SPOTLIGHT

Style Guide: Louis Vuitton Keepall

This time we're guiding you through everything related to the Keepall. How did it come to be and why does it look like it does? How do you style it and what materials does it come in? Read all about it below.

The birth and rise of the Keepall

Louis Vuitton was started as a leather goods and bagged company in 1854, so it might not come as a surprise that one of the brands most popular bags is a travel bag.

The Louis Vuitton Keepall was first introduced in 1930 by Gaston Vuitton, grandson of Louis Vuitton, the founder of Louis Vuitton. Gaston created the Keepall as a modern and sporty version of a weekend bag. First the weekender was produced in cotton canvas and in the 1960s it was manufactured in the Monogram canvas.

As seen on

The Keepall is loved by both men and women which is why you can see everyone from Kim Kardashian and Elle Fanning to Bradley Cooper and Justin Timberlake sporting the bag when arriving and leaving the airport.

The inspiration behind the icon

The Louis Vuitton Keepall is an extremely roomy and spacious bag. It has two single handles on top as well as a removable and adjustable strap. It also has a removable leather name tag. Inside you’ll find a zipped pocket just as the bag has a double zipped closure with a padlock.

You can actually see the inspiration for the Keepall all the way back in the 1892 Louis Vuitton catalog where the Sac de Nuit was first presented. Because of the way women’s fashion was at the time, women didn’t have pockets which created the need for smaller and lighter types of travel luggage. The Sac de Nuit was therefor designed with practicality in mind and was made as a bag that would remain in the back of a car.

The Keepall is also a product of its time! The idea of the bag came about during the “Roaring Twenties” and to be fashionable in the 1920s meant being modern and being modern meant being sporty. Women drove their own cars, they played tennis, skied during the winter and swam during the summer. The Keepall reflected all of this with its simple shape and practicality.

When you look for the Keepall in stores and online, you’ll without a doubt come across the Keepall Bandoulière. Keepall Bandoulière simply means that the Keepall will have an extra vertical leather strap attached on the side of the bag to strengthen it.

Louis Vuitton

896 items
  • Brown Canvas Louis Vuitton Keepall

    Louis Vuitton

    Brown Canvas Louis Vuitton Keepall

    610.37 EUR

  • Brown Canvas Louis Vuitton Keepall

    Louis Vuitton

    Brown Canvas Louis Vuitton Keepall

    551.06 EUR

  • Red Leather Louis Vuitton Keepall

    Louis Vuitton

    Red Leather Louis Vuitton Keepall

    568.73 EUR

  • Brown Canvas Louis Vuitton Keepall

    Louis Vuitton

    Brown Canvas Louis Vuitton Keepall

    629.78 EUR

Measurements

The original Louis Vuitton Keepall is available in four different sizes: 45, 50, 55 and the largest, 60.

The Keepall 45 measures 45 cm x 27 cm x 20 cm (length x height x width), the 50 measures 50 cm x 29 cm x 22, the Keepall 55 measures 55 cm x 31 cm x 24 cm, and last but not least, the Keepall 60 measures 60 cm x 33 cm x 26 cm. As you can tell, each size is named after the length of the bag.

You can also get a tiny Keepall in the size 25. This is most common as a Keepall Bandoulière however. This small bag measures 25 cm x 15 cm x11 cm. Louis Vuitton has also extended the family of Keepalls with a new addition: The City Keepall. This is much smaller than the normal Keepalls – like the Keepall Bandoulière 25 – and measures 27 cm x 17 cm x 13 cm (length x height x width). It has a large main compartment and the same double zipped closure you’re used to. It comes with a removable and adjustable strap, so you can wear it on your shoulder or crossbody.

Materials

With the invention of the classic Monogram Canvas, the Keepall went from a duffle bag to an iconic fashion piece. The Monogram Canvas was the first print introduced by the French brand and was designed by Louis Vuitton’s son, Georges Vuitton. The print was created as a way to make it harder for other brands to copy Louis Vuitton styles.

