“Securely packs the most fragile objects. Specializing in packing fashions.”
This was the sign on Louis Vuitton’s first Paris store. In 1835 at the age of 13, Louis Vuitton left his home in the provincial French town of Anchay and walked almost 300 miles, over the course of two years, following his dream of a better life in the City of Lights. Less than twenty years later he had created his destiny, as the inventor of modern luxury and the packing and boxing master of Napolean Bonaparte’s Paris.
In Paris, Vuitton found a city that was in the throws of extremes, great wealth and opulence and abject poverty. The Industrial Revolution was in full swing. Louis was personally chosen by Eugenie de Montijo (the Spanish countess and Empress of France) as her personal packer, and charged with the responsibility of “packing the most beautiful clothes in an exquisite way.”
Around that time he married, opened his first store and developed his signature trunk. Made from a treated canvas, that was more durable than leather, and with a new rectangular form that made it easy to stack and store. Louis Vuitton created his classic steamer trunk and the birth of modern luggage.
By 1860 Vuitton’s business had already undergone a major expansion and international acclaim. The business of Louis Vuitton continued to grow and become synonymous with luxury. When he died in 1892 his son George took over the family business and, soon after, created the iconic LV logo. George followed in his father’s innovative footsteps and also developed a patent in 1890 for a tumbler lock that is said to be ‘unpickable’ and is still the standard used today.
In 1914 Louis Vuitton opened their first store on the Champs Elysee and officially secured their position as the worlds most luxurious travel brand, favored by royalty, movie stars, and luxury seekers worldwide.