for additional information.
History of the Speedy Bag
The Speedy was one of the first bags released in the 1930's by Louis Vuitton. Think of it as the little sister to the timeless and endlessly popular Keepall bag! In fact, the Speedy was designed to be an everyday version of the Keepall while still offering plenty of interior space for essentials.
Even though the Speedy bag was released in the 1930's, it's arguable that it didn't really become the coveted and timeless bag it is today until Audrey Hepburn was seen with one in the 1960's. We can also thank Audrey Hepburn for the Speedy 25 because Louis Vuitton made a custom Speedy in this size upon her request! After Hepburn made the Speedy an iconic finishing touch to any outfit, the fate of this bag was sealed and it remains incredibly popular to this day. In fact, the Speedy is one of the most purchased Louis Vuitton bags in history.
The Speedy isn't a one-size-fits-all kind of bag. You can currently find a variety of Speedy bags in 25, 30, 35, and 40 cm options. However, these are just the classic sizes – Louis Vuitton has also released limited edition pieces, like the Nano Speedy and the Speedy Mini Sac HL!
Here are the dimensions for each size:
Speedy BB - 5.5" (L) x 6.9" (H) x 4.3" (D)
Speedy Mini Sac HL - 6.25" (L) x 4.25 (H) x 3" (D)
Speedy Nano - 6.3” (L) x 4.3” (H) x 3.5” (D)
Neo Speedy - 12.5" (L) x 6.2" (H) x 6.2" (D)
Speedy 25 - 9.8” (L) x 7.5” (H) x 5.9” (D)
Speedy 30 - 11.8” (L) x 8.3” (H) x 6.7” (D)
Speedy 35 - 13.8” (L) x 9.1” (H) x 7.1” (D)
Speedy 40 - 15.7” (L) x 9.8” (H) x 7.5” (D)
With these different options, Louis Vuitton lovers are able to choose which size will best fit their needs and purchase accordingly. To find the bag of your dreams, we recommend matching the size of your everyday bag to a Speedy to find the best one for you.
The Many Materials of the Speedy
When it was released, the Speedy bag just came in the iconic Monogram canvas, but the options are almost endless nowadays. With a variety of collections that release every year, the materials and designs are limitless. Furthermore, customers can enjoy picking up a piece of history with the limited edition Speedy bags– like the "Louis Vuitton Race" Speedy bag or a customized Monogram Speedy.
Other styles to look out for:
Sunshine Express Sequin
Limited Edition Space
Stephen Sprouse Leopard
Fleur De Jais
The Anatomy of a Louis Vuitton Speedy
One of the most recognizable characteristics of the Speedy bag is the iconic shape that's remained relatively unchanged over time. The silhouette of the Speedy was inspired by the Boston Bag, which is structured and tapers from a flat, rectangular bottom to a top that is slightly domed. These structural details allow the Speedy to withstand the test of time and securely carry your essentials without becoming misshapen.
Overall, it's safe to say that the Speedy was designed for durability. The handles are made of rolled leather, which helps maintain their form even with heavy use.
Depending on the material and age of the Speedy bag, there may also be some structural variations. For example, some bags can be found with simple canvas bottoms while others are reinforced with additional stitching and metal feet.
The Interior of Your Speedy
Depending on which type of Speedy you've got your eye on, the interior may change in appearance. Currently, the interior materials you can find in authentic bags are canvas or microfiber. However, these can vary in color! Because of these variations, and particular exceptions, it's best to delve into more specific research through Louis Vuitton.
Sometimes the best things in life are the simple things. And this is the case with the interior of the Speedy bag, which has stayed simple throughout the years to give you the most space! As a result, Speedy bags will typically have a single hanging pocket, like in the photo above. However, you can also find vintage Speedys without any pockets, while newer Epi leather Speedy styles will have two side patch pockets, as pictured below.
Bandouliere vs. Original Speedy
The original Speedy was designed to be carried on the arm and did not feature any shoulder straps. But people who are on-the-go all the time needed something more to make carrying a Speedy more accessible. So the Speedy Bandouliere in Monogram canvas was debuted in 2011, with versions in different fabrics released after this date and as early as 2009 with the Idylle Canvas Speedy.
Aside from the detachable shoulder strap, the Bandouliere also has an additional strip of leather trim running up the sides of the bag. This is a quick way you can recognize the Speedy Bandouliere even without the strap attached! Here's another differentiating detail you can keep in mind: Speedy Bandouliere bags also have a dual zipper closure that can lock, contrasting to the traditional leather tab design.
Wear and Tear
Though Louis Vuitton bags are known for their great durability and way of stylishly transcending time, Speedy bags can show signs of wear depending on how they're used and stored. The leather tabs on Speedy bags are prone to cracking, bending, and wear over time. This is also true for the leather zipper pulls and side tabs, which can tear over time.
Below, cracking, wear, and bending are visible in a vintage Louis Vuitton Speedy bag. Because the bag below features the original vachetta leather, you can also see a deep brown patina.
It's good to keep in mind that the Speedy did get a few updates in 2014. A few changes include pockets that are no longer lined with a thin coated layer, which was prone to peeling. If used frequently, older pockets may develop interior peeling or loss of that film– as pictured below.
In most Speedy bags, a leather trim lines the edges of the bag. Depending on the use and age of the bag, this trim may start to wear down. If you look at the picture below, you can see that the trim and Monogram detailing has been worn down.
Resale Value of the Speedy
If you're thinking about getting a Speedy bag– it's destined to be a much-loved part of your collection! Thanks to the classic nature of the Speedy, their resale value is stable and well-maintained. The popularity of the Speedy bag essentially ensures that resale value of good condition Monogram and Damier canvas bags remain high. A customized bag, or one that's given a heat-stamp with initials, does drop in resale value. Make sure you consider this before treating yourself to a customized bag if you may want to sell it in the future!
Owning a Louis Vuitton Speedy is a luxurious milestone for any bag-lover. Speedys have withstood the test of time and ever-changing trends to remain one of the most popular bags released to date. And now that you've had a crash course in all things Speedy, you can consider yourself an insider to this coveted bag!