Besides canvas, Epi leather is the most used material from Louis Vuitton. The idea for this pattern came to Georges Vuitton in 1920 when he and his sons were looking for durable materials. Fast forward six years and the Epi leather was used for the first time for a tea case trunk. Epi leather is a pressed leather stamped with a textured horizontal pattern covered in a protective finish. Originally this pattern was available in six colors, but Louis Vuitton has removed and added colors to the Epi palette.

The Monogram Eclipse was first introduced as part of the Fall 2016 show. It was Kim Jones’ latest innovation as the artistic director of menswear. The Monogram is therefor only seen on mens bags but as the Keepall is quite a unisex bag this won’t be a problem for female Keepall lovers. The Monogram Eclipse is a dark spin on the iconic Monogram logo hence the name. The colors are monochromatic grey and black.

Monogram Macassar Canvas is another take on the classic Monogram Canvas but this time it has nothing to do with the logo and everything to do with the accompanying leather you find on the bag. Typically, the Vachetta leather on a Keepall will be a light brown but on the Monogram Macassar Canvas the leather is black. The Monogram Macassar was introduced as a full collection for the Fall 2009 season.

When Marc Jacobs was appointed the head of Louis Vuitton in 1997, his first contribution was the creation of the Monogram Vernis. It first appeared on the shelves in 1998 and is a new take on the Monogram print. The shine of the Vernis is achieved with a patent finish on calfskin leather.

Damier Ebene Canvas is without a doubt the other most famous print, right after the Monogram Canvas, and both prints are created by Georges Vuitton! The Damier Canvas was first introduced in 1888. The name ‘Damier’ means ‘chessboard’ in French which perfectly describes the pattern. The Damier pattern has been introduced in several color combinations but only two of them have stuck around. The Damier Ebene is one and the other the Damier Azur. The Damier Ebene is two shades of brown and the Damier Azur Canvas is creme and nayy blue. The Damier Azus was inspired by the French Riviera and created in 2006.

Read more about the materials used by Louis Vuitton in our Louis Vuitton Bible.

Collaborations

The latest Louis Vuitton collaboration including the Keepall is the LV x YK collaboration. This is of course Yayoi Kusama. This collection sees the Keepall decorated with Yayoi Kusama’s signature dots on the Monogram Canvas as well as black, white and gray dots on the Monogram Eclipse. Another Keepall is decorated with with pumpkins made from dots in different colors.

This isn’t the first time, the French fashion brand has collaborated with the Japanese artist. They first joined forces in 2012, as Marc Jacobs was a big fan of hers and invited her to work with Louis Vuitton and him. Some of the most noteworthy and memorable prints have come from the collaborations with Yayoi Kusama and this latest collaboration seems no different. 

Photo: louisvuitton.com

The French fashion house collaborated with Stephen Sprouse in 2001 which resulted in a Keepall made in the Monogram Canvas with graffiti signature overlay. The graffiti could be found in in different colors including gray, neon green and neon pink and read ‘Louis Vuitton’ and ‘Paris’. The collection was released again in 2009 in order to pay tribute to the artist who unfortunately passed away from lung cancer.

In 2009, Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs also released an updated Monogram print featuring a rose Stephen Sprouse had drawn back in the days of their first collaboration. This was released post the death of the artist as well.

Louis Vuitton has collaborated with Japanese pop artist Takashi Murakami on multiple occasions, the first being in 2003 meaning this, like Yayoi Kusama, was during the Marc Jacobs era of Louis Vuitton. The collaboration between Murakami has given the world the Multicolor Monogram print, the Cherry Blossom print and the ‘Monogramouflage’. The Monogramouflage was introduced in 2008 and features a camouflage background with the classic Monogram print in black as overlay.

In June of 2017, Louis Vuitton and Supreme released their much anticipated collaboration. As part of the collection, the two brands came up with a red Epi leather Keepall with Supreme embossed in white on the side.

