Louis Vuitton was a French box-maker and packer who founded the luxury brand of the same name over 150 years ago. From humble beginnings in the French countryside, Vuitton’s skill, innovation, and determination quickly saw his signature trunks coveted by the world’s elite. Now, with Marc Jacobs at the helm as creative director since 1997, the house has expanded its offering to include bags, clothing, shoes, accessories, and jewelry, making it one of the most valuable luxury brands in the world.
Vuitton was born on August 4, 1821, in Anchay, a small working-class settlement in the east of France. In 1835, Vuitton decided to leave Jura and move to Paris, he couldn’t afford to pay for his journey, so he took whatever job he got on his way. After reaching Paris, he started working as a box-maker. Soon he became famous in the whole country due to his remarkable skills.
In 1853, his fortune rose when he was appointed the personal box-maker and packer of the Empress of France, Eugenie de Montijo – the wife of Napoleon Bonaparte. The Empress charged Vuitton with beautifully packaging her clothes for transportation in an exquisite way. This made a doorway for Vuitton to reach elite and royal people.
In 1854 Vuitton married 17-year-old Clemence-Emilie Parriaux. Shortly after his marriage, he left his old shop and opened his own box-making and packing workshop in Paris. In 1858 Vuitton created a grey Trianon canvas flat trunk that allowed the ability to stack the luggage. The new design was a great success, becoming prestigious and admired. The popularity became so great other competitors copied the Louis Vuitton style and design.
Rise of Louis Vuitton:
The requests for his luggage increased and he had to open shops outside Paris in some nearby village. However, due to the Franco-Prussian war in 1870, the Vuitton business falls badly; his shops destroyed, his equipment stolen, and his staff disappeared. But Vuitton didn’t let this ruin all his career. Within months, he built a new shop at 1 Rue Scribe. This new shop brought some new luxurious items and thus, a well-reputed luxury brand came into being.
For the next 20 years, Vuitton continued to operate out of 1 Rue Scribe, innovating high-quality, luxury luggage, until he died on February 27, 1892, at the age of 70. After his death, his son George took hold of his business and made the famous LV monogram. The future generations of Vuitton took over business one by one and the brand still holds its place as one of the top luxury leather brands of the World.
In 1997 Marc Jacobs was appointed the house’s first creative director. His responsibilities include introducing men’s and women’s ready-to-wear collections. Jacobs collaborated with designer Stephen Sprouse in 2001 to create a limited-edition line of bags featuring “Louis Vuitton” written in graffiti over the monogram pattern. The house has cultivated a strong celebrity following under Jacobs’ direction and many models, actors, and musicians have been the face of the brand.
In 2012, Louis Vuitton was named the world’s most valuable luxury brand for the seventh year in a row in a study conducted by Millward Brown Optimor. In 2019, Louis Vuitton had a $32.223 billion brand valuation, with 14% growth. This makes Louis Vuitton the most valuable luxury brand in the world; it was also the 17th most valuable brand worldwide across all sectors. According to Forbes, the current net worth of Louis Vuitton brand is $28 billion.