A Brief History on Louis VuittonChristine Quach
Whether or not you’re a fashion lover, you’ve seen a Louis Vuitton Speedy or Neverfull at least once in your life. Beyond those popular bags, the iconic fashion house has long been a staple in many luxury wardrobes. But the world-famous brand had humble beginnings.
So how did the name “Louis Vuitton” rise from a talented box-maker to one of the highest fashion houses now?
Vuitton was born in Anchay, France, on August 4, 1821 to working-class parents. His mother passed away when he was 10 years old. He left home at age 13 after wanting to get away from provincial life and his strict stepmother. His 292-mile journey on foot to Paris gave him two years’ worth of working experience to support himself. In Paris, Vuitton became an apprentice to a box-maker and soon gained a reputation as one of the best box-makers in the city.
In 1853, Eugenie de Montijo, the Empress of France and wife of Napoleon Bonparte, appointed Vuitton as her personal box-maker and packer. In 1854, Vuitton opened his own box-making shop in Paris and began creating trunks in canvas to make them more durable.
Long after Vuitton’s death and the brand’s rapid rise in popularity, the Vuitton family hit hard years during WWII. Knowing that they had to keep the business afloat, they supported Marshal Philippe Pétain’s puppet government and made business with the Germans. However, according to the company, which is currently owned by the Louis Vuitton Moët-Hennessy group, company documents ranging from 1930 to 1945 had been destroyed in a fire.
For those who were tired of seeing the same monogram- and damier-print bags over and over, LV began collaborating with various designers to create gorgeous, limited-edition pieces. Throughout the 2000s, LV joined forces with Takashi Murakami to produce classics boldly splashed with colorful cherry blossoms. They even created the very popular Monogram Multicolore, which was a must-have at that time.
Somewhat recently, LV’s collaboration with Cindy Sherman boasted hotel-inspired stickers and patches.
As of May 2017, the LV brand is worth $28.8 million and is ranked #20 on Forbes’ “World’s Most Valuable Brands” list. It’s safe to say that it’ll only go up from here.