Whether it is celebrities walking down Rodeo Drive carrying a Louis Vuitton bag or the upper class wanting to impress, this famous name brand demands attention. As of May 2017, Forbes estimates the brand value of Louis Vuitton to be around $28.8 Billion.
They have been in business since 1854, having been founded by Louis Vuitton Malletier. However, most do not know the history of Louis Vuitton or its famous monogram. Let’s take a deeper look into the rich and powerful history of the iconic fashion brand.
A Brief History of Louis Vuitton
Louis was born to a family that made a meager wage as farmers. His mother died when he was only ten years old. Lost, Vuitton wanted to find himself and make something of his life. So he left his hometown of Anchay, France, and he walked all the way to Paris.
The trip was quite cumbersome, and it took him two years to complete. Walking 290 miles was no easy task for even a 13-year-old boy. He did many odd jobs to make ends meet until he arrived in the city.
The first real job he took on was as a packer in a box making company. The boxes he designed were custom and for the elite, and there was no Louis Vuitton logo on these packages. These boxes were used for specific items, so they had to be high quality and very detailed.
He toiled for many years, but when the Empress of France wanted him to be a box maker for the Spanish countess, he knew his luck was about to change. By 1854, he was able to open a shop and rather than mimicking other things on the market; he chose to make his “boxes” out of canvas for durability.
Unlike other trunks on the market, his had a flat surface that could easily stack on ships, and they were waterproof. There was no Louis Vuitton logo on the original trunks. However, things soon changed when Louis passed at the age of 70 in 1892.
His son, Georges, took over the company after his death. He had plans of turning the brand into a global corporation. Today the brand is the epitome of fashion and they have around 460 retail locations in over 50 countries.
He is also credited with the invention of Pin tumbler lock which helped to increase the sales of their secure line of baggage.
The Famous Louis Vuitton logo
The main design feature of the official Louis Vuitton logo is the LV monogram. It is an italicized, serif, capitalized L set slightly to the left and bottom of a capitalized V symbolizing the initials of its founder. Beneath the symbol, the word “Louis Vuitton” was also written.
The brand’s logo has barely changed over time but in 1997, under designer Marc Jacobs they decided to use only the monogram and remove the text altogether from advertisements.
The fonts are historically black combined with a white background though in recent years they have experimented with various colors most notably the brown colored monogram.
The hand-drawn typeface though has remained the same which is said to be partly inspired by roman fonts.
Louis Vuitton and it’s famous “LV” monogram is one of the most recognized brand symbols. Often considered as one the most aspirational handbags for elite women, the logo is symbolic of power and money.
Louis’s son Georges is credited with the creation of the logo to honor his late father. The interlocking LVs became one of the most recognizable emblems on the market. While many companies try to rebrand and upgrade their look, the Louis Vuitton logo has never changed.
The Louis Vuitton monogram protects the company’s authenticity and has become as famous as the clothing, purses, and luggage. The quality leather and custom designs that go into each of these handbags are hard to replicate, even if they do get the monogram right.
Louis Vuitton Bags and Their Stores
Each bag is made from one continuous piece of leather, which means the monograms are right-side-up on one side and upside down on the other. Since they make high-quality luxury goods, the stitching, brass, and leather are always of the highest quality.
The only authorized company to sell these items are the Louis Vuitton stores and the e-commerce section of the company website. Getting them off online auction sites and various other places put customers in jeopardy of buying a really good knock-off.
Coming back to the topic of stores, have you ever been in one their stores? Each store is a lesson in art and high-class fashion. In 1885, the brand opened its first UK store in Oxford Street, London. Disappointing sales, however, resulted in the store relocating to New Bond Street, which is the current UK flagship store.
Louis Vuitton is one of the most counterfeited luxury brands, with China leading with the most number of knock-offs. Hence, the company has a large number of lawyers who work round the clock to prevent unlawful use of brand properties which uses up almost half of its communications budget!
To prevent counterfeit products Louis Vuitton also puts their monogram all over their bags including the inner portions.
Despite keeping the same monogram since its creation, the logo has gone on to become one the most recognized graphic in the world of high-end luxury fashion. The iconic logo along with clever marketing and brand awareness has helped to cement Louis Vuitton as one of the leading brands in fashion design.
Carrying a Louis Vuitton bag is a treat. Though many do not know the history of the brand, they are fascinated to find that it is a rags-to-riches story. Louis and his son, Georges, were both fascinating people with incredible talents. Their quality craftsmanship cannot be denied in all of their products from their inception to today.