As two highly coveted names in the handbag industry, it can be difficult to choose between Michael Kors vs Louis Vuitton – so we’ve got all the info you need to help you decide!
Michael Kors and Louis Vuitton are among the most coveted high-end brands for leather goods and handbags, so it may be hard to decide which brand to go for. We have analyzed both brands’ histories, the key differences between the two, and some of our favorite products before coming to a conclusion on Michael Kors vs Louis Vuitton – all to help you decide which brand is better for you!
Michael Kors vs Louis Vuitton
History of Michael Kors
Michael Kors began his namesake brand in 1981 after a lifelong love of fashion. Kors’ first foray into the fashion world was when he designed and sold clothes out of his parent’s basement. Then, in 1977, Michael Kors enrolled at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City – although he did not finish his course.
After working in a boutique in Manhattan for several years and eventually becoming the designer for the store, Kors’ designs were spotted by Dawn Mello, fashion director at Bergdorf Goodman. This was the beginning of the Michael Kors brand, and in 1981 his first collection was shown in Bergdorf Goodman.
The Michael Kors label continued to grow and Michael Kors then was named the creative director of French fashion house Celine. After several successful and well-reviewed ready-to-wear collections, Kors left Celine in 2003.
During his time at Celine, Michael Kors continued to work on his own label and in 2002 launched a menswear collection. Then, in 2004, the MICHAEL Michael Kors label was established – this included Michael Kors bags and a women’s ready-to-wear collection.
In the short history of this American brand, Kors has achieved worldwide success – there are 770 Michael Kors stores around the world and the Michael Kors collection is also carried in department stores in London, Paris, Milan, Shanghai, Tokyo, and Seoul among other cities.
This popular brand is also a go-to for celebrities on the red carpet – Kors has designed dresses for Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Lopez, Taylor Swift, Jennifer Lawrence, and Vice president Kamala Harris, amongst many others. Further international success came when First lady Michelle Obama wore a Michael Kors dress in her first term official portrait, and again wore Michael Kors for the state of address in 2015.
Now, the Michael Kors brand offers men’s and women’s collections, fragrances, jewelry, watches, footwear, and accessories and is a world-renowned luxury brand.
History of Louis Vuitton
Louis Vuitton is one of the oldest French fashion houses after it was founded in 1854 by trunk maker Louis Vuitton. Louis Vuitton quickly gained success after designing the first waterproof flat-top trunks which revolutionized luxury long-haul travels.
Some of the best-known elements of the Louis Vuitton brand were first established in the late 19th century; in 1888 the Damier Canvas, which is now often seen on the Neverfull and Speedy bags, was first launched – the canvas also included a logo meant to trademark this canvas and the Louis Vuitton brand.
Then in 1896, the LV monogram was created; the design was based on Japanese mon designs that were particularly popular in the Victorian era.
The 20th century saw a large growth in handbags sold by Louis Vuitton. The Keepall and Speedy bags were first introduced in 1930, while the Noe bucket bag was brought in two years later. Louis Vuitton was well known for high-quality materials and exquisite craftsmanship and so his handbags were beloved all over the world.
It wasn’t until 1997 that Louis Vuitton first began to create men’s and women’s ready-to-wear collections. Marc Jacobs was the first creative director for these collections and was at the cutting edge of contemporary fashion, showing his collections in impressive fashion shows all over the world.
The menswear collections became so large that Kim Jones was appointed artistic director for menswear collections, and in 2018 Virgil Abloh took on this role – a historic appointment as one of the few African American designers at a French luxury fashion house.
In 2013, Marc Jacobs stepped down and Nicolas Ghesquière took on the role of Creative Director and made Louis Vuitton one of the biggest luxury fashion brands in the world.
Key differences between Michael Kors Vs Louis Vuitton
If you are trying to decide between these two fashion labels, there are some important differences you should be aware of – including the price ranges, materials, and brand reputation.