2017 was a big year for Louis Vuitton and Collaborations as American artist Jeff Koons presented various iconic artists on a selection of Louis Vuitton’s signature bags. This included the Keepall Bandoulière featuring artwork by Monet and Rubens

As a celebration of the union between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in 2018, you could find a blue Monogram Canvas Keepall emblazoned with the Union Jack exclusively in the Luis Vuitton New Bond Street boutique.

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Photos: vogue.com, sothebys.com & vinvoy.com

What can you use it for?

All the Keepall sizes and shapes are great for traveling bud they’re each good for different types and lengths of trips.

The Keepall 45 is the smallest one and therefor good if you’re staying away from home for a single night. It easily fits all your overnight essentials including makeup bag, a change of clothes and a computer. This size also makes it a great gym bag! It’s worth noting that this size is also approved as a cabin bag, so if you’re flying on vacation you can use the Keepall 45 as your carry on.

The larger Keepall 50 is also a qualified cabin bag, and is great for a weekend away. It can hold a bit more than the size down meaning you don’t have to fill you makeup bag with travel size shampoo and conditioner but can indeed bring your full size products as well as spare clothes, computer and what else you’d need.

The Keepall 55 is the largest Keepall you can bring as a cabin bag on a plane. It has enough space for roughly five days worth of clothes and necessities as well as a computer, notebook – even hairdryer, curling iron or hair straightener!

The largest Keepall – the 60 – is too big to fit in the overhead compartment so you can’t bring it as a cabin bag, but you will however be able to fit about a weeks worth of clothes, shoes and belongings in there!

No matter if you choose a Keepall fit for the plane cabin or not, this Louis Vuitton style will have you traveling in style.

The Keepall Bandoulière 25 obviously isn’t made for traveling like the other sizes but this smaller size is a lot easier to carry around on a day to day basis.

Care

Styles made from canvas – the Monogram Canvas, the Monogram Eclipse or the Damier Ebene – will show some type of wear over the course of time but you’ll have to wait a long time before it becomes noticeable. You should avoid your canvas bag getting into close contact with rough surfaces as well as cosmetics and water. Bags made from canvas can get dark corners but this isn’t usually a problem with the Damier Ebene Canvas as the colors blend nicely with the colors of the print.

The Damier Azur Canvas is much lighter than both the Monogram and the Damier Ebene Canvas and you need to take of it in a different way. A Keepall in this material should also be kept away from grease more carefully because it’ll show up more easily on these delicate colors. You also need to be aware that the white or cream color can turn yellow with time.

You can easily wipe down your canvas bag with a cloth in a light color or you can use a soft brush to get rid of any dirt. You have to be careful using a brush though as this can remove the pattern if you’re not careful.

Canvas bags are typically paired with Vachetta leather which will darken with time as well due to oil absorption. Because of this, you should be careful around water as water is known to stain the leather.

Photo: keepinupwkales_

Bags in Vernis leather will require special care. They have a tendency to scratch easily and the surface is also a fingerprint magnet. This means you should clean a Vernis bag regularly to get ahead of any stains and you can do this with a damp cotton cloth. Under no circumstances should your Vernis bag come in contact with magazines or newspapers! These can leave ink marks which are impossible to remove.

As Epi leather is made from calfskin it’s a very durable material. Because the leather has a textured print, scratches won’t show easily meaning you can enjoy your bag without having to worry too much. Some wear and tear can appear on the corners of the bag or the places that you touch it the most, but it’s just that – regular wear and tear. You can easily use a damp cloth to clean your bag if you have the need. Epi leather isn’t sensitive when it comes to water, but you should still dry it off if you wear your bag in the rain or snow. To prevent color fading, you should store you Epi Keepall in a dust bag or in a dark room.

Lastly, it’s a good idea to try to give your bag a break once in a while. Let it breath, dry and everything else to stay in the best shape possible. When it’s not in use, you should stuff it with paper or fabric to avoid cracks in the leather or the canvas.

Written by Alberte Gram
Alberte Gram is a fashion writer based in London.
The people pictured are not associated with The Archive
or The Vintage Bar, and do not endorse the products shown.