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The complete history of Louis Vuitton



Can you imagine a world without Louis Vuitton? Luxury fashion just wouldn’t be complete without their iconic prints. What people might not know is that Louis Vuitton originally started as a trunk maker and packer. The designer catered to the French elite, during a time when holidays abroad were very much a luxury. The designers popularity grew and the brand and designs evolved, eventually becoming one of the most desired labels for handbags and luggage worldwide. 


1837 - Box and Trunk making

When Vuitton turned 16, he arrived in Paris and was taken in as an apprentice of a successful box and trunk maker, probably the best decision he could have made. This was an honourable job at the time and soon enough he had an established reputation, amongst the Paris elite.

1854 - Opening up
He opened his own box-making and packaging workshop in Paris, called Louis Vuitton Malletier.

1858 - The Canvas Trunk
The new trunk was made from grey canvas. It was lighter and made of more durable materials. It was also very different to what was already on the market as they would usually be made from leather, in a dome-shape. This trunk was rectangular, making it stackable and more convenient. Despite taking a risk with the new design they become a big success.

1872 - The beige trunk with red stripes
Another new trunk was developed in a beige canvas with red stripes. This design was very appealing to the elite of Paris and marked the beginning of Louis Vuitton as a luxury brand.

1886 - The Icon Lock
Trunks often attract thieves, so, to prevent this, and to protect the client’s goods, a lock was developed. It was a single lock system with two spring buckles, this lock is the same style lock we see today.

1888 - Damier
Louis Vuitton had become such a successful brand that people began creating replicas. So he introduced and trademarked the Damier canvas pattern, this is the one we still see today.

1896 - The Monogram
He introduced the monogram canvas and patented the bag. The monogram is the iconic print with the LV logo, quatrefoils and flowers, inspired by Japanese and oriental designs from the Victorian Era.

1930 - Keepall Speedy
The Louis Vuitton Keepall was introduced as a bag that can fit everything you needed to take with you but was lightweight and easy to carry on holiday. Later, the smaller version of the Keepall was introduced called the Speedy. This was the first handbag from the house that was designed for everyday use.

1932 - The Noe
The Louis Vuitton ‘Noe’ was designed for a champagne producer. He asked if he could produce a stylish bag to carry his wines and champagnes. George developed a bucket bag, which was able to carry four bottles and a fifth bottle upside down. The drawstring was made for holding them and so they wouldn’t rattle around.

1934 - The Alma
The Louis Vuitton Alma was designed for the one and only Coco Chanel in 1925, but she later gave permission for this to be released in 1934 for the public. The name comes from Place de L’Alma.

1985 - Epi Leather
The Epi leathers were inspired by the texture of leathers used in the 1920s. This had a unique appearance and a vibrant look. This started off the leather collection for the house.

2003 - Multi-coloured monogram
Can’t picture the one?...think Paris Hilton early 2000’s. The then Artistic Director, Marc Jacobs, collaborated with Japanese contemporary artist Takashi Murakami to put a new spin on the classic monogram print by creating a collection of 33 multi-coloured monogram bags on a black or white background. This collaboration spanned over 12 years and was popular amongst celebrities such as Jessica Simpson and the Kardashians.

2007 - The Neverfull
The all-time-best-selling bag of the house is The Neverfull. It came out in 2007 and still is a very popular bag today, due to it being sturdy and such a beautiful everyday bag.

2013 - Bringing history back
The Capucines was introduced - this bag refers to the first store Louis Vuitton opened in 1854, as Rue des Capucines. The bag keeps the vintage boxy shape but angles out like a trapezoid giving it a more fashion-forward look for Louis Vuitton.

2014 - The Quirky Clutch Bag
This bag was inspired by the original trunks that Louis Vuitton used to make, the Petit Malle, a quirky clutch bag which I think truly breathes a new life into the heritage of the house.

2018 - Fall Winter 2018 Show
The show featured many styles that reanimated a traditional silhouette steeped in Louis Vuitton heritage. The Cannes beauty case is a perfect example of how designer Nicolas Ghesquiere features the historical shape of the LV Cannes.


Here at SOTT, we pride ourselves on our knowledge of this iconic brand and can help you to find the pre-loved Louis Vuitton bag of your dreams - at an affordable price of course. Check out our current range of Louis Vuttion bags or send us a message and let us know what you are looking for. 


Looking to sell your Louis Vuitton bag? Message us on Whatsapp or check out our sell page for more information. For certain handbags that we know our customers will love, we can offer cash upfront. Find out more here.