Louis Vuitton’s New Speedy Isn’t Your Regular Handbag

Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photos: Retailers

Today, Pharrell Williams’s take on the classic Louis Vuitton Speedy bag is finally in stores. We were introduced to the new version of the bag on Rihanna in a Louis Vuitton campaign last year ahead of Pharrell’s debut show in Paris and have been waiting to see it ever since. This is the first bag debut since the artist became the brand’s men’s fashion director in February 2023. The new adaptation has taken the classic Speedy bag — originally in a muted-brown canvas material — and introduced it in bright primary colors. The most noteworthy change, though? It’s now in leather. And not just any leather — the softest leather I’ve ever touched.

“You see the bag has wrinkles in it and that it’s droopy, and you know instantly that it’s not a regular Speedy,” wrote Pharrell to the Cut. “That’s not canvas. It’s butter-soft leather.”

In the early 2000s, the Speedy bag was the “It” accessory. In 2003, then–creative director Marc Jacobs asked Japanese artist Takashi Murakami to collaborate with him. The result? Cartoonlike prints that featured cherry blossoms and colorful monograms, many of which were plastered on — you guessed it — Speedy bags. By 2010, the bag was everywhere: That year, Jessica Simpson wore the monogram version to dinner with friends; in 2012, Sarah Jessica Parker carried it in burgundy; and Naomi Campbell wore it in denim. In 2017, Beyoncé wore the original monogram-print Speedy in photos for Instagram.

As the handbag became an iconic symbol for the French house, it was transformed many times. During Virgil Abloh’s time at Louis Vuitton, the Speedy came in bold ombré hues and an iridescent-prism PVC travel bag with the monogram embossed. For the brand’s most recent collaboration with artist Yayoi Kusama, there was another adaptation of the handbag with Kusama’s signature colorful motif across the bag.

It makes sense why the handbag’s petite silhouette and short handles seem like a throwback to another era. And even though it feels nostalgic to the early aughts, the bag was created as a larger men’s canvas bag in 1930 by Gaston-Louis Vuitton and was named the Express, taking inspiration from the speedy-car era. In 1965, Louis Vuitton made a smaller version for the original “It” girl, Audrey Hepburn.

Photo: Bettmann/Bettmann Archive

Because of that nostalgia, the new adaptation of this bag feels extra special, ushering in a new era at Louis Vuitton.

“It is an everyday icon conceived for every walk of life,” wrote Pharrell. “It’s inspired by Canal Street in New York. It’s flipping it on its head.”

The bag is available starting today on and in select stores. The prices range from $9,300 for the Speedy 25 to $12,400 for the Bandoulière 50.

Louis Vuitton’s New Speedy Isn’t Your Regular Handbag