Brandline: The rise of Louis Vuitton (and LVMH Group)

Louis Vuitton and parent group LVMH is now synonymous with the luxury market. But before catering to the world's elite, Mr Vuitton was a simple trunk maker based out of Paris
By Thomas Shambler
Tue 14 Mar 2017 09:40 AM


Having decided to move to Paris at the age of 16, Louis Vuitton became the apprentice of a box and trunk-maker.


While Napoleon Bonaparte reigned, his wife, the Amperes of France, hired Vuitton as her personal box-maker and packer. Soon, he was supplying other French royalty.


Vuitton developed his now iconic trunk. Not made from leather – but from grey canvas – it was lighter, more durable and immune to water. It was also rectangular shaped, and easily stackable on trains and ships.


Louis Vuitton passes away, leaving the management of his business to his son George.


In an effort to fight counterfeiters, George introduced the iconic monogram canvas – printed with the LV logo, quatrefoils and flowers.


Louis Vuitton's store on the Champs-Elysees becomes the biggest store for luggage and travel accessories in the world. Soon after, new stores open in New York, Washington, London, Bombay and Buenos Aires.


A champagne producer needs a bag able to hold five bottles of champagne, and Louis Vuitton creates the Noé.


Merger between Moet Hennessey and Louis Vuitton produces LVMH, and becomes the largest producer of luxury products in the world.


Marc Jacobs becomes Louis Vuitton’s first creative director, designing the company’s very first prêt-à-porter collection.

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