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Between Travel, History and Treasure at Le Monde du Voyage

Strolling in a flea market is always exciting me and last weekend I went to marché Serpette (Serpette Market), one of flea market in Paris.  Accompanied with my friend Irene Widjaja, we were browsing the antique shops, amazed with different type of precious items they sell.

We stopped at one shop cause we were stunning with the items he sells. There were many big trunks marked Louis Vuitton and Goyard that covered almost his little shop. On the top of that, Hermès vintage handbags were spreading everywhere! I’ve never seen there are so many Hermès bags in front my eyes except in its shop!

Yes, we stopped at Le Monde du Voyage, allée 3 stand 15 and the owner Alain Zisul approached us very friendly. While we looked around, he was explaining to us the story behind his collections.

You have amazing items to sell monsieur. We are totally stunned with your collection.

Thank you! Feel free to look around with carefully.

What year they were made all trunks you have here?

All of them were made before year 1930. (He showed us and opened up one of his trunks) This trunk, the inside like a small wardrobe and it was made 1930. This is not Louis Vuitton or Goyard. During those periods there were many trunk makers in Paris.

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Alain Zisul - Owner of Le Monde du Voyage

Among all these trunks you have, which one is the oldest?

The oldest trunk I have is Louis Vuitton was made in between year 1876 – 1888 and after those periods they didn’t produce this model anymore. I am selling this €8900.

When people buy a trunk from you, are they still use it for traveling?

At these days they are not going to use for travelling anymore. The function has been changed since flights commercial started.  As you know we used to travel by ship through the ocean across the countries or even the continents. That’s what the trunk made for.

They still use the trunk to keep their clothes or other personal precious things but they don’t take them for traveling anymore. Instead they keep it at home or in the bedroom as part of the furniture. Off course only people who really loves vintage to buy my trunks.

Le Monde du Voyage at Marché Serpette Paris

Beside the trunks, he also has many scarfs of Hermès, few of chanels bags and accessories, and other brands too. However vintage Hermès handbags more dominate in his shop and they are very good conditions.

All your Hermès collections here, which one is the oldest?

The oldest one I have, it was made before 1950 and I don’t display it to the public (he was opening a trunk in front him, he took something inside in covered). It’s a Kelly bag made from crocodile leather. I knew this bag was made before 1950 caused as you can see there is a mark written Hermes Paris 24 rue du Faubourg. At that time it was the address as signature for the bag. After year 1950 the signature is Hermès Paris made in France.

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How did you find these vintage handbags especially Hermès?

Some people they came here and tell me they have the same at home and want to sell it. In the other way, this business started it 50 years ago. Long It was my father who run the business and he was the first one in the world who sells second-hand Hermes bags.  So he created the market. Our business and address still the same and it’s fantastic.  Sometimes I buy back from the customer of my father. At that time it was very easy to buy but difficult to sell and you didn’t have to wait for long to buy Hermès. Therefore they didn’t understand why they want to buy second-hand bag. At that time Hermès was very very French and has only few stores; one in UK and another one in US. Birkin Hermes just exist 30 years ago and now Hermès has so many stores everywhere in the world and they can’t produce quick enough to supply its shop.

I have also rich an American woman and she wants to change her bag every 6 months. When she gets bored to her bag, she asked my help to sell her bag. 😀

I wonder if Louis Vuitton official knows about you and their trunks..

Off course they know. They know well my business. In fact most of their trunks collection, they bought it from me to decorate their shops. They don’t resell it to the public.

All your buyers, where are they come from?

They aren’t French. We have a lot of American, Asian, German or English who come to my shop.

And for Asian?

There are many Japanese here but more and more Chinese now. There are quite a lot also from Indonesian though but not for all seasons. They come and buy usually during spring and summer seasons. I have very good customers also from Singapore.

How do you maintain all these bags and trunks to keep them long last and stay beautiful?

The bag is easy. When I buy the bag, I always buy it in really good condition. So no maintenance for the bag. For the trunk, they were made mostly before year 1930. They are over 80 years old and they had been moved around from ship to another ship. Off course there are many scratch on the outside and there is nothing much I can do. The inside it depends of what kinds of material or texture come from and how big the damage.

Is it true, some people say that to buy a Hermès bag it something kind of investment?

I think in one way to buy a Birkin is better than buy shares in stock market. For a short term is ok but for a long term, I’m not sure. May be in 20years nobody interest anymore Birkin bag so the price will be decrease. In the other side, Hermès always increase the price around EUR€500 every year for Birkin and Kelly bags. So if you keep the bag for 10 years, the price has increased EUR€5000.

My advice is, if you really want to buy a Hermès, you have to buy it cause you love it, coming from your heart not with your wallet. If you seriously seeking for investment, you should buy paintings instead of the handbag.

Compare to the other brands, I think Hermes is the most expensive bag and also is the best quality bag in the world.


Thank you so much for showing us around and explain the story behind of your stuffs!


Le Monde du Voyage by Helen et Alain Zisul
Marché Serpette, 110 rue des rosiers.
Allée 3, stand 15. 93400 Saint-Ouen.

Isna Darmuis-Menneveux

Always lost in Paris. A fashion observer, food explorer, an Indonesian woman lives in Paris who loves to discover new things and frame it to her camera.