Louis Vuitton's Delusion of the Photographer Results in $3,500 Bag

Louis Vuitton's Delusion of the Photographer Results in $3,500 Bag

Photography equipment is not cheap. As photographers, we’re often investing thousands of dollars into metal tubes filled with planes of glass, and quickly justifying it to our friends and families. So what happens when a disconnected fashion brand such as Louis Vuitton markets to photographers, and announces a $3,500 basic camera bag?

Introducing the Louis Vuitton N58027


It’s got zippers, it’s got a checkerboard pattern, and it’s got handles. Oh, your bag only has a front and side panel to store your gear, well this one has a front, side AND back! And with a incredibly small form factor (15.4” x 8.7” x 9.4”), you'll have plenty of space to store a camera, lens, flash and still have about enough space for a single AA battery. So it should be no surprise that this little bag marketed for men would cost the nice affordable price of $3,500. If that is not enough, they're also offering a similarly patterned wallet and belt for $470 a piece. So you can be the true fashionista on your next fashion photo shoot.


In all seriousness, this is problematic for our industry. I know I have tens of thousands of dollars invested into camera bodies, lenses and lights. But outside of that, I live a life unlike that of most photographers - a life of modesty. I'm already frustrated that I'm paying $250+ for a decent camera bag that is nothing more than a backpack that has been gutted and filled with foam inserts. So where does Louis Vuitton get the idea that anyone would want to pay that ten fold? Louis Vuitton, if you’re listening...stay out of my industry. I'll photograph your bags, and I'll collect your checks for my invoices, but I have no desire to also become your customer.

If you're looking to spend $3,500 purely to drive me crazy, you can do so here.

Zach Sutton's picture

Zach Sutton is an award-winning and internationally published commercial and headshot photographer based out of Los Angeles, CA. His work highlights environmental portraiture, blending landscapes and scenes with portrait photography. Zach writes for various publications on the topic of photography and retouching.

Log in or register to post comments

Just bought two… I think they are cool…

How is this "problematic for our industry"?

I think this falls in the same category as those awful Hasselblad/Sony cameras.
If people are dumb enough to buy that camera, they're dumb enough to buy this bag.
They actually go pretty well together, so good for LV for coming up with a bag for those d-bags to put their HV in.

Perhaps the justification of it?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, photographers in the United States make on average of about $28K a year. It's brands like this and others that are pushing the market into believing photography is luxurious. That in turn, can shift the market to have even less of a desire to pay us our dues.

Personally, I don't think THAT is the problem keeping clients from paying photographers.
Photography seeming luxurious has never, and will never, keep clients from paying photographers well. In fact, I believe it's the opposite.

"Wow, look at that bag, he must be a good photographer"

Its LV, and photography is luxurious if you can afford LV. A 28K a year as a photographer isn't a career time to get another one if that is all you pull in.
The person buying this will have a leica monochrome,wait is that camera problematic to our industry because of its price? and a M9 for color with 3 lenses and it will be a perfect fit.

It's not getting deleted. It's an error with Disqus' cache. They've been updating their services...and have had issues on and off for the last few days

"28K a year as a photographer isn't a career time to get another one if that is all you pull in"

Perhaps I could get a job as your proofreader.

that would be another poor career choice...

It's not a problem. If you don't want it, don't buy it. Vote with your wallet. But just because you don't want it, doesn't mean other people don't want it either. Some people are willing to pay more for a better looking bag (and you have to realize that this is subjective). My gear is more centered on fashion than function. I want to look good (what I think is good, because again, this is subjective). I bought a Canon 35mm L over the new Sigma, primarily because red ring. It might be silly to you, but to me, I like brand names. If I made a bit more money, you can bet that I'd be looking at possibly buying this bag.

You have to realize that one bag is not going to shift the market. Think about how many people will buy this. I doubt you or I will ever see one of these being used ever. Even if someone was seen with it, the observer would then have to recognize that it is a LV rather than just some bag.

You're worried about our dues. Look where photography is heading. Practically everyone has one now. Photography is growing at a huge rate as a hobby. Our market value is diminishing as we go on. It's just a fact of life. There are more and more good photographs popping up as people become more skilled in photography. Our photographs will no longer be leagues better than most people. I see some damn fine work from many amateurs, who in reality could be professionals, except that they don't want to do that as a career (would rather keep a hobby as a hobby rather than turning it into a job) or don't know how to do it as a career. That's what's going to decrease our market value in the coming years, not one bag that will sell maybe a hundred units overall worldwide. Get real bro, think logically.

Thinking of selling my camera so I can get this. People don't need to know what's inside anyways. I'll look legit though.

If you think a Vuitton bag makes one look "legit" you have an issue..

"If you think a Vuitton bag makes one look "legit" you have an issue.." Says Mc Doesntknowwhatironyis

The irony here is that you meant sarcasm... :)

Irony can be sarcastic.

Wow.. just.. wow.. O.o?

And it often is :)

You sir are dumb..

you're telling this to Peter House? lolz. good joke.

Judging by your avatar all you care about is looking "legit".. pfft.

Too legit to quit.

Maybe you should start working just as hard on your photography.

I'd rather get the bag.

A fancy bag for a fancy d-bag.. makes sense.

