NEW YORK — Increased spending on handbags might be a fairly recent phenomenon, but the special-order business has a long and storied history, especially at Louis Vuitton.

During fashion week, the windows of Vuitton’s Fifth Avenue flagship will showcase several rare pieces ordered over the years. Below, a quick guide to two in particular:

  • Malle Lit bed trunk: This model was made around 1892 and is almost identical to the original one used by French explorer Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza, who led several expeditions to the Congo in the late 1800s, where he later founded the town of Brazzaville in 1880.

  • Alligator Stokowski desk trunk: Originally designed in 1936 for the late conductor and composer Leopold Stokowski, the trunk opens to reveal two shelves for books, three drawers for musical scores and a space for a typewriter.

To kick off the window display and celebrate the flagship’s one-year anniversary, Vuitton is hosting a cocktail reception tonight benefiting the United Cancer Front. Patrick Louis Vuitton, director of the special-order division and a fifth-generation Vuitton, is in town from Paris to attend the event, alongside Vuitton president Yves Carcelle, UCF co-founder Lilly Tartikoff, and NBC chairman and chief executive officer and General Electric vice chairman and executive officer Bob Wright.

For those not looking for a bed, but rather just a bag, Vuitton’s playful Monogram Cerise (cherry) bag collection, the latest collaboration between Vuitton creative director Marc Jacobs and artist Takashi Murakami, hits the store today. Prices range from $300 to $3,430.

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