Louis Vuitton (1821 - 1892) is the founder of the dynasty and the ‘Maison’. After his apprenticeship as Marshal "layetier-packer-trunk maker". He is noticed for his talent and becomes the exclusive packager of the Empress Eugenie – this marks the start of the Maison Louis Vuitton Malletier founded in 1854.
1821 : Louis Vuitton, the company's founder was born in Anchay on August 4th, in Jura in family of farmers and millers.
1834 : Louis Vuitton decides at age 13 to go to Paris by foot, it will take him two years to cover the 400 km separating him from the capital.
1836 : Louis Vuitton is apprentice to a layetier packer, Mr. Marshal, who teaches him the design and creation of travel chests and trunks. Louis later becomes chief clerk before setting-up his own business.
1848 : Louis Vuitton meets Goyard.
1852 : The wardrobe trunk patent is registered in Vienna.
In 1854 Louis Vuitton opens his first store in Paris, rue neuve-des-capucines.
Louis Vuitton creates the flat trunk, he does this by lightening the trunk structure and by coating them with a waterproof coated fabric.
1856 He radically redesigns the travel trunks by renouncing the traditional domed lid in favor of a flat top, enabling easier loading on the back of horse carriages. It replaces the leather easily molding and crackling by a tense poplar wood on a waterproof pearl gray canvas that he calls gray Trianon. The trunk is equipped with wedges, brackets, handles, socket in black lacquered metal and beech slats fastened by rivets. As hinges, two pieces of fabric are glued and reinforced inside and outside of the trunk opening to allow a much easier closure.
1857 : Birth of Georges Vuitton.
1858 : Creation of the first trunk with lockers. The trunk is equipped inside with lockers and chassis to packing dresses much easier. The success of these new trunks is so big that Charles Frederick Worth, the dressmaker in fashion at the time, recommends Louis Vuitton to pack the dresses of the ladies of the aristocracy. Louis Vuitton becomes the official supplier of Empress Eugenie’s trunks.
Louis’ successor, George (1857 - 1936), expands the Company’s brand fame through communication activities and regular participation in world expositions. In 1896, in tribute to his father, Georges Vuitton creates a canvas design with alternating LV initials, diamond spikes, stars and four-lobed flowers. The monogram canvas patent is registered in 1905. At the same time, he designed an inviolable lock, challenged by Houdini, whose key can open the same set of trunks.
From the third generation, only Gaston-Louis Vuitton survives to take over the head of the Louis Vuitton Malletier Company in 1936. He creates new models. From the end of the nineteenth century and as a dedicated collector, he sets-up a personal museum, bringing together old trunk some of which are still present in the collections of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs (Louis Vuitton donation, 1986). He designs in 1959 a new coated fabric, lighter and more portable. In 1977, the family business is led by Odile Vuitton, Gaston-Louis's daughter, and her husband. Since 1987, Louis Vuitton is part of French conglomerate LVMH - Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy, the world's luxury group headed by Bernard Arnault.
Many are the trunks of explorers Louis Vuitton makes it a specialty.
1868 the bed-trunk were ordered by the military officers for campaigns and exploratory trips.
1905 the bed-trunk used by Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza
This French explorer of Italian origin remains lnked to Congo. After a first exploratory mission from 1875 to 1878. During his second mission 1880-1882, the diplomat sign a peace treaty with Makoko Batéké (thought of as the king of Congo in France). For his third mission in 1905, Pierre de Brazza Savorgnan is appointed by the Minister of Colonies to investigate abuses committed against Congolese. Before his departure, he commissions a series of trunks, of which two bed-trunks, adapted to his size.
1890 Zinc waterproof trunk for the Colonies
At the end of the nineteenth century, Louis Vuitton offers its customers trunks covered with sheets of zinc but also copper or aluminum. These are ideal to transport what is most precious and most useful around the world without fear of heat or humidity typical of tropical countries.
Zinc trunks were built in three types, each of six sizes. Since 1890, the appearance of patented tamperproof locks provides the traveler the inviolability of his luggage.
