Europeana Fashion
Louis Vuitton: Crafting Desire
27 March, 2018

As well as the recently appointed menswear designer Virgil Abloh, the French designer Louis Vuitton, founder of the eponymous house that is nowadays a colossus of the industry, was a smart innovator who landed in fashion and luxury following an odd path, and was the creator of objects that are still very much desired to this day.

Louis Vuitton f/w 2011 fashion show. Courtesy Netherlands Institute for Sounds and Vision, all rights reserved.

Born on 4th August 1821 from a working-class family that counted in his roots joiners, carpenters and milliners, at the age of thirteen Louis Vuitton left home heading to Paris to find a job as an apprentice in a workshop. His journey to the city took him two years in which he found odd jobs on the road to Paris. In the city he found a job as a box maker and packer, an occupation regarded as the most respectable at the time.

Bags by Louis Vuitton, 1990s. Courtesy Wien Museum, CC BY NC SA.

It was his experience in the trade that brought him to revolutionize the craft-making of boxes and luggage, after opening his own shop in 1854, specialized in boxing and packing of fashion. It’s trunks, that flat and flat-bottomed could be easily stacked, gained him a wide recognition and success, epitomized by his presence at the 1867 Paris’s Universal Exhibition.