So after glaring at my new Wallet I bought from Louis Vuitton today, I couldn’t help but think of the history behind the brand. Who designed it? Who was Louis Vuitton? Parisian born individual and label yes, but I wanted to know more…
Well… Louis Vuitton was a box-maker and packer who founded the luxury brand of the same name over 150 years ago. From humble beginnings in the French countryside, Vuitton’s skill, innovation and determination quickly saw his signature trunks coveted by the world’s elite. With Marc Jacobs at the helm as creative director since 1997 and only leaving the brand last season, the house has expanded its offering to include bags, clothing, shoes, accessories and jewellery, making it one of the most valuable luxury brands in the world.
- Vuitton was born on August 4, 1821 in Anchay, a small working-class settlement in the east of France. His father, Xavier Vuitton, was a farmer and his mother, Coronne Gaillard – who died when he was 10 – a miller.
- Upon arrival in Paris in 1837, Vuitton became an apprentice at a successful box-making and packing workshop – a craft that was highly respected at the time. Within a few years he had gained a reputation as one of the best in his field in the city.
- Vuitton continued to work until his death at the age of 72 on February 27, 1892. He left control of the company to his son, Georges Vuitton.
- In 1896, in response to widespread copying of the brand’s patterns (a problem that continues to plague the house today), Georges created the famous LV monogram canvas – featuring diamonds, circles and flowers – to distinguish the brand’s products.
- The Louis Vuitton building, the largest travel-goods store in world, was opened on the Champs-Élysées in 1914 and counted Coco Chanel as a patron.
- Thanks to advances in technology and a new coating process, a supple version of the monogram canvas was created in 1959. This allowed it to be used for purses, bags and wallets.
- In 1997 Marc Jacobs was appointed the house’s first creative director and was charged with introducing men’s and women’s ready-to-wear collections. At the time, Jacobs told US Vogue: “What I have in mind are things that are deluxe but that you can also throw into a bag and escape town with, because Louis Vuitton has a heritage in travel.”
Interesting huh? Now the label is under the helm of heartthrob Nicolas Ghesquiere, and with two awards to his and Vuitton’s name at the British Fashion Awards 2014, whats next for the brand – see the Cruise 2015 Campaign here over at Louis Vuitton!