Louis Vuitton was born on the 4th of August 1821 in Jura, in the east of France. When he was 13 he decided to leave his hometown and walked over 400 kilometers, what a determined teenager! At 16, the young Vuitton began his career in Paris with Monsieur Marechal. Marechal was a well known manufacturer in Paris, that made suitcases and other bags.
Marechal had many contacts within the French aristocracy, and this allowed little Louis to get acquainted with the high society of Paris. In 1853, the French empress herself (wife of Napoleon III) selected Louis of alle people to make her suitcases. This marked the peak in his career. After this great honour he decided to start his very own company, hello Louis Vuitton!
In 1858 Vuitton presented his first collection of suitcases, which all had a unique design. They were square, in contrast to the dome-shaped ones that everyone used at that time. The square-shaped cases where much easier to pile up, which was ideal for people who traveled by train, a means of transport that was very upcoming at the time.
Within a few years Vuitton turned out to be one of the largest suitcase manufactures of France. But… there was one big setback. The effects of the French-German war (1870-1871) destroyed his whole atelier. Never one to back down, Vuitton started a new shop at ‘1 Rue de Scribe’ where he remained for 20 years, selling suitcases and bags. After his death, his son Georges Vuitton took over and expanded the brand to worldwide fame. In 1997 Marc Jacobs was appointed as the first creative director and introduces men's and women's ready-to-wear collections.
Did you know that…
1. Audrey Hepburn requested a custom-made mini Speedy in the 1960's. This size (25cm) bag was so popular that nowadays you're still able to buy this classic Speedy.
2. Another popular Louis, the Alma, found its way to the wardrobes of many celebrity's. Even Chanel herself carried the Alma bag, It was the only one she carried other than her own creations.
3. Louis Vuitton bags are half the price in France as they are in China, so a lot of Asian fans buy them while on vacation la France.
4. You will never find a Louis Vuitton on discount. They don't do sales, ever.
5. After every season, all the products haven't been sold are sent bag to the factory in France. They will be shredded or… burnt. A bit drastic, don't you think? The fashion house does this in order to sustain the value of their items and brand.