Inspired by Louis Vuitton’s rich history of trunk making, the Louis Vuitton Petite Malle mixes the skilled craftsmanship of trunk construction with the effortless style of a modern-day crossbody bag. The adorable Petite Malle (“Mini Trunk”) was a part of Nicholas Ghesquiere’s first collection as Creative Director for Louis Vuitton. The exquisite details of the Louis Vuitton trunk, the same for more than 150 years, are what inspired Nicolas Ghesquière to create a miniature evening-purse version called the Petite Malle.
The Petite Malle can be worn as a crossbody with the removable strap, or it can be hand-carried as a clutch. Over the seasons, Ghesquière has reimagined it in a plethora of colors, often imaginatively embellished, many incorporating Louis Vuitton’s signature monogram canvas, Epi leather, Vernis, and limited edition styles like Python and Monogram Reverse.
The Petite Malle uses the same trunk construction as its larger counterparts: golden brass detailing, and a signature Louis Vuitton engraved S-lock to create a look that is unmistakably LV.
New York Times reported that a team of about 30 artisans is dedicated to the construction of the small trunk in the company’s workshop in Ducey, in rural northwestern France. The heavy rivets must be situated perfectly on the first try or risk damaging the material.
Once the leather is fitted to the box, its edges are secured by Louis Vuitton’s lozinage technique, in which tiny brass nails are individually hammered into the border. Wooden slats are added to the exterior, just like in the full-size version. The metal latches and lock are set by hand. Finally, the quilted interior sheepskin leather lining even uses a classic House motif, Malletage, that matches vintage trunks. The mini trunk’s lock is fully functioning and comes with a matching key.
The details on the Petite Malle are what really make it shine: calfskin leather trim, the golden brass trunk hardware, and iconic engraved S-lock closure; just like a full-sized trunk, but mini. The Petite Malle measures 7.4″ L x 2″ W x 4.6″ H. Retail price varies based on material.
The three X’s seen on the Petite Malle pays homage to the signature of the traveler, philanthropist, and photographer Albert Khan.