Louis Vuitton is the world’s most valuable luxury brand in the world for decades. It’s products include leather goods, handbags, trunks, shoes, watches, jewelry and accessories.
Louis Vuitton’s heritage as a trunk maker preceded even the founding of the company.
When he was only sixteen year’s old, Louis Vuitton made a decision that would not only change his own life but the lives of his sons and future generations; he would become a trunk master.
It was in 1837 that a 16 years old Louis Vuitton arrived in Paris by foot and started apprenticing for Monsieur Marechal. At the time horse- drawn carriages, boats and trains were the main modes of transportation, and baggage was handled roughly. Travellers called upon craftsmen to pack and protect their individual objects.
Louis Vuitton quickly became a valued craftsman at the Parisian atelier of Monsieur Marechal. These were the roots of his highly specialized trade; the beginnings of his career in an artisanal industry that called upon skills to custom design boxes and later, trunks according to client’s wishes. Louis Vuitton stayed for 17 years before opening his own workshop at 4 Rue Neuve- des- capuchins near the place vendome.
The Louis Vuitton label was founded by Vuitton in 1854 in Rue Neuve Des Capuchins in Paris, France. Louis Vuitton had observed that the HJ cave osilite trunk could be easily stacked and in 1858, Vuitton introduced his flat bottom trunks with trianon canvas, making them light weight and airtight. Before the introduction of Vuitton’s trunks, rounded top trunks were used, generally to promote water run off, and thus could not be stacked. It was Vuitton’s gray Trianon canvas flat trunk that allowed the ability to stack with ease for voyages. Many other luggage makers imitated LV’s style and design.
In 1857, the company participated in the universal exhibition in Paris. To protect against the duplication of his look. Vuitton changed the Trianon design to a beige and brown stripes design in 1876. By 1885, the company opened its first store in London on oxford street. Soon thereafter, due to the continuing imitation of his look, in 1888 , Vuitton created the Damier Canvas pattern , which bore a Logo that reads “ marque L. Vuitton deposee”, which translates into “L. Vuitton registered trademark”. In 1892 Louis Vuitton died, and the company’s management passed to his son. After the death of his father, George’s Vuitton began a campaign to build the company into a worldwide corporation, exhibition the company’s products at Chicago world’s fair in 1893. In 1896, the company launched the signature Monogram canvas and made the worldwide patents on it. It’s graphic symbols, including quatrefoils and flowers (as well as the LV monogram), were based on the trend of using Japanese and oriental designs in the late Victorian era. The parents later proved to be successful in stopping counterfeiting. In this same year, George’s traveled to the United states, where he toured cities such as New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago, selling Vuitton products. In 1901, the Louis Vuitton company introduced the steamer Bag, a smaller piece of luggage designed to be kept inside Vuitton luggage trunks.
By 1913, the Louis Vuitton Building opened on the champs- Elysees. It was the largest travel- goods store in the world at the time. Stores also opened in new York, Bombay, Washington, London, Alexandria and Buenos Aires as world war 1 began. Afterwards, in 1930, the keepall bag was introduced. During 1932, LV introduced the Noe bag. This bag was originally made for champagne vinters to transport bottles. Soon thereafter, the Louis Vuitton speedy band was introduced (both are still manufactured today).