A Brief History
On August 4, 1821, little Louis Vuitton was born in Anchay (Jura region), France, to a family of tradesmen and farmers. Yet, he would grow up to be the esteemed trunk designer of Empress Eugenie de Montijo, wife of Napoleon III.
Vuitton left home at the age of 13 (his parents died prior to this move) and took the nearly 300 mile hike to Paris. Homeless, Louis sought work in the industrial revolution he found in Paris, and got a job in a box making factory. Box making then was not the automated assembly line prospect that it is today, and was instead more of a craft, with boxes individually made to order, often decorative and of high quality. Louis developed a reputation as a fine craftsman.
In 1854, Louis made 2 major choices, the first being to marry his 17 year old sweetheart, and the other momentous choice was to start his own company, crafting custom boxes and trunks. His development of stackable trunks earned him acclaim, resulting in opening a larger factory and gaining rich customers such as Empress Eugenie.
The House of Louis Vuitton became a respected and desirable brand, and products branched off into leather goods (purses and other bags) as well. Louis died in 1892 at the age of 70, but his company lived on under the guidance of his son, Georges. The company is now known as LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, and is still headquartered in Paris. As the name indicates, the company has acquired the luxury champagne and cognac brands, Moet and Chandon and Hennessy under its umbrella of over 60 subsidiaries. The fashion house portion of the company Louis Vuitton Malletier with its familiar L over a V logo is perhaps the greatest prestige brand in the world, with a 6 year run (2006-2012) as “the world’s most valuable luxury brand.” Louis Vuitton fashions can be found for sale in 50 countries at over 460 stores, including leased counters in high end department stores, stand-alone stores in malls, and of course, on the Internet through its website.
Products include clothing, purses, wallets, various accessories, watches, shoes, sunglasses, and of course, luxury trunks among the many items you may find with the LV monogram embossed on the product. The fashion house brand has an annual revenue of $10 billion and the company is valued at almost $30 billion!
As enormous as LVMH is ($60 billion in assets!) it is in turn owned largely by Christian Dior SE (assets over $68 billion), who controls 40.9% of its shares and well over 50% of its voting rights, making Dior the de facto owner. Fashion is BIG business!
Do you own any Louis Vuitton items? If so, tell us what you think of the brand and any interesting stories about any of their products you own.
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