The Alma has been, for more than 20 years, one of Louis Vuitton’s most emblematic bags, on first-name terms with women the world over. Its origins, however, go much further back in time – indeed, the Alma has quite a tale to tell!
The Alma’s ancestry can be traced to the end of the 19th century, with its most direct forebears taking the rather humble form of a linen bag and a night bag – two simple canvas pouches designed to keep trunk drawers tidy. In 1901, their functions merged, giving rise to the Steamer bag, the essential companion of transatlantic passengers. Its elegant trapezoidal design concealed discreet compartments to separate clean linen from that already worn. In 1934, Gaston-Louis Vuitton further refined this smart yet practical shape to create the more compact Squire bag. In 1955, it in turn spawned the city-chic Champs-Élysées, which announced its arrival by adopting the name of the world’s most famous avenue.
This, then, is the lineage of the Alma, which still betrays hints of its Art Deco heritage and which, ever since 1992, its official birth date in Monogram canvas, has been distinguished by its combination of elegance and charisma.
The Alma has turned out in every rainbow shade of Épi leather, gone graphic in Damier, and shone in glossy Monogram Vernis. It has appeared in every format, from BB to XXL. It has even lent itself to artistic inspiration, welcoming the graffiti of Stephen Sprouse and the cute characters of Takashi Murakami. Already Louis Vuitton’s most frequently revisited bag, the Alma has recently been reimagined in a red on black Monogram version by Nicolas Ghesquière.
Through all these different guises, however, the Alma remains the perfect bag, gliding through every age and every season with the same serene and timeless style.