Louis Vuitton VintageLouis Vuitton was a French box-maker who crated the luxury brand of the same name over 150 years ago. Louis Vuitton was born on August 4, 1821, in Anchay, a small settlement in the east of France. He was born into a working-class family that included carpenters, farmers, and milliners. His father, Xavier Vuitton, was a farmer and his mother, Coronne Gaillard, was a milliner. His mother passed away when he was only 10 years old, but that didn’t stop his father to remarry quickly once again. At the age of 13, Louis Vuitton left his home due to his wicked and strict stepmother and ended up staying in Paris.
He traveled by foot, which took him two years, and along the way he worked and found shelter wherever he could. Upon his arrival in Paris in 1837, he was taken as an apprentice of a box-maker workshop named Monsieur Marechal. During this specific time period in Europe, working as a box-maker and packer was an honor and respected. This job title required creating custom-made boxes to fit the goods while also loading and unloading the boxes. Within a few years, Louis Vuitton gained the respect and reputation of being one of the best in this field in Paris. In 1853, he was appointed as a personal box-maker and packer for the Empress of France, Eugenie de Montijo, also known as the wife of Napoleon Bonaparte. She professed Louis Vuitton’s talent by stating that he beautifully packed her clothes for transportation, bringing Vuitton a new elite and royal clientele.
The year of 1854 was very eventful for Louis Vuitton. He met his future wife, 17 year-old Clemence-Emilie Parriaux. They married in the spring of that same year, and just a few months after, Louis Vuitton opened his own box-making and packer workshop in Paris. The sign outside the shop read: ”Securely packs the most fragile objects. Specializing in packing fashions.”
Four years later, in 1858, he launched a new trunk. Instead of leather, it was made in canvas, which made them hard-wearing and waterproof. They were also rectangular, unlike the regular dome-shaped, and this made it more stackable and easier to ship via railroad and steamship. This was the birth of modern luggage. They were obviously a huge success, and the advances in transportation and expansion of travel increased the needs of Vuitton’s trunks.
One year later, in 1859, due to the large success of his trunks; he expanded to a larger workshop in Asnières. His success was so extraordinary, that he was awarded a bronze medal at the Exposition Universelle, which further increased the popularity of his work. However in 1870, the Franco-Prussian War interrupted his work. His workshop was robbed and destroyed. Once the war ended, he relocated to a new address in Paris and restored his business. His new shop was located in 1 Rue Scribe, which was in the heart of Paris.
The simple yet sophisticated design appealed to the elite and it marked the beginning of the label’s luxury brand. Louis Vuitton continued to work hard until he passed at the age of 72 on February 27, 1882. His son, Georges Vuitton, stepped in and took over the company.
In 1896, due to all the counterfeit of the brand, Georges created the famous LV monogram canvas to be able to distinguish the brands products.
Bags weren’t introduced until the 1900’s, where the steamer bag came into place, which was a smaller piece meant to be kept inside the trunks.
In 1930, the Keepall bag was introduced followed by the Noé bag, which was originally made to carry champagne.
In 1936, Gaston-Louis Vuitton , Georges eldest son took the direction of the Vuitton house and due to the advances in technology, he replaced the monogram on a simpler canvas in 1959. This was perfect for the smaller bags, wallets, and purses.
From 1977, Odile Vuitton and husband Henry Racamier transformed the brand into a multinational company.
In 1987, the Louis Vuitton holding and owner of Veuve Clicquot merges with Moet Hennessy to create LVMH ( Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy ).
In 1989 , Businessman Bernard Arnault takes control on Louis Vuitton group.
In 1997 Marc Jacobs was appointed creative director and introduced men and women’s read-to-wear collections.
Until now the Vuitton house is based in saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule.
The brand has continued to grow and expand, and it will keep on progressing while staying in its roots, a world-renowned luxury leather lifestyle brand.