1. Price Range
There is a significant difference between the price ranges of these two brands and the leather goods they offer. Michael Kors handbags can range from anywhere from $150 to $2,000 – with the majority of bags around the $200 to $600 mark. This shows how Michael Kors has a great range of affordable bags.
Louis Vuitton, on the other hand, offers much more expensive bags with high price tags ranging from $1,000 to $8,000 – meaning you would need a much larger budget to buy a Louis Vuitton bag. Also, some LV handbags are more expensive than $8,000 because they are made from rare exotic skins.
The Louis Vuitton brand name is world-renowned and their handbags such as the Neverfull and Speedy are wildly popular all across the globe.
Due to the iconic LV monogram that often decorates many of the Louis Vuitton handbags, they are instantly recognizable and have quickly become a status symbol.
Michael Kors is well known for luxurious handbags but the popular brand is not such a world-famous name, and many would hesitate to refer to the brand as a luxury brand. The more appropriate way to refer to the brand would be affordable luxury or simply, premium.
MK has also been accused of ripping off designs from pricier luxury brands, Louis Vuitton itself being one example. For example, there’s a definite similarity between the Bedford bag and LV’s Keepall bag.
This has had a somewhat negative effect on the brand’s reputation. However, it’s important to note that many luxury brands often carry pretty similar designs to one another.
Lastly, because Michael Kors bags are more affordable, Louis Vuitton bags are definitely more exclusive.
At the end of the day, Michael Kors and Louis Vuitton have many similar style bags and so it often depends on whether you want the Louis Vuitton reputation in your handbag collection.
Louis Vuitton designer bags are known for their high-quality materials and craftsmanship – they are made to a high standard in France, Italy, Germany, or the United States.
LV handbags can be made from cowhide leather, taurillon leather, or canvas. This variety of materials means that customers chose a fabric that is most suited to their lifestyle and personal taste.
Michael Kors, on the other hand, have high-quality bags but they are not known for their exquisite craftsmanship. The materials used to make the MK bags are top quality – often including coated canvas, pebbled leather, lamb leather, and calf leather.
Michael Kors bags are on average a little more hard-wearing and so would make the perfect everyday bag. Whereas the supple and luxurious Louis Vuitton leathers, particularly in the lighter colors, can show marks and scuffs more easily.
Of course, this won’t be a problem if you opt for a Louis Vuitton canvas bag instead, or a bag made with durable and hardwearing epi leather.
4. Resale Value
The resale value of handbags from these two brands reflects the original prices of these handbags. Louis Vuitton bags hold their value very well, and can sometimes even be sold for more than was originally paid.
This often occurs with classic, highly sought-after bags like the Speedy or Alma, or limited-edition bags that were created in collaboration with an artist or fashion designer, such as the Steven Sprouse collaboration.
Michael Kors bags are much more affordable to begin with, so their resale value is significantly lower, and you’ll find them much harder to sell on.
If you protect your handbag and keep it in great condition, a Louis Vuitton bag is the best choice if you plan to resell it in the future.
Our top picks from Michael Kors and Louis Vuitton
Louis Vuitton and Michael Kors both have some fantastic bags on offer, so here are a few of our top picks that we think you’ll love and help you to decide which brand is better for you.
1. tote bags
Tote bags are a must in any collection. They are so versatile, and these two options from Michael Kors and Louis Vuitton are totally stylish as well.
Michael Kors has loads of tote bags on offer, in a range of different sizes to suit every need. The Jet Set Leather Tote is perfect for many shoppers – the interior is roomy enough to fit all your work essentials and there are plenty of interior and exterior pockets to help you keep everything organized and easy to find.
This tote bag also has a classic timeless design in minimalist pebbled leather, with looping shoulder straps, and features gold-toned MK logo hardware.
The ultimate Louis Vuitton bag, the Neverfull, is a fan-favorite tote bag. The Neverfull was only introduced to the collection in 2007 and it instantly was a success. The sophisticated design and practicality – with a spacious interior and zipper pocket – guaranteed that this bag was a best seller.
The Neverfull is now available in a whole range of different materials, including the LV monogram canvas and the Empreinte leather, which is pictured above.
