Speaking as a relative luxury newbie, I’ve become quite addicted to Louis Vuitton bags and accessories this past year. I’ve already shared a glimpse of my Pochette Metis and the Neverfull has rarely left my side, but I wanted to find a bag that embodied the spirit of the brand and its rich history. The search for such a bag led me to the Louis Vuitton Noé.
“In 1932 a Champagne producer asked Gaston-Louis Vuitton to develop a bag that was elegant, sturdy, and able to carry five bottles of Champagne (four bottles standing up and one, in the middle, turned upside down). He created the Noé bag, a Louis Vuitton classic.”
(Paul-Gérard Pasols, Louis Vuitton: The Birth of Modern Luxury Updated Edition)
The Noé is available new online, but only in the Damier Azur canvas at the moment (and for nearly three times as much money as vintage, pre-loved ones). I specifically wanted the monogram print, so buying new wasn’t an immediate option. But I actually prefer the aged patina of the leather trim and think a little wear gives the bag character.
I had been searching online for awhile and finally found a beautiful very well-loved Noé on Poshmark. There were no scratches or discoloration on the canvas, although the bottom of the bag had some watermarks. The trim was the perfect caramel color and in overall good condition. I highly recommend buying luxury resale items on Poshmark because of their free authentication for items over $500. Sign up for Poshmark and use the referral code stephaniedrenka to receive a $5 credit!
Everything about the bag, which was made in France during the year 1984 (older than me!), was just what I had hoped. Except for the condition of the brass hardware. The bag’s classic Louis Vuitton grommets, D-rings, and buckles were recognizably tarnished– some even with unsightly specks of green.
Restoring a Vintage Louis Vuitton Noé Bag
After some online research, YouTube videos, and blog posts, I decided to try this Bar Keeper’s Friend cleanser. After applying a few drops and rubbing the hardware in a circular motion with a Q-tip had dramatic results. (I recommend keeping gentle, alcohol-free baby wipes handy in case anything spills onto the canvas) Within seconds, the brass sparkled like new and contrasted beautifully against the dark canvas and leather. Scroll down to see photos of the process and astonishing after shots.
How I Organize My Louis Vuitton Noé Bag
With my beautiful new/old bag polished and ready-to-go, I used this felt organizer to keep its shape and my things within reach. The Noé is often compared to Mary Poppins’ bag for its ability to hold just about everything you might need with you on a daily basis. The drawback to this drawstring design is that it can be a bit of a black hole for your stuff. The organizer helps prevent loose items from getting lost. I love that it has a removable holder for water bottles and slot for an iPad or tablet.
My very favorite part about carrying a vintage bag is imagining the adventures it has been on with previous owners. Each one must have such interesting stories to tell that it feels like a privilege to have the Noé as a companion on my own life journey.