Critiques, The Gift Guide

a customized luxury bag is the perfect Christmas gift

Searching for a holiday gift for the stylish and fashionable people on your list? We think a customized luxury bag is the perfect Christmas gift. There’s a style out there for everyone. And this year, there are more creative options than ever.

Customized (or personalized) luxury handbags and travel gear can be perfect gifts for lots of people on your list. Any jet-setting sophisticate (or business-traveling road warrior) would love to find one these waiting for them on the Big Day. And every time they carry it, they’ll think of you. Win-win!

Some of our favorite brands are making the process of creating a unique bag fun and easy.

louis vuitton

Since its inception in 1854, Louis Vuitton has offered personalization of its iconic trunks in one form or another.  In recent years, the brand has expanded this offering to over 32 of its products. They’re chic and breezy, and emblematic of a well-lived and well-traveled lifestyle.

If you want to gift one this holiday season, you’ll need to act now. Once the order has been taken, the items are made in France; expect it to take eight to twelve weeks for the bag to arrive.

1. louis vuitton mon monogram

There’s the Louis Vuitton Mon Monogram program, which allows you to personalize your Neverfull ($1,890), Speedy ($1,460) or Mini Pochette ($490) with initials, 4 styles of stripes in 17 color options, and an interior color option of your choice. It’s available on the Damier Graphite styles, too.

2. my lv world tour

Looking for something a little more bold? The My LV World Tour program offers customization of six classic handbags, travel duffle bags and wallets with vintage hotel labels and other emblems from the personal collection of Gaston-Louis Vuitton.

The patches come in 5 categories, with 12 choices each: Grand hotels (like the Hotel Royal in Palm Beach); LV Heritage (vintage Louis Vuitton logos); Cities (Tokyo and Paris among them, natch); LV Pop (for example, headphones, lipstick, varsity letters, a book of matches); and “Make it Your Own” (options to monogram the bag with the recipient’s initials and if you like, a special date).

The program is available only in the Monogram Canvas print, and there are designated places where these emblems can be applied to the bags. A maximum of 5 are allowed on the front, and another 5 on the back. So while it will be reflective of the final user’s travel patterns and personal loves, and you do have some control, it’s still going to be on-brand for the house of Vuitton. No going crazy.

3. the cost?

The Pouchette Félicie is $1,400, and the Palm Springs Mini is $2,340. The Neverfull shopper is $1,800, and the Néonoé is $2,010. A Speedy Bandouliere 30 duffle bag is $1,920; the larger Keepall Bandouliere 50 is $2,300. A Keepall Bandouliere 55 is $2,310. For a world tour, the Horizon 55 roller bag is $4,000.  There are also various accessories including wallets, straps, passport cases and phone covers ranging from $495 – $995.


Gucci DIY  champions the idea of self expression. These Ophidia Totes can be personalized in a diverse range of colors and letters. The price starts at $ 2,290 for a single sided letter in leather. You can go much higher, with options for python ($2,790), caiman ($2,890) or felt with crystal finishes ($2,490).  If you want letters on both sides (and yes they can be different letters, but not different finishes) the price is $2,490 for leather, $2,980 for python, $3,490 for caiman and $2,590 for felt with crystal.

The totes are available for purchase online as well as at their newest location on Wooster in New York.  Gucci says that it will take 7 to 8 weeks from order to delivery for these bags. We love that they are presented in special packaging printed with “ABCDEFGucci,” making it not only a wonderful gift in and of itself, but a beautiful gift to open, too.


Fendi also recently launched an online customization offer for its shoppers, together with e-commerce platform Farfetch.  The collab’s “Customize It” service allows consumers to mix and match their own Kan I F bag ($2,690) and Strap You ($1,590) combinations – adapting the color options, logo styles and hardware. There are 120 different variations for the bags, and a further 70 for the straps.

Once items are ordered, the production is completed by the leather goods artisans in the Maison’s atelier in Florence. Delivery can take as long as 12 weeks.


Chloé founder Gaby Aghion always had a fondness for letters. As a result, starting in 1958, the names of Chloé garments began to follow the alphabet from A to Z. And the iconic Chloé Alphabet and its charms were born.

1. on the chloe website

On the brand’s website, you’ll find ring charms to add to the Drew shoulder bag ($1,850), Mini Drew bag ($1,650) and Faye ($1,950).

2. the collaboration with mytheresa

Meanwhile, over on My Theresashoppers can add something a little more permanent to their bag of choice. #chloegirls can choose from three to six colors, and add a monogram in gold-colored, raised metal letters (up to three).

For now, the bags in this program include the Small Nile leather bracelet bag ($1,820), the Faye Small leather shoulder bag ($1,520) and the Nile Minaudière crossbody bag ($1,620).

the wrap

No more take-it-or-leave-it! More and more, you can get a luxury brand’s guarantee of design and construction quality, plus the fun of making it your own. After all, true luxury should be about having options, right? Happy DIY’ing!

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