1892 Aluminum cabine trunk
1889 Caned canvas trunk for men, with metal painted finish, called ‘mauresque’.
1876 Cabinet trunk (wardrobe)
Louis Vuitton imagine this new cabinet, one of the most ingenious inventions and mythical brand. Designed to be opened vertically to take one’s wardrobe with you everywhere! This revolutionary trunk was indeed designed to be opened vertically, with a wardrobe on one side and a set of drawers on the other to avoid globetrotters the chore of unpacking their clothes at each stop.
1913 full wardrobe. This model is part of a major series of luggage controlled by Sacha Guitry and his wife, Yvonne Printemps. Most trunks created by the couple are each cutomized and numbered. This method of identification with numbers or letters helps distinguish a trunk and its content within multiple luggages brought on a trip.
1897 Car Trunk
Genuine passion of Georges Vuitton the automobile is an essential point of the Louis Vuitton Trunk business strategy.
Georges Vuitton presented in 1897, the first prototype of trunk self. At that time, the car chassis was bought alone and then entrusted to a bodybuilder such as Labourdette, Kellner, Janteaud, Boulogne or Rothschild to become a real little Pullman of the road.
All this Georges saw with intensity, with an irrefutable logic, he proclaimed loudly that one can not taste all the charms of the journey by car if one can not take with oneself all that one carries by the train or by boat. He therefore proposes, at the various Auto Trade Shows, auto trunks for the luggage rack or the pavilion.
The trunks are covered with coated black waterproof cloth, the closure is beveled ... all this making the trunk impervious to rain and dust.
Georges L. Vuitton is planning stacking trunks and exactly matching the curve of the back of the body. He draws trunks with flat top and bottom curved to distribute the load and not damage the roof.
905 ‘Ideal’ trunk (Perfect trunk)
Ideal trunk is a male changing-room trunk
It was named "Perfect" and then "ideal". This shows the absolute design of its concept.
Launched in Paris in 1905, the ideal trunk "offered the dual advantage of containing a lot in a small volume and to present everything as soon as it was open" like a giant toolbox.
The trunk could put 6 suits, 18 shirts, 1 overcoat, 5 pairs of shoes, underwear, ties, gloves, handkerchiefs, hat, cane, umbrella and golf club, in short, everything necessary for a week business trip.
Louis Vuitton Shoe trunk Lily Pons, the famous customer who gave her name to this shoe-carrying trunk.
1929 Special trunk for photographer
1930 Secretary trunk for Stokowski, the famous composer at the time
1930-1931 yellow cruise trunk
Ideal for dating a trunk that has an inner label, the address of the shops gives an indication on the age of a luggage.
4 rue neuve des capucines
1 rue scribe
Londres 289 Oxford Street
Déménagement Londres au 454 Strad Street
Déménagement Londres au 149 New Bond Street
Nice - 4 jardin Albert 1er
Lille - 34 rue Faidherbe
Champs Élysées - 70 Champs-Élysées
Cannes - 10 rue des belges
Déménagement Nice au 12 avenue de Verdun
Vichy - 1 rue du parc
78 bis av Marceau
The mini trunks are gifts from Louis Vuitton to his most loyal customers.
Floral trunk with zinc tray and monogram paper from around 1910
At Louis Vuitton ‘House’, they made it a rule never to give discount or rebate for any reason whatsoever.
Instead, in order to thank the most loyal customers, Georges and Gaston-Louis Vuitton decide to proceed more gallantly by honouring the ladies with these gifts.
Rather than send them banal flowers embedded in the asparagus and glassine, they imagine that the bouquet arrives planted in a small Monogram Canvas trunk whose interior is isolated from water and moisture thanks to a zinc tray. Decision is then left to the Ladies to choose the destiny of the trunk by recycling it as she saw fit, such as sewing, jewellery or cigarettes box.
This charming tradition was revived in 2010 with the clipboard gift.
