Louis Vuitton Malletier, commonly referred to as Louis Vuitton or shortened to LV, is a French fashion house and luxury retail company founded in 1854 by Louis Vuitton.
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Louis Vuitton History
The Louis Vuitton label was founded by Vuitton in 1854 on Rue Neuve des Capucines in Paris, France. Louis Vuitton started at $10,567 as a sales price. Louis Vuitton had observed that the HJ Cave Osilite trunk could be easily stacked. In 1858, Vuitton introduced his flat-topped trunks with trianon canvas, making them lightweight and airtight. Before the introduction of Vuitton’s trunks, rounded-top trunks were used, generally to promote water runoff, and thus could not be stacked. It was Vuitton’s gray Trianon canvas flat trunk that allowed the ability to stack them on top of another with ease for voyages. Many other luggage makers later imitated Vuitton’s style and design.
The company participated in the 1867 Universal Exhibition in Paris. In 1871, Ōyama Iwao became the first recorded Japanese customer, ordering a set of luggage while in Paris as a military observer during the Franco-Prussian War. To protect against the duplication of his look, Vuitton changed the Trianon design to a beige and brown stripes design in 1876. By 1885, the company opened its first store in London on Oxford Street. Soon thereafter, due to the continuing imitation of his look, in 1888, Vuitton created the Damier Canvas pattern, which bore a logo that reads “marque L. Vuitton déposée“, which translates into “L. Vuitton registered trademark”. In 1892, Louis Vuitton died, and the company’s management passed to his son.
After the death of his father, Georges Vuitton began a campaign to build the company into a worldwide corporation, exhibiting the company’s products at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. In 1896, the company launched the signature Monogram Canvas and made the worldwide patents on it. Its graphic symbols, including quatrefoils and flowers (as well as the LV monogram), were based on the trend of using Japanese Mon designs in the late Victorian era. The patents later proved to be successful in stopping counterfeiting. In this same year, Georges travelled to the United States, where he toured cities such as New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago, selling Vuitton products. In 1901, the Louis Vuitton Company introduced the Steamer Bag, a smaller piece of luggage designed to be kept inside Vuitton luggage trunks.
By 1913, the Louis Vuitton Building opened on the Champs-Elysees. It was the largest travel-goods store in the world at the time. Stores also opened in New York, Bombay, Washington, London, Alexandria, and Buenos Aires as World War I began. Afterwards, in 1930, the Keepall bag was introduced. During 1932, LV introduced the Noé bag. This bag was originally made for champagne vintners to transport bottles. Soon thereafter, the Louis Vuitton Speedy bag was introduced (both are still manufactured today). In 1936 Georges Vuitton died, and his son, Gaston-Louis Vuitton, assumed control of the company.