Louis Vuitton

Tonie Ong

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Articles on Louis Vuitton

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Fashion and luxury goods have become synonymous throughout the years. Both require disciplines devoted to creating the very best products for their clients, as well as influencing each other on which direction the business will go. In this day and age, if a luxury label wants to stay in the game, it must have both in order to survive. The fashion dictates the creative side of the brand while the luxury goods ensure its survival in the cut-throat industry. Through the years, many have labels have succeeded in establishing both a strong name in fashion and a roster of products that have become best-selling luxury goods, and Louis Vuitton is certainly one of them.

Pink Leather Louis Vuitton Bag
Pink Leather Louis Vuitton Bag. Photo: Andersphoto

The Famous Monogram and the Brand’s Coveted Pieces

Louis Vuitton Famous Monogram Handbag

Louis Vuitton is arguably the most famous luxury brand in all the fashion industry. Its name has become synonymous with glamour, excess, and luxurious commercialism. Its monogram has also become the most famous logo of any business in any industry today. It was designed back in 1896 by the son of Louis Vuitton, the label’s founder. He made a print out of it to cover all the trunks, bags, and other luggage made by the company so that their products will be both indelible and easily-identifiable. Since then, the brand has made countless products etched with the famous monogram, going beyond bags and even incorporating them in wallets, shoes, coats, dresses, etc.

Aside from the famous monogram, the company has also made some of the most iconic bags in the fashion industry. There’s the famous Speedy bag, made in the 1930’s, which was a personal favorite of actress and style icon Audrey Hepburn, who was once photographed with it. It’s simple yet curvaceous silhouette offers the wearer ample space for her things, as well as an elegant piece to complete her ensemble. There’s also the Alma bag, a sleek purse that also debuted in the 1930’s. Its sexy shape is perfect for the company’s mysterious and seductive clients, one who may not have that much to put inside the purse.

Another of their most classic items is the City Steamer bag, introduced all the way back in 1901, but is still a best-seller to this day. It features a wide shape, perfect for stuffing loads of items inside, as well as a lock and key to keep everything in place. Additionally, the Noé bag is perfect for carrying small items in, with its small and round silhouette, which was initially designed to hold champagne bottles in. Among their newest selections, the Petite Malle bag stands out as a miniature ode to the old trunks and luggage the company began with. Although shrunken to better fit the youthful jet-setting crowd, it still features a lot of classic designs, all made with a more modern touch.

A Designer’s Journey to Being an Icon

Facade of Louis Vuitton Boutique inside Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
Facade of Louis Vuitton Boutique inside Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. Photo: Sergio Monti Photography

Born on August 4, 1821, Louis Vuitton grew up in Anchay, France, but eventually moved to Paris by 1837, at age 16. There, he worked as box-maker, becoming one of the best in his craft. He was even commissioned by Empress Eugenie de Montijo, wife of Napoleon III, to be her personal box-maker. He later opened his first shop in 1854, thus beginning the Louis Vuitton label. Vuitton was actually the one who changed the traditional shape of luggage from round to rectangular so that it will be easier to stack trunks above one after another.

In the late 1880’s his popularity increased tenfold when he was awarded twice during the Exposition Universelle, an annual international exposition held in Paris. He got the bronze medal in 1864 and the gold one in 1889. He passed away a few years later in 1892, leaving his son Goerges to run the business.

From the start of the 20th century onwards, the label became one of the most prominent luxury goods labels in the world. They opened their biggest store, named the “Louis Vuitton building” in 1914, which attracted many high-profile clients, such as Coco Chanel, Marlene Dietrich, and Audrey Hepburn. In 1959, a more supple version of the monogram canvas was developed, giving way to a new line of wallets, purses, and other trinkets featuring the iconic logo.

Creative Genuises Who Took The Reins

Marc Jacobs and Nicolas Ghesquiere - Louis Vuitton Designers
Marc Jacobs (left) and Nicolas Ghesquiere (right) – Louis Vuitton Designers. Credits: Featureflash Photo Agency (left) and FashionStock.com (right)

In 1997, the brand introduced their ready-to-wear line, for both men’s and women’s, by hiring American designer Marc Jacobs. With the help of Jacobs, the label soon became a big player in the fashion field, as much as it already was in the luxury goods business. Throughout the 2000’s and early 2010’s, Jacobs designed striking, edgy, and fashionable collections, most of which saw critical and commercial success. Soon, the prominence of the brand’s ready-to-wear equaled that of their luxury goods, receiving as much significance as advertising as with the bags, shoes, and other accessories. Jacobs stayed on as creative director in 2013 when Nicolas Ghesquiere of Balenciaga-fame replaced him.

Similar to what he did to Balenciaga, Ghesquiere also infused modernity and edginess to the house’s ready-to-wear, continuing the success of the women’s line as started by Jacobs. Although Ghesquiere’s work is a lot more subdued and sleeker than Jacob’s often elaborate and narrative-driven designs, both designers contributed greatly to the fashion success of the label. For the menswear, designer Kim Jones became an influential designer during his tenure at the brand, which was from 2011 to 2018. He was replaced by Off-White designer Virgil Abloh, who will debut in the brand later in 2018.

Design Collaborations

Louis Vuitton Supreme Collaboration

Compared to its competitors, Louis Vuitton is one of the most open of luxury labels to collaborations. It has often partnered with various designers and brands to create capsule collections that still feature classic Vuitton designs and characteristics, but with unique twists coming from the designers. Classic bags from the house’s archives have been re-designed by Japanese designers Takashi Murakami and Yayoi Kusama, often incorporating bold colors and quirky prints. One of their most recent and most successful collaborations was with streetwear brand, Supreme, combining both the logomania sensibilities of both brands to create street-ready pieces.

When it comes to both fashion and luxury goods, one can’t help but think of Louis Vuitton. More than just brand, it has become an institution, symbolizing both commercial glamour and high-quality artistry.

Louis Vuitton twist lock black bag
Louis Vuitton twist lock black bag. Photo: Andersphoto

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