1989 mini cardboard box
In the Iconoclasts family, we ask for the uncles! It is 1989, Ben, César and Arman, agitated custodians of the new realism of the 1960s, lend their insolent creative genius to the Maison Louis Vuitton. For the inauguration of the building at 54 avenue Montaigne, the trio chose to put themselves in a box. The result was a small cardboard trunk, fragile, cheeky and adorned the legendary Monogram pattern. Inside this precarious box, one can find 3 jewelry promised to posterity: a pin made from "accumulation" for Arman; a box-pendant of a rustic kind on which Ben wrote from his famous writing: "This box may contain a diamond"; and a pin made from "compression" for Caesar, the master car destruction. Edited to 850 copies, of which 25 were signed by the artists, these trunks were the proof the playful encounter between prosaic materials and noble craftsmanship. This can be described as bringing the world into a miniature exhibition.
2010 Mini mail trunk Miss France
Monogram clipboard enhanced by Miss France and French flag engraving with brown composite edges, corners and brass closure, handles and leather straps.
This mini trunk cannot be open unlike the other models
2011 Mini zinc trunk
Replica of 1899 model called "special trunk for men," reduced to the 1/7 scale. Every detail of this exceptional trunk is exposed at the Louis Vuitton Museum in Asnieres. The details ars faithfully reproduced and weathered as the original, including labels stuck by its previous owner.
2012 Mini trunk for hats
Replica of a 1895 model for a hat trunk for ladies in Damier canvas, customized with a "T" in a red triangle and a "3", reduced accordingly to 1/7 scale.
This piece could contain up to 6 hats that were pinned to the cage or to the banded frame with pins and ribbons. At the time when travel without a hat was inconceivable, these fragile accessories deserved a full baggage allowing them to keep their perfect forms in all circumstances.
Inside the trunk, was a cage deep enough to accommodate large-brimmed hats, and tea for flat hats.
2013 Mini striped trunk
The courier mini-trunk is the exact replica at 1 / 7th of a trunk dating from 1888 and covered with striped cloth of beige and brown. On the sides, the initials A.P suggest the name of its owner. Built specially for men, the courier trunk model is characterized by two chassis and its lower height than other trunks made for men of that time. It was therefore essentially used for clothing.
To facilitate the identification of Louis Vuitton trunks until the coverage by gray cloth, the house uses from 1872 a new pattern: a red and brown striped canvas. Later, this pattern will be declined in other colours.
2015 flower trunk Reissue
Louis Vuitton offers a new re-edition of its famous trunk with flowers.
Available on special order, for 4500 euros.
From the most remote times to the present day.
Illustrated with forty engravings on wood
Preface by Émile Gautier
Pairault & cie, printers publishers
3 passage nollet 3
Original edition, 294 pages (uncut)
Dimension: 165 mm x 255 mm
An exciting and rare work written by Georges, son of Louis Vuitton.
Cover of the book: Signed Charles Henri Pille (1844-1897). This illustration shows the enthusiasm of the public of the late nineteenth century for the Middle Ages. On the sign we can read "At Vuitton, Huchier", a term derived from the Latin of the twelfth century and desiring the manufacturers of trunks.
125 years of Louis Vuitton
The time seen by J.H.Lartigue
Edition: Louis Vuitton Company
Language: French or English
Book in two volumes (salmon / beige) in box.
Cardboard box covered with a brown canvas.
Illustrated historical chronology. Many photographs by J.H. Lartigue E.O. H.C Bookseeler inventory
Louis Vuitton's 125-year advertising brochure, which was graciously offered to its loyal customers.
The souvenir trunk
Drawn only 4,000 copies
Number of page: 158
This book was written by Henry Vuitton, grandson of Louis Vuitton
100 trunks of legends
Probably the most complete book it exists. A treat for lovers of trunk of exception.
This exceptional work, prefaced by Patrick-Louis Vuitton, brings together the most beautiful creations of the House. Wardrobe, wardrobe, Tea-case, toiletries, circus trunk, trunk-library or box caviar: so many incredible pieces behind which the exciting adventures of their owners are guessed. The book also reveals all the secrets of making a Louis Vuitton trunk and reveals that the spirit of the House is still animated by the same will: perpetuate the excellence of a know-how and make the art of Travel a real art of living.