2. crossbody bags
Often a crossbody bag is ideal as your everyday handbag, so here are some options from Michael Kors and Louis Vuitton for you to pick from.
The Greenwich Crossbody bag is perfect if you are looking for a small, functional bag that would be ideal for running errands. The patterned monogram fabric, trimmed with luxe calf leather, gives this bag a quintessentially Michael Kors look, while the gleaming gold MK logo adds a glam touch, and the adjustable and removable logo webbing strap adds practicality.
The flap top secures with a turn lock and opens up to reveal a compact interior fitted with a slip pocket and a couple of card slots.
The Louis Vuitton Pochette Metis is such an elegant bag and would make the perfect crossbody or even shoulder bag. Made from Louis Vuitton monogram canvas, the decoration features both the original LV monogram and the reverse colorway to add an eye-catching finish.
There is a small top handle as well as an adjustable longer strap so there is plenty of versatility in this handbag. Of course, the interior is completely perfect too, with a black microfiber lining that is partitioned so you can keep all your things organized.
3. shoulder bags
Shoulder bags have become very popular recently, so here are some of the best options from Louis Vuitton and Michael Kors to add to your collection.
The Parker collection is a best-selling Michael Kors bag collection, and from this stunning shoulder bag, you can see why. The handbag is made from calf leather, with a sumptuous look, and then embellished with a sparkling silver MK logo on the front flap.
The interior is fitted with slip pockets and there is plenty of room inside, making this the ideal everyday handbag. The sliding strap means you can wear this bag across the body or on your shoulder – super versatile. This gorgeous, chic shoulder bag is a must-have and retails for just $598.
The Noe is a classic style bag that was first launched in 1932 and was originally designed to carry bottles of champagne. The timeless design has ensured this bag has remained a favorite for decades.
There are many different variations of the Noe bucket bag available, including a range f sizes and materials to suit any style. We love the elegant, timeless look of this monogram edition, in the nano size that will just fit your everyday items. The rich brown LV monogram coated canvas is trimmed with vachetta leather, and the bag features a shoulder strap and compact interior, secured with a drawstring.
4. belt bags
Belt bags have recently become a staple in all wardrobes because they are so practical, and now with so many designer options on offer, there are loads of beautiful bags to choose from.
The Michael Kors Slater belt bag may be small but it definitely packs a punch. Made from MK monogram coated canvas, the belt bag features a gold chain strap, that is intertwined with leather which is removable.
It also comes with an adjustable strap that can be worn over the shoulder or around the waist. The delicate gold hardware finished off the bag with a polished look.
Louis Vuitton’s belt bag is of course incredibly stylish but also completely comfortable. The bag is made from black calfskin leather which has been embossed with the LV monogram for a minimalist logo look.
The paired-back design continues with the simple gold Louis Vuitton brand name patch on the front of the bag and the hidden gold zipper that allows easy access to the roomy interior. The black leather waist strap is adjustable so you can wear this bag around your waist or slung across the body.
Both brands are incredible and make stunning handbags so it can be such a challenge to choose between the two. When coming to a decision on Michael Kors vs Louis Vuitton, in the end, it comes down to personal choice (and let’s be honest, your budget!).
Michael Kors is better than Louis Vuitton if you are looking for affordable, stylish, and durable handbags. Michael Kors is the perfect option if you have a slightly smaller budget or are looking for your first affordable luxury handbag purchase.
Louis Vuitton, however, is better than Michael Kors if you are looking for high-end, luxurious, and iconic handbags – they are heirloom pieces that you will love forever and wear for life.
If you have a slightly larger budget and want to invest in a beautiful handbag then Louis Vuitton is the way to go, hands down.
Both fashion brands have fantastic leather goods on offer and so in our opinion, it mainly comes down to your budget when deciding on Michael Kors vs Louis Vuitton.
We hope you loved this analysis of the Michael Kors and Louis Vuitton luxury brands! For more luxury fashion related content, check out the posts below.