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YSL vs Louis Vuitton : two amazing French brands with a very different aesthetic. Which one should you choose?
Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) and Louis Vuitton are the giants in the French luxury world, synonymous with opulent handbags, high-end ready-to-wear, and must-have accessories. Their prowess in curating innovative designs has left indelible marks in the fashion realm, often setting global trends.
So, the burning question remains: Which one eclipses the other? Should you save up for that Louis Vuitton Neverfull or splurge on the YSL LouLou bag? Which brand carries more elegance or value? This article aims to dissect YSL vs. Louis Vuitton, giving you clarity on which to invest in.
- YSL (Saint Laurent) vs Louis Vuitton: delving into their Legacies
- YSL vs Louis Vuitton: Pinpointing the Differences
- Materials and Quality
- Exclusivity: Saint Laurent or LV?
- Aesthetics and Design: YSL or LV?
- Resale Value
- YSL vs Louis Vuitton: The Verdict
YSL (Saint Laurent) vs Louis Vuitton: delving into their Legacies
Before plunging into a purchase, understanding a brand’s lineage is imperative. Here’s a glimpse into these two fashion powerhouses.
History of YSL
As covered above, Yves Saint Laurent carved his niche in the fashion galaxy after working under Christian Dior. His mission was to democratize fashion, ensuring it’s accessible to all, while also liberating women through his iconic designs.
His experience there led him to create his brand, YSL. With Pierre Bergé as his business partner, he decided to popularize ready-to-wear fashion. He created the brand Yves Saint Laurent in 1962.
He noticed that women had a more difficult time accessing fashion, regardless of its type, and he decided to make things easier for them. He also had the goal of freeing the female form with his designs, bringing simple yet appealing pieces to the market.
In 1999 YSL was acquired by Kering, a French luxury multinational company that also owns brands like Gucci, Balenciaga and Bottega Veneta.
History of Louis Vuitton
Founded in 1854, Louis Vuitton began as a trunk-making business, evolving into one of the world’s most coveted luxury brands. Louis Vuitton’s journey was fueled by innovation, from introducing flat-topped trunks (as opposed to the rounded ones that couldn’t be stacked) to crafting the iconic Monogram Canvas.
These innovations propelled Louis Vuitton to global stardom.
In 1987, Louis Vuitton became a part of the conglomerate called LVMH which is one of the most important luxury groups in the world. Other brands that are a part of the LVMH group are: Dior, Tiffany & Co., Fendi, Givenchy, Sephora and many more.
History: Saint Laurent vs Louis Vuitton
While YSL stemmed from a ready-to-wear revolution, Louis Vuitton’s roots are deep-seated in luxury luggage and handcraftsmanship.
Louis Vuitton is more rooted in artisanal tradition and is of course much older. However, Yves Saint Laurent had a great impact on women’s fashion through his iconic designs.
Both brands have a strong heritage if that’s important for you when purchasing a new handbag.
YSL vs Louis Vuitton: Pinpointing the Differences
Price: YSL vs Louis Vuitton
The most iconic YSL bags like the Loulou and the College bag are around $2,500 – $3,000 USD.
Louis Vuitton’s price spectrum is broad, with items like the classic Speedy starting around $1,500, and the high-end Capucines bag fetching prices upwards of $6,000.
LV has a cheaper range of bags that are usually made out of canvas whereas their leather bags tend to be much more expensive.
Both brands have a good selection of entry level bags. If you opt for a Louis Vuitton you can buy some iconic canvas bags that have been around forever for under $2k.
If you choose to buy YSL you can buy a lovely quality leather bag that is modern and sleek for under $3k.
Materials and Quality
Both brands boast impeccable quality. YSL’s signature leather is lambskin leather, along with occasional ventures into calfskin, goatskin, and even coated canvas or denim.
Louis Vuitton, on the other hand, is known for its signature Monogram and Damier canvases, Epi leather, and a selection of exotic skins. Their canvas is renowned for its durability and longevity.
Winner: Louis Vuitton, for its longstanding reputation for bags that last generations. Although we adore the soft lambskin YSL uses for some of its bags!
Exclusivity: Saint Laurent or LV?
Louis Vuitton, with its limited-edition collaborations (like the one with artist Jeff Koons) and iconic pieces (like the Pochette Métis that often goes out of stock), has a penchant for exclusivity.
While YSL, with its avant-garde designs, appeals to a niche audience craving Parisian elegance.
If you’re visiting a random city, you’re much more likely to see tons of Louis Vuitton bags compared to Saint Laurent.
This is a hard one because LV really has some really exclusive, expensive, hard-to-get bags. However, we feel like overall the popularity of their monogram pieces (and the many fakes that exists) dilutes from the perceived exclusivity of the brand.
Aesthetics and Design: YSL or LV?
YSL is known for its sleek designs, intertwining masculine and feminine silhouettes. Their bags, especially, resonate with urban chic aesthetics.
Louis Vuitton is a blend of classic and contemporary, with the Monogram canvas being a timeless favorite and newer designs like the Twist or Petite Malle showcasing modern allure.
Winner: A tie. It boils down to personal preference. Both brands have amazing designs in their collections
Both brands are coveted in the resale market, thanks to their timeless appeal. However, they are not similar to brands like Hermes, Chanel or Goyard where you can often sell a bag for more that you paid for.
Louis Vuitton classics, given their historical significance and demand, often retain or even appreciate in value, especially if you wait long enough.
However, in recent years YSL is becoming more and more coveted and their resale value seems to have improved.
Winner: Louis Vuitton, especially for its iconic pieces.
YSL vs Louis Vuitton: The Verdict
Both YSL and Louis Vuitton are emblematic of luxury and style. Louis Vuitton, with its extensive history and artisanal roots, might have a slight edge in terms of value preservation and widespread recognition. YSL, on the other hand, is the go-to for those seeking Parisian elegance and avant-garde designs.
In the end, it’s not about which is objectively better but which resonates more with your style and values.
OUR FAVORITE FINDS