Tabulous Tastemaker: Louis Vuitton

August 4, 2014

By Tab Byrum

Today we are remembering Louis Vuitton on what would have been his 193rd birthday.  Although Vuitton was born almost two centuries ago the company he founded is still having a major impact on the world, with the house of Louis Vuitton being one of the most major and valuable fashion houses in the world.  Join me today as we take a look at Louis Vuitton the man and the legacy he left to the world.

LV_1
purseblog

LV_5Wikipedia

Louis Vuitton was born August 4, 1821, in the small French village of Anchay in Eastern France.  Vuitton’s family were all working class folks with his father being a farmer and his mother a milliner.

LV_16Anchay, France ( via alltravels)

 It’s said that Louis was a headstrong child and grew tired of the country life, so at the age of 14 he set off for the cosmopolitan French capital of Paris. The journey was almost 300 miles, Vuitton made it on foot in two years, taking odd jobs along the way to support himself.  Upon his arrival in Paris, Louis was taken in as an apprentice by a very successful box maker and packer named Marechal.

In 19th Century Europe, box making was a very respected craft, boxes were custom made for clients to fit whatever item they wanted to pack and store with the box makers personally taking care of this for their well to do patrons.  The young Vuitton soon made a name for himself as a premiere box maker and packer.  In 1853 Louis became the personal box maker and packer to Empress Eugenie of France, he was charged with “packing the most beautiful clothes in an exquisite way”.  This new royal connection provided Louis with the network he needed to work with the elite and royal for the rest of his life.

LV_3courtesy LouisVuitton.trunks.puttles.com

In 1858 Vuitton introduced a new type of packing trunk that would give birth to modern day luggage, Louis’ new trunks were rectangular in shape with flat tops.  Before all trunks had domed tops to shed water, Louis’ flat topped creation made it easier to stack trunks on the new modes of transportation like railroads and steamships.  The new type of trunks was a huge commercial success and gave him world wide recognition.LV_17A complete wardrobe trunk, (via LouisVuitton.trunks.puttles.com)

LV_2Louis Vuitton and his crew in the courtyard of the workshop around 1888. (via  LouisVuitton.trunks.puttles.com)

 

Louis’ son Georges created the famous LV logo and under Georges’ direction, after Louis’ death in 1892, Louis Vuitton would become the world famous leather and luxury brand it is today.
Here’s to Louis Vuitton, a Tabulous Tastemaker for almost 200 years.

LV_6The iconic Speedy bag, image courtesy of tradesy.com

 

LV_7Paris flagship store on the Champs Élysées, courtesy commons-sikimedia.com

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Louis Vuitton Capucines, courtesy purseblog

LV_11Louis Vuitton tote in Damier Azure, courtesy purseblog

LV_14Men’s shoes Spring 2015, courtesy purseblog

LV_9Louis Vuitton window during the Balloon campaign, courtesy thebwd.com

LV_12The new Marly Bag, courtesy purseblog

LV_4Building size LV trunk in Red Square, Moscow, courtesy businessweek

LV_15The new LV Soft Lockit, courtesy purseblog

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