Without a doubt, Louis Vuitton is one of the biggest contemporary luxury brands IN THE WORLD! However, LV comes with a rich history as well. In fact, it’s opulent history is one of the things that keeps its customers coming back for more (even despite the rife competition!).
LV comes with a long lineage and changes throughout history, we’ve gathered some of our top fun facts about the brand’s journey over the years that are sure to make your jaw drop!
1. Vuitton’s Career Started On Foot
Louis Vuitton Malletier’s odyssey started in 1834, where he had to begin his journey 300 miles on foot from his hometown of Anchay to Paris in order to get his start. Vuitton started at the tender age of 13 and it took him 2 years to arrive in Paris because he had to stop and work along the way in order to survive!
2. Vuitton’s Big Break!
Louis Vuitton got his big break as the official box-maker and packer of Napoleon Bonaparte’s wife, Empress Eugenie de Montijo of France.
Back in the mid-19th century Europe, box-making and packing were regarded as a respected profession. This appointment elevated his profile among Europe’s elite in 1853.
Some of Vuitton’s duties included carefully and beautifully packaging her wardrobe for transportation among the country’s various royal residences.
3. The First LV Store
In 1854, Vuitton opened his first shop in Paris at 4 Rue Neuve-des-Capucines, advertising that he, ‘securely packs the most fragile of objects’. At that time, dome-shaped steam trunks were the most popular style of luggage available. Yep, that’s right, Louis Vuitton only created luggage and trunks up until 1892 when he first began curating handbags.
Vuitton revolutionised the game by fabricating square luggage that was easily stackable, and that also allowed for garments to be hung upright. It was a success and attracted affluent clientele such as Emperor Napoléon III’s consort, Empress Eugénie de Montijo.
4. The ‘Lock That No-One Could Pick’
The brand was also well known for developing a lock that ‘no one could pick’ for their trunks. In 1896, George Vuitton (Louis Vuitton’s son), patented the single lock system with two spring buckles.
George was so confident with the quality of the locks that he publicly challenged famed escape artist and illusionist, Harry Houdini, to break out of a locked Louis Vuitton trunk. Unfortunately for us, history does not record Houdini’s response. What’s more, is that the lock system is still used by the company today!
5. The Alma Bag Inspiration
Did you know that the Alma bag was created as a special order for Coco Chanel? Although the fashionista wasn’t the only inspiration behind the creation of the iconic bag, she was the first! Chanel specially ordered a day-sized version of the Alma Voyage for personal use in 1925. However, the same bag was only put in for public production in the 1930s.
6. The Inspiration Behind The Speedy
The iconic Louis Vuitton Speedy bag was influenced by a similarly iconic celebrity! In 1965, British actress and fashionista, Audrey Hepburn, requested her favourite LV Keepall travel bag to be designed in a miniaturised fashion so that she could use it for regular, everyday use. Thus, the creation of the LV masterpiece!
Little did the fashion icon know that this day bag would turn into a regular-production piece that is well-known as a signature for the luxury brand.
7. The Noé Bag Inspiration
Did you know that Noé was first designed to comfortably hold bottles of champagne, and it still can!
It started out as a custom project when a well-known alcohol producer requested from Louis Vuitton to design a stylish handbag to transport 5 bottles of champagne.
Vuitton then developed a simple bucket shape bag that could hold 4 bottles upright and the 5th one upside down. The drawstring would secure the bottles from rattling around which makes it easy to flaunt around the fashionable handbag.
What’s more, is that the biggest Noé in the current line-up can still carry that load!
8. Struggling With Imitators For More Than A Century!
The classic checked Louis Vuitton Damier and Monogram prints were created to avoid copycats! Vuitton’s first bags were originally striped and were later widely copied by other Parisian trunk-makers. The current print now known as Damier (which literally translates as ‘checkerboard’) was released in 1888.
After Louis Vuitton’s death in 1892, George took over the reins of the company. It was he who created the now instantly recognizable ‘LV’ monogram with flowers on brown leather. This too was done to thwart fraudulent copycats and was inadvertently a worthwhile branding move. It contains more detail and therefore harder to imitate (especially considering the era’s lack in available technology). Yet today, it remains one of the most popular selling prints.
Since then, the incredibly successful fashion house has legally acquired and protected their signature patterns. The famous colour combination and the branded monogram is also copyrighted.
There’s nothing worse than fakes (bags and people!). Be very careful when buying Louis Vuitton products as a big percentage of LV merchandise on the market is fake. Only buy from official stores, trusted sellers and second-hand stores like Luxity (duh! We’re certified, honey).
9. The First LV All-Leather Bag Debut
Louis Vuitton is known to modern shoppers as the luxury brand with one of the biggest and most diverse product ranges in the entire luxury market. However, the brand’s ascendance to the top was a slow and gradual process that took a matter of decades.
The Epi Leather line was first introduced in the mid-80s as the first Louis Vuitton permanent collection of leather bags.
10. Louis Vuitton Handbags Are Timeless
LV bags are made in France and every single item is carefully treated as a masterpiece. Unlike other modern fashion houses that design bag collections according to trends and seasons, LV’s bags are consistently fashionable and timeless. You can use your Louis Vuitton bag for years and still look modern.
Furthermore, it is also timeless! If you buy an LV bag today, you will still be able to use it for another 20 years (at least!) with good treatment. It will never go out of fashion. It’s quality materials also ensure that they last longer.
Louis Vuitton Vachetta leather ages well! Many people love the way this distinguishable leather on Louis Vuitton bags can imbue a crisp and new or vintage look on each bag depending on how deep of a colour the patina has developed.
Oh, and let’s not forget, Louis Vuitton bags maintain their value perfectly, so the resale value is pretty high!
Ever wonder why Louis Vuitton bags are so durable? It’s because each bag goes through several durability tests before it is released to the public. It is said that each handbag is filled with 3.5 kilograms of weights and dropped from half a meter for four days. The material also goes through ultraviolet treatment to ensure resistance to fading. And the zippers? Each bag is opened and closed 5,000 times to ensure they work well while in the hands of a customer.
As we said, every single LV bag is treated as a masterpiece!