It’s been almost a year since WhoWhatWear announced the official of the Louis Vuitton backpack. The accessory had staged a “cult comeback,” they alleged. But, since it was spotted on the back of Mariah Carey, Carey-ing (I’m sorry) a boombox through Manhattan in 1999, the Louis Vuitton backpack has never left.
Lambily member or not, there’s little doubt the image is seared into your pop culture conscious: Mariah Carey in a mid-drift baring tank, waistband-less distressed jeans and heeled sandals, strolling the streets of New York City with a stereo in one hand, dog leash in the other and a low-riding Louis Vuitton backpack slung over her shoulders. It was an image, carefully cut from magazines and pasted on mood boards, then making its way to Pinterest, before appearing on the final iteration of fashion’s go-to solution for creative blocks: Instagram’s nostalgia accounts. It is, in short, an entire summer’s worth of wardrobe inspiration rolled into one apparently candid photo op.
And the brand’s profile has only raised since Carey donned its monogrammed accessory. With the recruitment of Off-White creator Virgil Abloh to head up menswear and the instantly sold-out collaboration with streetwear giant Supreme, the label has since added to its arsenal luxury retail’s most-coveted accolade: street credit.
Plus, its still very expensive, which naturally only ups the exclusivity. Now, a small backpack will go for around $1900 at minimum, with larger styles priced well upwards of that. Even if you’re buying vintage, you’re still shelling out at least $600 to get your hands on one of these puppies—which is exactly why all your favorites have been spotted wearing them. From Rihanna to Kourtney Kardashian, the ‘it’ girls fashions keeps the closest tabs on have all been captured with various versions of the Louis Vuitton backpack.
This there’s Kylie Jenner. Kendall Jenner. Jay-Z. Priyanka Chopra. Forget your private jet, Rolls Royce or Versace sunglasses, this is the quickest—and possibly lightest—way to communicate your wealth (or fame) without saying a word, and when a picture on Instagram is worth a thousand of them, a Louis Vuitton backpack might be a valuable investment.
But you can beat on the lives of your lambily, Mariah did it first.