If you are a first time Louis Vuitton buyer and you hear the word “patina” you may be thinking what the heck does that refer to? Well fret not, we’re here to tell all! The term patina actually refers to a process of leather darkening which occurs to the vachetta or untreated cowhide leather on your bag. Not all Louis Vuitton bags are made with untreated cowhide leather, so it is important to note that not every Louis Vuitton bag will undergo this process. The patina essentially refers to a darkening process which the leather undergoes as it is used over the years.
If you have purchased a new Louis Vuitton bag straight from the store you may notice that the leather trimmings on your bag are a rather pale beige. This color begins to darken over time eventually looking like a dark honey. The forces which cause your bag to patina are entirely natural: it includes oxidation, sunlight, oil from your skin, and dirt. We liken the patina process to that of aging a bottle of wine – both become finer with age. When you see a Louis Vuitton bag that has clearly patinated you know the wearer of the bag has had it for some time, and been through many adventures with the bag. The bag is literally marked by being exposed to your life.
One key benefit of a patinated bag is that you won’t be accused of having a fake bag as replica manufacturers traditionally did not make their bags with genuine cowhide leather, however this is not necessarily true anymore as fake bags become increasingly accurate. Generally speaking, some people like their bags patinated but others don’t. Some try to speed up the process while others try to slow it down. It really comes down to a matter of personal taste and subjectivity.