Louis Vuitton - 160 years

Louis Vuitton Malletier, commonly referred to as Louis Vuitton, or shortened to LV, is a French fashion house founded in 1854 by Louis Vuitton. 

The Louis Vuitton label was founded by Vuitton in 1854 on Rue Neuve des Capucines in Paris, France. Louis Vuitton had observed that the HJ Cave Osilite trunk could be easily stacked and in 1858, Vuitton introduced his flat-bottom trunks with trianon canvas, making them lightweight and airtight. Before the introduction of Vuitton's trunks, rounded-top trunks were used, generally to promote water run off, and thus could not be stacked. It was Vuitton's gray Trianon canvas flat trunk that allowed the ability to stack with ease for voyages. Many other luggagemakers imitated LV's style and design.

In 1857, the company participated in the universal exhibition in Paris. To protect against the duplication of his look, Vuitton changed the Trianon design to a beige and brown stripes design in 1876.[4] By 1885, the company opened its first store in London on Oxford Street. Soon thereafter, due to the continuing imitation of his look, in 1888, Vuitton created the Damier Canvas pattern, which bore a logo that reads "marque L. Vuitton déposée", which translates into "L. Vuitton registered trademark". In 1892, Louis Vuitton died, and the company's management passed to his son.

 
Advert for Louis Vuitton luggage, 1898.

After the death of his father, Georges Vuitton began a campaign to build the company into a worldwide corporation, exhibiting the company's products at the Chicago World's Fair in 1893. In 1896, the company launched the signature Monogram Canvas and made the worldwide patents on it.[4][8] Its graphic symbols, including quatrefoils and flowers (as well as the LV monogram), were based on the trend of using Japanese and Oriental designs in the late Victorian era. The patents later proved to be successful in stopping counterfeiting. In this same year, Georges traveled to the United States, where he toured cities such as New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago, selling Vuitton products. In 1901, the Louis Vuitton Company introduced the Steamer Bag, a smaller piece of luggage designed to be kept inside Vuitton luggage trunks.

By 1913, the Louis Vuitton Building opened on the Champs-Elysees. It was the largest travel-goods store in the world at the time. Stores also opened in New York, BombayWashington, London, Alexandria, and Buenos Aires as World War I began. Afterwards, in 1930, the Keepall bag was introduced. During 1932, LV introduced the Noé bag. This bag was originally made for champagne vintners to transport bottles. Soon thereafter, the Louis Vuitton Speedy bag was introduced (both are still manufactured today). In 1936 Georges Vuitton died, and his son, Gaston-Louis Vuitton, assumed control of the company.

In 1938 the writer Eric Newby bought a Louis Vuitton trunk from a railway lost property shop in London's East India Dock Road, to take with him on board when he shipped as an apprentice on the four-masted square-rigged sailing ship Moshulu, on what turned out to be the last Grain Race between Australia and Europe. He went out in 1938 and sailed back in 1939. He tells of his adventures in his autobiographical book The Last Grain Race.

Collaborations

During World War II, Louis Vuitton collaborated with the Nazis during the German occupation of France. The French book Louis Vuitton, A French Saga, authored by French journalist Stephanie Bonvicini and published by Paris-based Editions Fayard[10] tells how members of the Vuitton family actively aided the puppet government led by MarshalPhilippe Pétain and increased their wealth from their business affairs with the Germans. The family set up a factory dedicated to producing artifacts glorifying Pétain, including more than 2,500 busts.

