Nothing can make a traveller feel more dishevelled than the sight of Louis Vuitton luggage being picked up by the delicately manicured hands of a fellow voyager as they wait at the baggage carousel.
Known for delivering eclectic, trend-setting collections, the luxury fashion brand recently released a new bag for males on the move that's guaranteed to turn even the most jet-lagged heads, and given it retails for a cool $US39,000 ($A50,000), it'd want to.
Presented by American designer Virgil Abloh earlier this year as part of the luxury fashion brand's Fall-Winter 2021 collection, the bag is, somewhat impractically, shaped like a plane.
It has since become an object of ridicule on social media over its exorbitant price, with some people noting that even an actual plane could be purchased for less. A second-hand 1950s Cessna 150 has a price tag of around half that of the LV bag.
You can buy an actual plane for less. pic.twitter.com/Egwh3A7tcp— 🦜 Valeska 🦈 Vaccinated 💉 (@vah0603) April 3, 2021
For $39K I better be able to fly that bag.— The Wolf Of Sesame Street (@Chinloyal) April 2, 2021
It's a bit too plane for my tastes.— Chris Flinders (@Chris8692) April 5, 2021
Even the most produced plane in aviation history, the Cessna 172, can be bought for an average of just $27,000. And Cessna is not the only company with planes cheaper than this handbag. The 1930s-born Ercoupe plane known as the "convertible of the sky" due to its retractable roof can be snapped up for just $18,000.
The Louis Vuitton bag managed to attract the attention of US carrier Southwest Airlines, which offered a tongue-in-cheek photo of its plane-shaped soft toy, stating, "ours is SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper, and makes a takeoff noise when squeezed. Just saying."
The aviation theme reappears throughout the Louis Vuitton collection and there are also a variety of smaller items like buttons and earrings that pay homage to travel. Abloh said the collection was made to disrupt traditionally male uniform tropes, telling Vogue it's based around masculine archetypes like the "salesman" and "tourist". Still, one can't help but notice the colossal wings on the plane bag would render it problematic to use as a carry-on when travelling commercially.
It may come as a surprise to many but as far as the world of designer handbags goes, $US39,000 isn't breaking the bank. In fact, Hermès' iconic Birkin bags range from $US1800 to an eye-watering $US400,000, making the plane bag look relatively cheap. Polène is another luxury French brand that boasts a variety of leather bags that sell for more than $US40,000. And it's not just luxury French bags that go for such prices, Italian fashion house Fendi's "Peekaboo Iconic Mini" bags are $US40,000.
"A tourist is someone who's eager to learn, who wants to see the Eiffel Tower when they come to Paris. The purist is the person who knows everything about everything," Abloh said.
"Fashion has the power to de-program these dress codes and impact possibilities," he said.