The World of Louis Vuitton
Louis Vuitton, also known as LV is a fashion house that originates from Paris, France. The house was founded in 1854 by craftsman Louis Vuitton with a focus on high quality travel luggage, specifically trunks used for travelling on trains and boats. Vuitton had served an apprenticeship in trunk making from the age of 16 and poured all of his knowledge and skill into the Louis Vuitton company. The business soon became known for creating high quality travel luggage, an association that remains to this day.
After the death of Louis Vuitton in 1882 the company passed into the hands of his son Georges Vuitton. Under his leadership Louis Vuitton became an international brand name opening stores in cities around the world. As the next century evolved and transportation changed the need of personal luggage so did the designs of Louis Vuitton. During this period classic designs such as the Speedy, Keepall and Noe were created.
In 1896, the company launched the signature Monogram Canvas with graphic symbols in order to prevent counterfeiting of LV designs. The Monogram canvas is still in use today and has been adapted and finished in a number of colours and materials.
Although the brand has modernised and brings out new collections each season, a large part of the appeal is down to a connection with a long history and links to the past. The shapes of classic bags, the Monogram pattern, and the fact that bags and trunks are still hand made in the factory at 18 Rue Asnieres sur Seine adjacent to the Louis Vuitton family home of 5 generations only add to the allure.
How popular is the Louis Vuitton brand today?
With the Louis Vuitton brand estimated to be worth around 25 billion US dollars in 2013, the popularity of this historic fashion house shows no signs of fading. So what is the modern day appeal behind the phenomenal figures?
Many credit the modern day success of Louis Vuitton to the work of Creative Director Marc Jacobs over a 15 year period. Appointed in 1997 Jacobs was in charge of creating the brands first ready to wear collections for both men and women and creating new versions of famous accessories.
Jacobs was know for punk and grunge influenced collections and seemed to clash with the refined image of the luxury Louis Vuitton brand. However the combination proved itself to be a great success with the designer dragging Louis Vuitton out of the purely travel luggage sector and into the realms of a mainstream fashion house, with millions of fans worldwide.
Limited edition collections designed with artists such as Takashi Murakami captured the attention of both the fashion press and the public as one of the first such collaborations between luxury fashion and art. Despite the new modern edge Jacobs brought to Louis Vuitton the traditional values of the company remained in place. High quality craftsmanship, luxurious materials, durability and modern thought provoking design all remained a constant.
Written by: Stephen Adams