We have written the story, special collections, designers and muses of Louis Vuitton, the world’s most special travel brand, for you.
When it comes to travel, no brand name can beat Louis Vuitton; because this suitcase workshop, which has built its entire heritage and identity on luxury travel, is the equivalent of a culture that has been going on for centuries.
Designer of Unique and Luxury Travel: Louis Vuitton
Let’s rewind time to 1854. Like many young men of his time, Louis Vuitton embarks on the adventure of his life by moving from the small town of Anchay, where he was born, to Paris.
Louis Vuitton, who started his journey as an apprentice to the chest production master Monsieur Maréchal, entered the most famous travel bag workshop in France at the age of 16 and started to learn this craft from the masters of the business.
Vuitton, who opened a workshop for himself in Paris after his education period, introduced his first chest only four years later, in 1858. This gray and flat chest from head to toe, called the Trianon Trunk, was revolutionary for its time; because its design makes it easier to transport and place the crate. With less seams, the waterproof chest is so popular that Vuitton opens the world’s largest travel goods store in 1860s Paris.
Especially in III. Napoleon’s wife, Empress Eugenie, preferred Louis Vuitton on her travels, allowing this name to spread rapidly between countries and continents. So much so that at the end of the 19th century, all the important names of the period were on the waiting list.
When the popularity of the trunks caused imitations to emerge rapidly, Louis Vuitton differentiated its designs and introduced Damier, the two-brown-tone checkered pattern, for the first time in 1888.
Inheritance from Father to Son: Georges and Gaston Vuitton
Louis Vuitton died in 1892 and left the company to his son, Georges Vuitton. It gives birth to that iconic monogram that wraps the intertwined letters L and V with a floral motif in order to separate the brand from its imitations and strengthen the sense of luxury. Although bags of various colors and materials have been sold since then, the checkered pattern and monogram are considered the heart of the brand.
It is Georges who opened the brand to the world. The suitcases of the brand, which made its debut in a new international arena with the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, soon began to be sold in the United States.
In 1936, Georges passed away leaving his seat to his son Gaston, and Gaston included smaller accessories in LV’s collection to strengthen the roots of this legacy he inherited.
It would not be wrong to call the early 20th century the ‘age of suitcase innovation’; because Louis Vuitton evolved from a brand that sold chests in the early 1900s to a brand that added many signature bag models to its body.
The Steamer Bag, introduced in 1901 as an inner-bag to separate the dirty and clean laundry inside the chests; Keepall as an easy-to-handle travel bag; Introduced in 1932 and designed to easily carry many champagne bottles, Noe; The Speedy Bag, which was designed by reducing the size of Audrey Hepburn’s special request.
The financial situation of a brand whose influence is so widespread undoubtedly attracts attention, and Bernard Arnault ensures that Louis Vuitton emerges as a holding from the consolidation era of the 80s. The brand merged with Moet Chandon and Hennessy in 1987, paving the way for the LVMH group to become the world’s largest conglomerate.
The Dapper Dan Case
There is no other brand in the world that is as imitated as Louis Vuitton. Although the Vuitton family took steps to prevent their designs from being copied in the 19th century, all these steps obviously inflamed the other side even more. Reaching a considerable audience in Harlem in the 80s and 90s, businessman Daniel Day, aka Dapper Dan, starts selling clothes with the brand’s logo printed without any permission. And clothes begin to be worn by the coolest New Yorkers of their era, such as Run D.M.C., LL Cool J, and Public Enemy. As the case becomes popular, he cannot avoid being the subject of a lawsuit, and Dapper Dan leaves his career in the late 1990s.
The Brand’s First Creative Director: Marc Jacobs
The 90s are a real turning point for Louis Vuitton, which maintains a heritage and culture built over the centuries; because -former architect- Marc Jacobs will be the name that will carry the brand into the 21st century.
Let’s do what we love and do it the most.
Taking the helm at LV in 1997 after being fired from Perry Ellis, Marc Jacobs undergoes a revamp that makes the monogram, which is slowly falling out of favor with fashion gurus, rise from its ashes. With reinterpretations, brand partnerships and collaborations, the monogram instantly becomes popular. So much so that in those days we see Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss with monogram bags.
Jacobs undersigns another innovation under the brand roof; produces clothing collections for both men and women. This vision of his also shapes the future of the brand. This first collection, like the bags, is a reflection of elegant richness.
I like people who have a sense of individuality. I love expressions and all that is strange and imperfect; because that is natural and real.
During his time at LV, Jacobs had many striking collaborations. In 2004 and 2005, Takashi Murakami’s colorful logo works on a white background turn into a cultural phenomenon. The graffiti-influenced designs followed by Stephen Sprouse are the signature of the monogram’s permanence in the fashion movement.
Marc Jacobs’ LV adventure ends in 2013 with the joint decision of both parties. Due to the unsustainable growth of the 2000s and the decline in profits in the last year, the brand needs a revamp. And Jacobs signs one last campaign before he leaves; Women’s series inspired by Louis Vuitton from the past..
In this latest campaign for the French fashion house, the brand’s 2014 Spring/Summer collection is also introduced. Among the names Steven Meisel has photographed are Catherine Denevue, Sofia Coppola, Gisele Bündchen, Fan Bingbing, Caroline de Maigret and Edie Campbell.
Creative Directors after Marc Jacobs
Nicolas Ghesquiére, who entered the French fashion house with his 2015 collection, is the creative director of women’s collections. In the same year, she was named Fashion Innovator of the Year by the Wall Street Journal and Best International Designer of the Year from the British Fashion Award.
What I find most interesting about fashion is that it reflects our time. That’s why it’s essential to witness your own time.
One of Ghesquiére’s most special designs is undoubtedly the Petit Malle, a customizable shoulder bag inspired by the trunk, the starting point of the LV heritage. Ghesquiére, who perfectly carries the luxury and comfort of travel from accessories to clothes, still designs for the women of the brand.
The name that introduced LV men to streetwear was Kim Jones, who took up the position of creative director in 2011. This traditional luxury brand, which is famous for its wallets, belts and suits, started to be talked about with its tracksuits, sneakers and graphic t-shirts.
The key is teenagers. Now we need to get the twenties excited.
Jones’ timing was also perfect; when men began to realize that the t-shirt -with a capital letter- was in Fashion, the first brand they would enter through the door was LV. Jones, who ignited the luxury face of street fashion with his collaboration with Supreme, was the harbinger that logos would not go anywhere for a while.
As the calendars showed March 2018, LV officially announced that the creative director of the men’s division was Virgil Abloh, born in 1980, Illinois. The arrival of the designer, who has been keeping his spotlight on Off-White, which synthesizes street fashion and luxury clothing, for a while, is of critical importance in terms of the infiltration of the brand’s heritage into popular culture.
I like to look at fashion and associate it with the variables of time.
It is possible to say that the revolutionary difference felt after the first fashion show in rainbow colors is very good for LV men.
Celebrities wearing Louis Vuitton
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A Brand Story