The Louis Vuitton label was founded in 1854 when French craftsman Louis Vuitton began designing his own luggage line. When Vuitton's son, George Vuitton, created the signature monogram canvas in 1896, it was an instant hit. Today, the Louis Vuitton brand is known the world over for its handcrafted leather and meticulous attention to detail. When purchasing a classic Louis Vuitton purse or piece of luggage, the Vachetta (untreated leather) handles are a pale beige featuring gold-colored stitching. The leather handles, straps and details on the purses and suitcases oxidize over time and become a darker honey color.
Carry the bag constantly for the first two months. Each time a Louis Vuitton bag is handled, the natural oils on your hand will begin to oxidize the leather. Rub unwashed hands on the leather parts that need oxidation many times a day. Environmental dirt naturally speeds up the process. Within two months, the leather will be slightly darker, and it will continue to darken to a honey color with each month that passes.
Expose the bag to direct sunlight as often as possible. Hang the purse on the back of a chair when dining outdoors, or simply place it on a clean towel in a safe area, such as a secure backyard or a sunny windowsill. The sun's rays will oxidize the leather more quickly. Humidity also helps speed the process along; If you live in a humid environment, this will work in the bag's favor.
Place the bag directly under a lamp for several hours at a time. Turn the bag to make sure that all areas get the same amount of exposure from the light bulb.
Adding oils to the leather can make the color appear uneven and unnatural. A counterfeit Louis Vuitton bag will not oxidize like an authentic bag. Applying chemicals or cleaning agents to speed up the process will give the leather an uneven look.
- ILVOELV; What Is a Patina?; Bengt Enrique; June 2008
- Biannca; Louis Vuitton; Woodland Hills, Calif.
Based in Los Angeles, Lisa Finn has been writing professionally for 20 years. Her print and online articles appear in magazines and websites such as "Spa Magazine," "L.A. Parent," "Business," the Famous Footwear blog and many others. She also ghostwrites for mompreneurs and business owners who appear regularly on shows such as Ricki Lake, HGTV, Carson Daly and The Today Show.