Louis Vuitton Reimagines the Hobo Bag in the Low Key Collection

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Louis Vuitton is making a case for the reemergence of the early aughts staple hobo bag with its new Low Key collection. Debuting today, April 12th, the collection features two styles: a classic shoulder bag and a 2024 rendition of the retro hobo design. The latter is simple in silhouette, a spacious tote-like construction with a single adjustable shoulder strap. Invoking the collection’s theme, a gold padlock embellishment—the maison built their legacy on trunks, after all—subtly emblazoned with the house’s not-so-subtle logo sits affixed to the strap. The grained leather comes in black, cognac, and a creamy limestone.

The broader hobo style is characterized by a certain slouchiness in its roomy, sac-like silhouette. Early-aughts style stars like Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Sarah Jessica Parker, Mischa Barton, and Lindsay Lohan christened the bag an icon of the era with their correspondingly bohemian ensembles. Consequently, the hobo tends to be associated with all things boho. The link is all the more relevant now that 2024 has witnessed new creative director Chemana Kamali reinvigorate Chloé’s boho heritage in her Fall collection. Balenciaga, too, is reintroducing its iconic Le City bag (modeled by none other than Kate Moss in the campaign). All signs point to a coming bohemian resurgence.

Courtesy of Louis Vuitton

Courtesy of Louis Vuitton

However, I’m hesitant to bill the Low Key collection “boho-chic.” Destined to rival The Row’s Park tote and Khaite’s Frida hobo, Vuitton’s rendition takes a similarly contemporary approach to what could be considered an overdone silhouette. It’s not too aggressive in its hobo facade despite the terminology applied. Unorthodox it is not; this modern retelling jettisons the original eclectic undercurrent. Even the styling of the Low Key campaign, complete with crisp tailoring and relaxed footwear, leans luxe instead of lackadaisical. Louis Vuitton has sat at the helm of many explosive trends of late, most recently western-wear, thanks to men’s creative director Pharrell’s Fall 2024 collection. I don’t believe this is the brand’s foray into the world of bohemia. Instead, it’s a sensible addition to a line of timeless leather goods.

It also stands in opposition to the recent cult of minaudières. (I can’t help but wonder how many Jacquemus Le Chiquitos it would take to fill one Louis Vuitton Low Key hobo.) By comparison, the hobo bag is, dare I say, practical. Regardless of its conceptual implications, a larger bag solves more of life’s logistical conundrums. And today, I’d like to think we take a much more practical approach to fashion than we did in the early aughts, with its stilettos and bug-like shades.

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