Louis Vuitton was a French fashion designer and a businessman. He was the founder of the Louis Vuitton brand of leather goods now owned by LVMH. Prior to this, he had been appointed as trunk-maker to Empress Eugénie de Montijo, wife of Napoleon III. He was born in Anchay in the Jura region in Eastern France on August 4, 1821. His ancestors were joiners, carpenters, farmers ( his father) and milliners (his Mother).
He left home at the age of 13 and became an orphan at a young age when his mother died when he was only 10 years old and his father died soon after. That’s when he decided to go to Paris. He set out on foot from his home in Eastern France in the spring of 1835 on a 292-mile journey to the capital city. The track took longer than two years and during this time, Louis took odd jobs and stayed wherever he could find shelter. He arrived in Paris at the age of 16 in 1837.
He then became a box maker and packer who owned his own shop in Paris. His business expanded tremendously when he introduced the 1st rectangular shaped trunks in 1858 which were revolutionary at that time because they were able to be stacked, unlike the round trunks that were commonly used back then. He worked primarily as a luggage maker for the rest of his life, building a reputation for the Louis Vuitton name with his high-quality innovative designs. When he passed away in 1892 (72 yrs old), his son George took over the Louis Vuitton Company. He expanded the product line and created the signature look that is still featured on LV products today.
Louis Vuitton is one of the most popular luxury fashion brands in the world. However, despite the fact that the brand and the man behind it have spent a considerable amount of time in the spotlight and under the observation of the public eye, there’s so much more to the luxury label than it’s placed on the arm of the hottest Hollywood A-listers and talented models. Here’s the list of the things you didn’t know about LV.
- Louis Vuitton’s Business started off when he worked with the Royalty.
When Louis traveled to Paris, he became an apprentice Box-maker and packer which was a very respectable job at the time. He built a reputation for himself in the industry to the point where he was hired by the Empress of France to be her personal Box-maker and packer. This leads to him acquiring other elite and royal clients who supported his business throughout his career.
- Speedy Bag of Audrey Hepburn
Audrey Hepburn is the one responsible for the popularity of the speedy handbag, one of Louis Vuitton’s iconic product. If you love this bag, you have Audrey Hepburn to thank because her requested version of the speedy bag was made popular in 1965. She asked for a miniature day bag version of the brand’s popular keep all travel bag. The 1st speedy bag was made in 1930. But the smaller version was made specifically for her and then it became a regular production piece and one of the brand’s signature pieces.
- The Alma Bag of Coco Chanel
The Alma Bag was originally created as a special order for Coco Chanel. She was the 1st french icon who directly influenced a Louis Vuitton product. In 1925, Chanel ordered a day sized version of the Alma voyage trunk for daily use. She was the only one to own an Alma Bag for a few years but the bag was put into a regular production in the 1930s and continues to be a popular item of the brand.
- Marc Jacobs-Fashion Line/Creative Director
Louis Vuitton is often referred to as the French Fashion House. So, it may be surprising to find out that they didn’t have their own fashion line until 1997 when Marc Jacobs was hired as the 1st creative director. He created the brand ready-to-wear collection and oversaw the development of LV as a Fashion Brand.
- The most expensive bag sold for $133,400.
In 2012, Louis Vuitton works with Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama to create a limited edition Pumpkinmon Adir Jewel bag. The pumpkin-shaped bag is made with pure gold, black resin, and fine jewels. Inspired by the style of small evening bags popular in the 1930s. This rare bag sold for $133,400 – making it the most expensive Louis Vuitton purse ever sold. But even if you have that amount to buy, it’s unlikely you could get your hands on one as only five were made.
- Louis Vuitton never go on SALE!
If you are that kind of person who waits around hoping for the price to come down on that LV bag you were eyeing on, you’re going to be very disappointed. LV never lowers their prices on publicly sold products and they don’t sell to discount outlets. In fact, they say on their website that if you come across a reduced price of an LV product, it’s most likely counterfeit or a secondhand item.
“His business expanded tremendously when he introduced the 1st rectangular shaped trunks in 1858”
- LV Bags are WaterProof & FireProof
One reason why the designer can justify their high price tag is that all of their handbags are waterproof and fireproof and go to extensive durability testing to ensure their quality. Canvas is used for waterproofing and PVC is used to fireproof the bags. This is one of the reasons why they are so expensive and timeless. If you buy an LV bag today, you might be able to use it for another 20 years at the least.
- Louis Vuitton made a custom trunk for a Rubber Duck named WILLY!
Anyone can order a customized trunk at any LV Shop in the world but you better be ready to pay up. A small customized case costs nearly $6000 but the customized options cost much more. Louis Vuitton himself started his business by creating customized trunks and this is still an important part of the Company. The possibilities are endless. Trunks have been specifically created for items such as; dogs, babies, teddy bears, golf clubs, baby bottles, cigars, and tennies rocket. One of the most unusual boxes ever custom made was for a rubber ducky named Willy. No matter what your request is, the designers at the specialty shops will work to meet your demands as long as you have the cash. They even designed a trunk with a built-in coffee maker TV and DVD player powered by a solar panel. Karl Lagerfeld of the famous Chanel brand also commissioned LV to create a trunk for him that would hold 40 iPods and they happily complied.
- LV’S Signature Monogram Canvas was launched and patented in 1896
Louis’s son, George wanted to prevent counterfeiting. so, he created the iconic monogram design along with their quatrefoil, flowers and LV monogram and patented the designs worldwide in 1896.
- Leftover products are Burned or Shredded after every season.
If you are an LV lover, the thought of an elite collection of unused bags being shredded or burned is probably enough to give you nightmares. But this is exactly what happens at the end of each season. Any unsold items are gathered in a big warehouse where they are offered to Louis Vuitton employees at discounted prices. There are strict rules that apply though because each item is tracked to ensure it doesn’t end up on eBay and if it does, they will know exactly who is responsible. Any items that remain unsold, will be shredded or burned. They take this drastic measure only to maintain the exclusivity of their brand. What a waste, right?
The quality, craftsmanship, value, and other benefits add up to the conclusion that Louis Vuitton bag is an investment for life. Its quality is astonishing!