Caroline Babulle, a spokeswoman for the publisher, Fayard, said: "They have not contested anything in the book, but they are trying to bury it by pretending it doesn't exist."[11]Responding to the book's release in 2004, a spokesman for LVMH said: "This is ancient history. The book covers a period when it was family-run and long before it became part of LVMH. We are diverse, tolerant and all the things a modern company should be."[11] An LVMH spokesman told the satirical magazine Le Canard Enchainé: "We don't deny the facts, but regrettably the author has exaggerated the Vichy episode. We haven't put any pressure on anyone. If the journalists want to censor themselves, then that suits us fine." That publication was the only French periodical to mention the book, LVMH is the country's biggest advertiser in the press

Brand

The Louis Vuitton brand and the famous LV monogram are among the world's most valuable brands.[20] According to a Millward Brown 2010 study, Louis Vuitton is the world's 29th most valuable brand, right after Gillette and before Wells Fargo. The brand itself is estimated to be worth over USD $19 billion. For the sixth consecutive year, Louis Vuitton still at number one of ten most powerful brand published by the Millward Brown Optimor's 2011 BrandZ study with value of $24.3 billion. It was more than double value from the second rank.

 
A Louis Vuitton "Sarah Wallet"

Louis Vuitton is one of the most counterfeited brands in the fashion world due to its image as a status symbol. Ironically, the signature Monogram Canvas was created to prevent counterfeiting. In 2004, Louis Vuitton fakes accounted for 18% of counterfeit accessories seized in the European Union.

 

 

 

 

Product

Since the 19th century, manufacture of Louis Vuitton goods have not changed: Luggage is still made by hand.Contemporary Fashiongives a preview of the creation of the LV trunks: "The craftsmen line up the leather and canvas, tapping in the tiny nails one by one and securing the five-letter solid pick-proof brass locks with an individual handmade key, designed to allow the traveler to have only one key for all of his or her luggage. The wooden frames of each trunk are made of 30-year-old poplar that has been allowed to dry for at least four years. Each trunk has a serial number and can take up to 60 hours to make, and a suitcase as many as 15 hours.

Iconic bags of Louis Vuitton include the Speedy bag and Neverfull bags. Each season Louis Vuitton produces rare, limited edition bags that are generally only available by reservation through larger Louis Vuitton stores.

Many of the company's products utilize the signature brown Damier and Monogram Canvas materials, both of which were first used in the late 19th century. All of the company's products exhibit the eponymous LV initials. The company markets its product through its own stores located throughout the world, which allows it to control product quality and pricing. It also allows LV to prevent counterfeit products entering its distribution channels. In addition, the company distributes its products through the company's own website, LouisVuitton.com.

Advertising Campain

The Louis Vuitton company carefully cultivates a celebrity following and has used famous models, musicians, and actors such as Keith RichardsMadonnaJennifer LopezSean ConneryHayden ChristensenAngelina Jolie, and most recently David Bowie in its marketing campaigns. Breaking from their usual traditions of employing supermodels and celebrities to advertise their products, on 2 August 2007, the company announced that the former USSR leader Mikhail Gorbachev would appear in an ad campaign along with Steffi GrafSelena Gomez, and Catherine Deneuve. Many rappers, most notably Kanye WestJuicy J and Wiz Khalifa have mentioned the company in certain songs.

The company commonly uses print ads in magazines and billboards in cosmopolitan cities. Louis Vuitton Posters by Razzia were popular in the 1980s. It previously relied on selected press for its advertising campaigns (frequently involving prestigious stars like Steffi GrafAndre AgassiGisele Bündchen and Catherine Deneuve) shot by Annie Leibovitz. However, Antoine Arnault, director of the communication department, has recently decided to enter the world of television and cinema: The commercial (90 seconds) is exploring the theme "Where will life take you?" and is translated into 13 different languages. This is the first Vuitton commercial ad ever and was directed by renowned French ad director Bruno Aveillan.

The label's LV monogram appears on most of its products, ranging from luxurytrunks and leather goods to ready-to-wear, shoes, watches, jewellery, accessories, sunglasses, and books. Louis Vuitton is one of the world's leading international fashion houses; it sells its products through standalone boutiques, lease departments in high-enddepartment stores, and through the e-commerce section of its website. For six consecutive years (2006–2012), Louis Vuitton has been named the world's most valuable luxury brand

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