Fotique13, you have clearly not looked at Peters work the way your talking to him. Settle down. No need for being rude on here.

lolz you're breaking the fun Tyler XD should have let him on his own. lolz

There are many rich tourists wandering through the world with expensive cameras at the neck. If there is a market for Hasselblad Lunar and Stellar, well, there is a market for this bag.

Here's how LV got the idea it could sell this for ten times more than a normal camera bag: because they sell handbags and wallets and luggage for ten times the average amount.

Louis Vuitton is not selling the bag's ability to transport equipment from point A to point B. Louis Vuitton is selling the feeling of buying something with its name on it, to a small number of people.

Well said. Its nice to know there's someone here with understanding.

"You are trying way too hard to be outraged…" LOVE THAT LINE, and it is such a common place effort.

This is like a car blogger writing a piece about how outraged he is that Bentley has the temerity to sell a car for ten times the price of a Toyota. But we've read it and are commenting to tell him how silly this is, so: objective achieved.

A Bentley has a long list of features that a Toyota doesn't. LV doesn't have anything above what all other brands have.

So for that reason...your comparison doesn't apply.

Status. Good grief buddy, marketing 101 here. This isn't hard stuff.

Good point but I think the comparison applies. It's just not a directly parallel comparison. And, actually, to be pugnacious, the LV camera bag has a significant feature that no other bag has: Louis Vuitton leather, pattern, and overall aesthetics. That's the "feature" that sells LV bags. Quite tidily.

But the point is that people who buy Louis Vuitton anything are not buying them based upon benchmark-able features, functionality, bang-for-the-buck, so the rationale by which you're evaluating their camera back is not apt.

And if you meant for the tone of your article to be satirical, then I think you missed the mark, as pretty much all the comments here show that folks read it as a straight critique.

Satire would have been to hail the bag as a wonderful product and the perfect option for everyone to buy to carry around their Hasselblad Lunars.

Your article was sarcastic, not satirical.

I fear that you're misreading the satirical tone of this post.

I'm not going to lose any sleep over this bag, I promise.

A site consisting of only Adobe Flash... Hmmm... Been a long time, and it would be nice if it stayed that way.

What's the point of giving them (free?) advertising?

If one of our readers reads this article and buys this bag, then I'm ending each post with my paypal address....cause obviously our readers have more money than they need.

Maybe Hasselblad and Louis Vuitton should team up for a 20k Hasselblad LV-HV.

If you don't remotely understand the basic concept of the luxury niche (as this author has clearly demonstrated he does not) then I seriously question if you have any credible business sense at all. If you can't understand WHY this bag is meant to be thrown in the back of a Lear60 instead of your parent's hand-me-down Golf, then my friend you have some growing to do. How do you expect to understand and react to the nuances of human behavior when close to your own target customer base if you can't even understand the wide extremes from afar? Naive.

Put a Leica monochrome in this and youre the ultimate poser.

One of the most naive and silly post I've ever seen. Let's ban all luxury items because Zach cannot afford them. Are you also offended by people driving in luxury cars or wearing clothes that are more expensive than yours? Grow up.

I never said I couldn't afford a $3500 bag, I said there is no purpose for a $3500 bag. My post was satirical in the sense that it mocked the product in question. If anyone is being pissy here, it's you.

But looking through your comment history, it shows that the only thing you're capable is pissing on other people...so I suppose we shouldn't be surprised that you're doing it again.

"I said there's no purpose for a $3500 bag."

Zach, I interpreted your post as satirical :-) You make a great point. There is no purpose for a $3500 bag. It's just not practical.

On the other hand, luxury is symbolic rather than practical. So being impractical when it comes to luxury is exactly the point. From a utilitarian perspective you are right, but from a luxury perspective LV is right.

There is actually a lesson to be learned here for aspiring photographers. DIY and being practical are functional but not symbolic. The Arts (as well as luxury) are ruled by symbolism.

I think it would be a great bag for Paris Hilton to carry around her 2 toy dogs in....

I don't see this being something that many career photographers would buy, this is something that many well off hobby photographers would buy (and maybe a few career photographers doing very well for themselves, or happen to be huge LV lovers). Like others said, its for a luxury niche. When I was travelling around Europe, I saw a good amount of tourists in Paris, London, etc. hanging out in the posh & touristy areas (i.e. Champs-Elysees, Bond street, etc.) with their luxury cameras (leica's, hasselblads, canons with the red ring lens, etc), swamped in shopping bags from high-end designer stores & boutiques, etc. These type of people don't bat a single eye at spending that kind of money on a camera bag. In fact, they'd probably look at it, and think "oh adorable! I have something cute and fashionable to put my camera in, not this drab black satchel/fannypack." It's for the people that subscribe the high-end fashion lifestyle, I think LV knows that, and they didn't make this with the intention for normal career photographers to buy it.

I think you're right that the market for bags like this is not really aimed at professional photographers. It's aimed at the type of people that might be a "Hermes" special edition Leica or something like that....

I've actually wanted a LV photo bag, same print, but a sling version.

Are you REALLY "outraged" by this? If you are, go home, have a shower (possibly 'clear the snorkel' while you're at it), fill a large glass with a reasonable scotch and sit in a darkened room for a while.

It's an expensive bag for people who like Louis Vuitton and like taking pictures, and who have money to burn. And believe me, they exist. Douglas Sonders just bought a '69 Mustang - will the next post be about him?


Seems silly put like that, doesn't it.

What a silly bag

More comments