Momma’s Got a Brand New Bag

Advanced Style
Photography: Emily Wraith

Somewhere along the line my bag game went on a losing streak. I think it began after I had my son, almost four years ago, when I replaced my Balenciaga-by-way-of-Alexander-Wang satchel with a Gucci diaper bag. It was black, with a subtle double-G monogram and signature green and red striped handle. It was stylish as shit while he was a babe, but not so much when I continued to carry it to work at a fashion magazine well after my maternity leave. I knew it was not so chic, but it was so handy being able to carry my lunch and spare shoes in it every day, that I had a hard time letting go.

Louis Vuitton Neo Noe Bag

Eventually the edges frayed, and I started to see it for what it really was, a vestige of a time I had outgrown, a time when it was important that spilled milk could be wiped away from the interior. So, just before the holidays, I finally dropped a wad of freelance cash on a new bag. I contemplated getting another tote, but eager to shed my bag’s Mom-image, I longed for something a little more ‘back to me’. Here’s what was important: size (maybe it didn’t have to hold a pair of flats, but it did need to hold a large wallet, sunglasses, my new, ginormous iPhone 8+, ten lip glosses, a bottle of water and some pre-schooler snacks). I hit the Louis Vuitton store, and settled on a sweet, Neo Noé bag—to the uninitiated, a large, LV-monogrammed bucket bag.

Louis Vuitton Neo Noe Bag
Art, Christine Flynn; Shot on location at East Room

A little history: the original LV Noé bag (10 x 13 x 7 inches) was designed by Gaston-Louis Vuitton in 1932 for a champagne maker who was looking for a bag that would carry five bottles of bubbles (hello, #momlife). It’s made of the same durable, coated canvas, or PVC, that the original trunks were made of, with a drawstring closure. A total classic seen on Angelina Jolie, the trim is made of leather that wears to a natural patina, which you may or may not like depending on how you think of these things.

Last spring, Louis Vuitton launched a newer model called the Neo Noe (10.2 x 8.7 x 10.8 inches), which is what I ended up buying. The biggest difference is that it doesn’t have the pale leather trimmings around the outside, which is great for me because I’m a really big klutz and most likely would DESTROY the look of that light leather in no time with like, one trip of my morning tea. At first I was really tempted to get the model with the bright orange-red drawstrings, but the sales guy wisely advised me that if it was my first LV bag (which it is) that I should invest in a classic. So I opted for the black leather trim, seen here looking perfectly everyday awesome on one Alessandra Ambrosio.

Louis Vuitton Neo Noe BagHere’s what I’ve been really loving about it. First of all, like the original, the strap easily adjusts from a shorter shoulder length to a longer, cross-body length. I don’t know about you, but cross-body is everything to me, because seriously, I can’t be bothered with things sliding off my shoulder. Secondly, I really like the inside zip pocket in the middle, which the original doesn’t have, for my really important stuff, should the drawstring ever fail me. Size is good, though surely there will be days that I wish I could just stuff my laptop in and go (no, you can’t).

As it is, I still have to choose between my backpack and my purse every day when I head to my work share space, because toting a backpack and a cross-body, well you can imagine how tied up I would be. Curious how other multi-taskers, quite literally, hold it all together?!