I have recently treated myself to a Louis Vuitton New Wave Camera bag in baby blue, or Bleu Porcelaine as it is officially known, which prompted me to write this post.

It has been a while since I purchased my last LV piece which at the time was the iconic Alma bag. It is not that there was anything wrong with Louis Vuitton bag designs per se. It is just that my love of fashion accessories took me on a slightly different course, away from loud logos to less conspicuous designs. However, I am pleased to have reconnected with the brand because it reminded that Louis Vuitton definitely know how to create beautiful and timeless accessories.

To be honest, I purchased the Louis Vuitton new wave camera bag, first and foremost, because I fell in love with the azure colour and the design was only a secondary concern. I cannot say that I have ever been particularly crazy about camera bags but the simple and highly functional style had grown on me over time. In addition, in the last few seasons camera bags have made quite a come-back which somewhat redeemed them in my eyes.

Like many other fashion houses, Louis Vuitton had been experimenting with camera bags for a while with designs such as Saintogne and Santa Monica becoming quite a considerable success. However, none of the recent LV designs resonated with me sufficiently to make me want to buy them. Luckily, everything changed with the release of the New Wave camera bag range which caught my attention thanks to the exciting selection of colours and clean lines. And so I finally got excited about Louis Vuiton again.

In light of this newly re-discovered love for Louis Vuitton accessories I wanted to share my thoughts on the New Wave camera bag and hopefully assist those of you who are still pondering over whether it is worth adding one of these pieces to your collection.

LV New Wave camera bag view from behind

Aesthetics and detail

Like all camera bags, the Louis Vuitton New Wave bag has a simple, rectangular silhouette with rounded edges completed with a zip top closure. What distinguishes it from other camera bags is a relatively large zip pull adorned with a multicolour logo reading “Vuitton” on one side and a set of stars on the other. Personally, I like the oversized pull but I find the colourful writing quite superfluous, distracting somewhat from the otherwise classic and simple design. Luckily, the pull can be easily flipped to the less obvious, “starry side” so the bag can be enjoyed without the screaming logo taking the centre stage.

LV camera bag zip pull
Front of the pull zip
Louis Vuitton new wave camera bag back of zip pull
Back of the pull zip

The dimensions of the bag are 21.5cm x 15.5cm x 6cm making them relatively average for a camera bag. The shoulder strap affixed by means of metal chain links has a drop of 50cm which in my case reaches just below the hip level. One thing of note is that the length of the strap is fixed and there is no way of adjusting it. It also seems relatively short for a cross-body bag. For me (5.5’ tall) when the bag is worn cross-body the strap is just about right but for anyone who is particularly tall I would recommend trying it out to see if you feel comfortable with the length. The strap is not much of an issue when the bag is slang over the shoulder.

The exterior of the Louis Vuitton New Wave camera bag is made of quilted calf leather in a block colour (pastel blue, baby pink, black, white, dark cherry red or electric blue) while the interior is lined with matching fabric resembling suede. The leather used in its construction is very smooth without any visible grain but also quite stiff and sturdy, notably more so than the very soft leather used in Gucci Marmont camera bags.

LV camera bag front view
Front of the LV New Wave camera bag featuring a metal plaque and a slip pocket
The back of Louis Vuitton new wave camera bag
Back of the camera bag adorned with a chevron pattern

The front of the bag features a flat pocket adorned with horizontal, wave-like quilting (hence the name New Wave perhaps?) contrasting the vertical quilting pattern on the remaining facia of the bag. Above the line of the pocket is an LV logo plaque made of antique gold brushed metal. The reverse side of the bag is decorated with a chevron quilting design. [Back to Menu]

Louis Vuitton New Wave camera bag worn cross-body

Fit test

When I purchased my first camera bag it was quite a revelation that such a petite accessory could be more than just an ornament and actually accommodate a considerable number of personal items. The Louis Vuitton New Wave camera bag is no different in that respect. Despite its relatively compact size, the bag can easily contain a small wallet, iPhone 8, a couple of lipsticks/lip glosses, make up, 30mil perfume bottle, small Tangle Teezer brush, hand cream, hand sanitizer, keys and a packet of tissues. In fact, there is still some space left for a few additional items if you do not mind a bit of a squeeze.

LV camera bag fit test
This picture shows all items which fit inside of my Louis Vuitton New Wave camera bag

The bag’s ability to contain a decent number of daily essentials is, in my view, one of its main advantages. There are certain items which I simply cannot live without, pretty much everything shown above, and the fact that I can carry it all in my small New Wave LV bag without having to compromise is a huge bonus. Because of its surprising capacity the bag is incredibly versatile and can be worn not only as an evening accessory but also, quite comfortably, in the daytime. And the more use you get out of it, the lower the effective price-per-wear and thus better the overall value for money 😊. [Back to Menu]

LV new wave bag

How practical is the LV New Wave camera bag?

