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10 Facts About Louis Vuitton You Probably Didn’t Know

Louis Vuitton is widely known around the World for its exclusivity and classic patterning. It’s loved by celebrities, coveted by fashion connoisseurs and consistently impresses fashion critics and commentators.

While we may be familiar with the name and logo, there is so much more under the surface that people rarely uncover.

Here are 10 facts about Louis Vuitton that may surprise you.

1. The Real Louis Vuitton

The Louis Vuitton brand has become such a large entity that we often forget about the founder and namesake of this fashion powerhouse. Born in France in 1821, the real Louis Vuitton had very humble beginnings. He left home at a young age and apprenticed under Monsieur Maréchal, a maker of luggage and trunks for the wealthy.

Portrait of Louis Vuitton (1821-1892), founder of the House of Vuitton | Photo from Wikimedia Commons

2. The First Shop

After 17 years working with Maréchal, Vuitton had gained enough expertise and industry knowledge to begin his own luggage company. Louis Vuitton’s first store officially opened in 1854 on Rue Neuve des Capucines in Paris (‘Capucines’ translating as nasturtium, a beautiful low growing flower). 

3. Revolution in the Luggage World

Throughout history, luggage trunks had been designed with a rounded top to encourage rain to run off. They were cumbersome, heavy and difficult to transport — so Vuitton made a simple alternation that changed the industry. He flattened the top of his luggage trunks, allowing them to be more easily stacked and transported. This unique selling point made Louis Vuitton products ever more popular.

An old advertisement for Louis Vuitton trunks | Photo from Villanova University Digital Library on Wikimedia Commons

4. The Counterfeiters Started Early

As the Louis Vuitton brand expanded into London and other locations, Vuitton noticed an increasing number of counterfeiters imitating his product style. Both the Damier and Monogram fabric designs were created to make imitations more difficult.

5. Some Things Never Change

A selection of characteristics created in the 1800s and early 20th century have remained an integral part of the Louis Vuitton brand. That LV monogram pattern that we know and love was created in 1896, and the popular Noé and Speedy bags were first created in the 1930s. These designs and features all contribute to the rich heritage and value of the brand.

A vintage Louis Vuitton trunk with the classic LV monogram pattern

6. A New Bag for Chanel

The Alma bag — also known as the “Squire Bag” — was created for Coco Chanel herself. Gaston-Louis Vuitton created the bag for Chanel in 1925 after she requested a small, custom handbag that would be suitable for travel.

7. The Arrival of Ready-To-Wear

The Louis Vuitton repertoire didn’t include clothing until the late 90’s when designer Marc Jacobs introduced the brands first exclusive collection. Unlike Coco Chanel, Louis Vuitton himself specialised only in the design and creation of luggage, and never saw the brand expand to include clothing, handbags or fragrance.

8. Louis Vuitton Discounts, Staff Freebies or Sales?

Like many luxury fashion brands, Louis Vuitton refrains from introducing any form of cost reduction for buyers. Black Friday. Boxing Day sales. End of season sales — are all an absolute no.

The marketing team know that sales are great for profits, but not for brand exclusivity. Louis Vuitton employees do receive a staff discount (often 30%), but there are usually tight restrictions on when, what and how much they can purchase. End of season items are never gifted to staff, instead, any remaining stock is supposedly sent back to production sites to be destroyed.

Facts about Louis Vuitton. The famous Monogram print was created in 1896.
A Louis Vuitton Speedy with the classic Monogram print from 1896.

9. New Beginnings

In 2013 Marc Jacobs announced his departure from the brand, which caused concern to many who viewed his guidance as an integral part of the Louis Vuitton brand. However, Nicolas Ghesquière took over as Creative Director and has since been a steady and essential part of the brands continued success.

The futuristic-looking Louis Vuitton store in Singapore | Photo by Jack Krier on Unsplash

10. Commitments to the Climate

With its large presence in the fashion industry, Louis Vuitton has a role to play in the fashion-conscious movement. By 2025, Louis Vuitton has pledged that all production and delivery sites will be powered solely by renewable energy. As such an influential brand it’s important that they set a precedence in the fashion world. They also claim to monitor stock levels and trends more closely, in an attempt to lessen product wastage.

Featured Image | Photo by Melanie Pongratz on Unsplash

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