Hazine

26.08.2015 - Katherine Koniecki

Label

MONO CHROMED

LOUIS VUITTON BEARS THE FAMED LV MARK, MONOGRAMMED AS A STATUS SYMBOLS AND AS ONE DIE HARD ITEM THAT HAS BECOME OF THE MOST PROMINENTLY COPIED PRODUCTS IN THE WORLD.

Louis Vuitton is a big player in the luxury game. Augmented by the reign of Nicolas Ghesquière as the brand’s Creative Director, the label’s success can be credited to multiple revivals. The new Louis Vuitton Foundation for one is the brand’s protective coating and is housed in a magnificent and ultra-modern building designed by the renowned architect Frank Gehry. The space embodies the futurism that stems from the Louis Vuitton's ever-expanding universe.

PARIS ON FOOT

The brand’s story starts when a 16 year-old boy named Louis arrived in Paris in 1837. Against the wishes of his parents, he had his mind set on walking 400 kilometers to get to Paris to pursue his dreams of becoming a trunk maker. Louis Vuitton worked arduously as a loyal apprentice for 17 years for the luggage manufacturer Monsieur Maréchal and later became the exclusive trunk-maker to Empress Eugénie of Montijo at the court of Napoleon III before going on to found his own business in 1854, which he named Louis Vuitton Malletier.

TRAVELING TRUNKS

As a masterfully trained trunk-maker Vuitton recognised that the days of bulky travel chests, which were loaded on top of horse-drawn carriages were over. The masses had embraced modern transportation and began to travel by train or boat. They needed trunks that were easy to stack. From the original site of Rue des Capucines in Paris, he began to sell expensive, flat-top trunks, which were unusually lightweight and manageable for the times. Vuitton built his own factory in Asnières, where his trunks took shape and the factory remains the production site for certain Louis Vuitton luxury cases. In 1886 together with his son Georges, he crafted a new type of lock, a revolutionary creation for the time. Two years later he created the chequerboard Damier pattern, which has become an undisputed trademark throughout the LV collections.

THE LEGENDARY MONOGRAM

After Louis Vuitton’s death in 1892 his son Georges took over the flourishing company. High society members fell in love with the exclusive and sinfully expensive Vuitton luggage. Vuitton products became the ultimate coveted status symbol. The counterfeit market set off and cheap copies of trunk multiplied like fire. Georges Vuitton created the famous LV monogram to combat the fraud in 1896, but the plan backfired and the striking mark made his prestigious cases replicate more intensively than ever.

FROM NICHE TO MASSES

Alongside his 1901 instant best-seller steamer bag, Georges Vuitton began to produce smaller travel sized bags. It was the first lady's handbag with a draw-string closure and long shoulder strap to be launched in 1932 and the iconic design is still available today. Louis Vuitton began a campaign to conquer the globe in 1970 and his first move was marked by the opening of new factories and boutiques all over the world. In 1987, Louis Vuitton S.A. merged with the French spirits producer Moët Hennessy and the LVMH Group was born.

The design house landed a great coup when it took on Marc Jacobs to head the collections in 1997. The collaboration with Jacobs lasted 17 years and transformed the label into one of the world's largest and most influential luxury design houses. The brilliant French designer Nicolas Ghesquière took over as the brand’s Creative Director in 2013, which has since solidified the brand’s consistently momentous success.

Who wears it?

Short Facts

Trademark

The Louis Vuitton checker board monogram is one of the most recognized marks among its luxury comrades.

Distinctiveness

The brand’s iconic bags are insatiably copied. They may duplicate the LV monogram but Louis Vuitton’s womenswear collection goes from retro to futurism with a distinction that drips jetset luxury.

Designer History

1997-2013 Marc Jacobs
2014 to present Nicolas Ghesquière

Most important Designers

TIMELINE

1837 - Apprenticeship

Louis Vuitton arrives in Paris at the age of 14 to start an apprenticeship in bag making. He works for the luggage manufacturer Monsieur Maréchal for 17 years and is becomes the exclusive trunk-maker to Empress Eugénie of Montijo at the Court of Napoleon III.

1854 - Louis Vuitton Malletier

At the age of 33, he opens his own business in Paris and names it Louis Vuitton Malletier. As one of the first luggage manufacturers he uses a special waterproof canvas called Trianon. In 1886, Vuitton and his son Georges revolutionise luggage locks by inventing a new closure system that remains in production today.

1888 - The chequerboard design

Louis Vuitton launches his iconic chequerboard Damier pattern.

1896 - The legendary monogram

Georges Vuitton creates the world-famous LV monogram to combat the trend for counterfeit LV goods.

1932 - The first 'It Bag'

In 1932 Louis Vuitton launches the first real lady's handbag. The Noé bag has a draw string closure and long shoulder strap. It was designed to hold five bottles of champagne and becomes an instant hit.

1987 - LVMH

Louis Vuitton S.A. merges with the French spirit producer Moët Hennessy. The LVMH group is born.

1997 - Marc Jacobs

The American fashion designer Marc Jacobs becomes the house’s Creative Director.

2002 - Takashi Murakami

The long-term collaboration between Louis Vuitton and Japanese artist Takashi Murakami begins. Together with Marc Jacobs, he designs the famous multicoloured LV monogram which is set against a white or black background.

2013 - Nicolas Ghesquière

The collaboration between Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs comes to an end in November. Jacobs is succeeded by the former Balenciaga designer Nicolas Ghesquière who becomes appointed Louis Vuitton’s as the brand’s womenswear Creative Director.

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