One feature of the bag which deserves recognition and which makes it highly useable in my opinion is the front slip pocket. Opening and closing of the bag may not sound like much of an effort but the zip feels a little stiff at first and also finding an item in an overfilled (always in my case!) small bag is not easy on the go. The lack of an external compartment has been my gripe with many small bag designs e.g. the Boy, especially where the closure system is not straight forward. Hence having that extra compartment where you can slip items such as a ticket or some money is incredibly convenient. Just as a caveat, I would not advocate placing anything particularly valuable in the pocket as it is not secured in any way but as a form of temporary storage the pocket is just ideal.

Another aspect of the New Wave range which makes it highly practical in my view is the colour scheme. Unlike some of their predecessors, these Louis Vuitton camera bags are made of smooth, block colour calf leather without any embossing or printed logos which makes them easy to mix and match with many different colours. I know that a lot of people choose Louis Vuitton bags precisely because of the instantly recognisable Damien Ebene or the Monogram/Monogram Vernis canvas but personally I find them quite busy and not easily reconcilable with my beloved patterns. Also, these days I tend to stay away from obvious logos and tend go for lower key designs (of course, this may change in the future). Well, the New Wave bag is not entirely inconspicuous because of the prominent LV logo plaque but you know what I mean… A block colour accessory is far more versatile and usable than a patterned piece. [Back to Menu]

LV New Wave camera bag photo beach

Is the LV New Wave camera bag durable?

The Louis Vuitton New Wave camera bag shown in this review has not been in my possession for too long, as it only came out as part of the 2019 Spring Summer collection. Irrespective of that I would like to share a couple of observations regarding its potential durability and things to watch out for in that context.

Firstly, the exterior. The calfskin leather used in the construction of the New Wave camera bag is quite stiff in comparison to that of other bags. This type of leather is usually very delicate but in this instance it feels unusually hard wearing, to the point I was actually surprised that the bag was made of calfskin. By virtue of its rigid nature, the leather does not have the supple and luxurious feel that you can observe in other designer pieces and it feels somewhat synthetic so, admittedly, it may not appeal to everyone. On the positive side, I expect this type of leather to be less prone to scratches, creases and indents than softer equivalents and, as such, to maintain the pristine, brand new look for longer.

Of course, the stiff structure of the bag will not prevent all issues thus, for instance, the exposed round edges and the unprotected bottom of the bag may start losing colour or pick up dirt over time, especially if you opt for one of the lighter shades. Lighter colours like Snow (i.e. white) or Smoothie Pink will also be predisposed to colour transfers so probably best to keep your bag away from fabrics or surfaces with a tendency for staining like brand new denim, for example. On top of that, I also expect that strong, direct sunlight will not be ideal for pastel shades like the Bleu Porcelaine or Smoothie Pink, and may cause discolouration.

Regarding the interior, the bag is lined with suede-like textile so watch out for leaking pens, lip glosses or make up as these might stain the delicate microfibre fabric. Even though I have been very careful with my LV New Wave camera bag, I have already spotted a few make-up marks which might have transferred from my hands which indicates that the fabric is quite stain-prone. The Louis Vuitton care booklet states that the fabric may be cleaned with soap water but I have not tried that yet as I am worried about causing damage to the lining and subsequently staining the underlying leather.

LV New wave camera bag care booklet
Page 1 of care instructions
LV New Wave camera bag care booklet page 2
Page 2 of care instructions

A photo of the LV care booklet is shown above for anyone interested in the recommended care methods suggested by the brand. [Back to Menu]

LV camera bag slung on the shoulder

Good investment?

The Louis Vuitton New Wav camera bag has been quite a nice surprise. When I bought it, in all honesty I was expecting to end up with a fashion accessory predestined for very sporadic appearances. Instead, the bag has been on quite a high rotation ever since it came to my possession. It is not only cute but also reasonably practical thanks to its very decent capacity and the ability to transition between daytime and evening looks. The baby blue hue is beautiful and striking, and unexpectedly easy to coordinate with many different colours as well as perfect in its own right as a pop-out accent. For those who do not like pastels, there are other colour variations to choose from, notably black, white and cherry red.

Before concluding, a few last words about the price tag. The bag, while reasonably priced for a designer piece is somewhat more expensive than the competing Gucci Marmont camera bag. As a comparison, in 2019 (at the time of writing this review) the LV bag costs £1,260 whereas the Gucci equivalent retails at £885. If you are on a budget, this will make a significant difference. While some might ask why invest in the more expensive bag, the LV New Wave bag has some distinct advantages over Marmont, and these include the sturdy leather and the slip pocket which give it a slight edge in the context of durability and usability. It is also far less popular so it will strike a chord with those who prefer more unique pieces. As I own both, I will post a detailed comparison of these two designs in due course so watch this space!

Would I recommend it to others? If you are looking for a versatile and durable bag with classic appearance without too many bells and whistles, and in style which is not too widespread then the Louis Vuitton New Wave camera bag is definitely for you. While you are not going to end up with an envy-inducing, uber-luxurious piece, the bag is a tasteful accessory of superior quality and finish in a style which will never get old.  Overall verdict: A useful addition to any wardrobe [Back to Menu]

LV bag view from behind

Photos by Unwrapped.Fashion

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