One of the first places we tend to see trends pick up speed is on Instagram, and if you’re like us, you’ve probably already noticed quite a large number of posts coming out of New York about the latest must-see fashion exhibit. Titled Volez, Voguez, Voyagez, it’s an ode to the brand behind the most instantly recognizable logo in fashion: Louis Vuitton’s LV.
But while the exhibit itself is not be missed, the images of monogrammed trunks did inspire us to take a deeper look at what makes this seemingly ubiquitous brand so prosperous decade after decade. And what we found, well, is probably only common knowledge for the most obsessed Louis Vuitton fan. Ahead, take a look at six pieces of Louis Vuitton history that you possibly haven’t heard yet.
For the full inspiring tale, Volez, Voguez, Voyagez is open to the public with free admission through January 7, 2018, in New York at the former American Stock Exchange Building: 86 Trinity Place.
Fittingly, the story of the man behind the world’s most famous trunk begins with a very long trip.
According to a press release from Louis Vuitton, the namesake of the French brand was 14 years old when he embarked on an approximately two-year journey to Paris in 1835. He was an apprentice with box maker and packer Romain Maréchal and would later work personally with French Empress Eugénie de Montijo (Napoleon Bonaparte’s wife) as well other royal family members. Vuitton opened this own business by 1854. As the brand today recalls, the debut line advertised that it “safely packs the most fragile objects. Specialty packing for fashion.”
Even if you don’t own an LV truck, chances are the design has touched your life.
Vuitton’s flat trunk is considered the prototype of modern luggage, meaning your go-to carry-on might inherently have a Vuitton touch. Furthermore, later in the brand’s history, the Sac Keepall would also become the prototype for weekend bags as well, according to The New York Times.
The label’s iconic pattern serves multiple purposes.
Vuitton himself wasn’t the one who put his own initials on his creations. According to a Louis Vuitton press release, it was his son, Georges, who created the now iconic branding—not just the initials, but the geometric prints, flowers, and coat of arms. As the fashion house history states, the indistinguishable markings are also a means to prevent counterfeit designs.
The piece Selena Gomez always carries is actually a laundry bag.
The Louis Vuitton Steamer bag was released with an advertisement in the early 1900s stating, “Why stow your dirty laundry with your clean clothes when traveling?” And though the piece was originally intended to isolate your dirty laundry during travel, you’ll now be more likely to spot the sleek carryall on the arms on Selena Gomez, Angelina Jolie, and Alicia Vikander.
The first Louis Vuitton designs sold in the U.S. were at a now-defunct department store.
It wasn’t until the end of the 19th century that the French fashion house arrived in the U.S. Originally, the label's trunks were picked up by John Wanamaker, the man credited with creating the American department store. His Wanamaker’s no longer exists, as it was eventually sold to the same company behind Macy’s.
Arguably, the most famous Louis Vuitton journey was actually a fashion show.
From 1997 to 2014, Marc Jacobs was at the helm of Louis Vuitton and created its first ready-to-wear line. Though the theme of travel has remained a constant for the brand, Jacob really drove the message home during Paris Fashion Week in 2012, with a locomotive that doubled as the set for the runway show. Business of Fashion claimed via Twitter that the train itself cost a whopping $8 million, but that remains speculation to this day.
Up next, take a look at the pictures that prove Cole Sprouse is almost an exact look-alike of a young Louis Vuitton.