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November 3, 2019 17:40

The Louis Vuitton Malletier S.A. is a luxury goods company founded in Paris in 1854 by the French artisan and entrepreneur Louis Vuitton (1821-1892), who initially produced exclusive suitcases and luggage in the early years.

Today, the main business of the now globally active company still consists of high-priced luggage series as well as leather goods such as handbags and accessories, which are internationally regarded as a status symbol, next to women and mens wear you’ve probably seen on runway shows from Creative Directors such as Virgil Abloh.

Today, Louis Vuitton is one of the main brands of the LVMH Group and is run together with other brands such as Fendi, Kenzo, Givenchy, Loewe and Marc Jacobs in the Fashion & Leather Goods division. In 2012 the fashion & leather goods sector operated a total of about 1250 stores worldwide, of which over 450 Louis Vuitton accounted for. In 2011 the stores generated a total revenue of 8.712 billion € with a gain of 3.075 Billion €.

The Heritage of the fashion house is also the reason, why collaboration with travel brands such as Horizn Studios have been announced so far.

But let’s take a step back, before we keep on talking about the latest seasons and collaborations and let’s see what the brand originally used to put on the mainframe.

After completing apprenticeship with a Paris suitcase and luggage manufacturer and working there for a total of 17 years, a now 33 year old Louis Vuitton opened his own shop in Paris in 1854. It was called the Louis Vuitton Malletier, and was located on rue Neuve-des-Capucines 4, today's Rue des Capucines, near Place Vendôme.

There he sold, among other things, high-priced, flat suitcases, which were very light and airtight for those times and were well suited for travel in then-modern means of transport such as the railway or ships. The French word 'malletier', which Vuitton included in the company name, means 'suitcase manufacturer'.

In 1990, the Frenchman Yves Carcelle (1948-2014), who worked for LVMH since 1989, became CEO of Louis Vuitton. During this time, the two types of leather Epi and Taiga were developed - from both varieties, there is now a wide range of products.

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In the mid-1990s, the former home of the Vuitton family in Asniéres was transformed into a company museum. Around 200 Louis Vuitton shops existed at that time around the world.

In 1997, the American fashion designer Marc Jacobs was obliged to launch a Louis Vuitton clothing line for men and women for the first time in March of the following year.

By the end of 2013, Jacobs was Creative Director at Louis Vuitton, not only designing the fashion collections of the house, but also influencing the design of the rest of Louis Vuitton's product range.

At the end of 2005, Dutchman Paul Helbers, a former Martin Margiela designer, was appointed studio director for the men's fashion collection at Louis Vuitton. From 2008, he also appeared together with the creative director Marc Jacobs at the end of the men's fashion shows for the traditional bow on the catwalk.

To Helbers' successor was determined in March 2011, the British fashion designer and former Dunhill designer Kim Jones, who showed up alone at the end of the fashion shows.

In 2008, Japanese designer Rei Kawakubo designed an exclusive canvas bag collection for Louis Vuitton. In 2009, there was a revival of the 2001 collection by Stephen Sprouse, and the monogrammed bags were given more color by bright graffiti prints in pink, green and orange. Furthermore, there was a collection with rose print.

Kim Jones joined Dior Homme in January 2018. Louis Vuitton announced in late March 2018 that American Virgil Abloh, founder of his own streetwear fashion brand Off-White and longtime business partner of Kanye West, would succeed Jones.

Kim Jones final walk Fall 2018

After a long journey based on leather and travel goods the traditional fashion house slowly transfers over to a Highfashion Lifestylebrand to the younger generations. This is also the reason why collaborations with travel brands are super exciting to us, for being a reason to take a moment and appreciate the heritage of a long-lasting family business such as the Louis Vuitton fashion house.