Inspired by the news that the Fédération Internationale de Football Association commissioned Louis Vuitton for the fifth year in a row to create a case to house the coveted World Cup trophy—on top of the news that Vuitton will open its own museum in Paris in October of this year—we got to thinking about the storied history of Vuitton trunks, which were (fun fact) actually the nexus of the brand as a whole. Read on for five fun facts about the classic cases, and scroll down to shop a few standout pieces now!
1. The company began with just one trunk design.
When Louis Vuitton (the man) founded Louis Vuitton (the brand) in Paris in 1858, it was built on the foundation of one classic traveling trunk, which was introduced that same year and is still available in several styles, ranging anywhere from $5,000 to $40,000.
2. The trunk was meant primarily to be functional.
In the mid-1800s, stylish, upper-class women wore elaborate dresses that often took up a lot of space when travelling. Vuitton’s trunks were notable because they were the first trunks ever introduced that had flat tops and bottoms, making them easily stackable and allowing women to transport more dresses at a time.
3. Even in the 1800s, there were Vuitton knockoffs.
The first Vuitton trunks produced did not have the now-ubiquitous LV monogram canvas we’re all so familiar with; though they were extremely high-quality, they were relatively unremarkable in appearance. In 1872, to combat imitator trunks that were being produced, Vuitton introduced the Rayée print canvas—a striped pattern in red and white.
4. The Vuitton stamp was introduced in 1888.
To further prevent false imitations of his designs, Vuitton started stamping each trunk with marque L. Vuitton depose, which translates to L. Vuitton trademark. Remember, this pre-dates the LV monogram, and aside from the Damier checkerboard print (also introduced in 1888), was the only identifying mark that denoted a trunk as an authentic Louis Vuitton.
5. The monogram was born in 1896.
Louis Vuitton (the man) passed away in 1892, leaving the company to his son, Georges Vuitton. It was the younger Vuitton who created and introduced the now-iconic LV monogram print, which he crafted in 1896 and officially released in 1897. The print is, of course, incredibly prevalent now—it’s the most easily recognizable and widely used of all the fashion house’s canvases.
Louis Vuitton Orange Vuittonite Cabin Trunk ($9,900)
Louis Vuitton Monogram Leather Wood Wardrobe Steamer Trunk ($25,000)