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The History of Louis Vuitton - 19th and 20th Century
Louis Vuitton history begins in the middle of the 19th Century. The year was 1854 and Louis Vuitton was about to make history as the world's premiere source for extraordinary luggage, handbags, and accessories. The Louis Vuitton history is one that is rich with a tradition of excellence and that tradition continues today, kept alive by almost 8,000 dedicated employees.
Louis Vuitton history has its roots at any extraordinary moment in the past with trains and boats filled to overflowing with travelers. Paintings of exotic places were in vogue and tourism literature was expanding, with interest in travel reaching unprecedented levels.
At Louis Vuitton, luggage history was being made at this time with a new invention -- a flat trunk. But more importantly to Louis Vuitton history than the configuration of the trunk was its cover -- Louis Vuitton's signature gray Trianon canvas. Almost instantly the Trianon became synonymous with gracious traveling and elegant travelers. As the 19th Century gave way to the 20th, Louis Vuitton made history again and again with the creations of the red and gray striped canvas (1872), Damier Canvas (1888), and the enduring Monogram Canvas (1896).
Louis Vuitton history continues into the 20th Century with another LV "creation." The Louis Vuitton Steamer Bag, first introduced in 190
1901 The Steamer bag, the ancestor of modern soft luggage, is created as a laundry bag to be kept inside wardrobe trunks. Over time this bag would become on of the cult bags of the Louis Vuitton line
1914 - The Louis Vuitton building opens on the Champs Elysees as the largest travel items store in the world
1924 - The keepall bag, the forerunner of the duffel bag, is the most illustrated of the Vuitton bags
1932 - The Noe bag is initially conceived for a champagne vintner to transport bottles. The Noe would become one of the most celebrated handbags of the Vuitton line.
1978 - Opening of the first official stores in Japan (in Tokyo and Osaka)
1981 - Creation of Louis Vuitton Japan and Opening of the free standing store in Ginza
1983 - Louis Vuitton Cup challenger series is created to qualify competitors for the America's Cup, the world's most prestigious trophy in international yachting
1984 - Opening fo the first store in Seoul, South Korea
1985 - Epi leather is born
1988 - First "running" of the Louis Vuitton Classic at the Bagatelle Park in Paris. Classic automobile elegance competition organized each year in Paris since 1988.
1992 - First store in Beijing China
1993 - Louis Vuitton launches its masculine line of Taiga leather to accompany men in their business meetings and travel with distinction and elegance.
1996 - To celebrate the centennial of the Monogram Canvas, LV asked 7 prestigious designers to imagine products in monogram. Azzedine Alaia, Manolo Blahnik, Romeo Gigli, Helmut Lang, Isaac Mizrahi, Syvilla and Vivienne Westwood created seven original and functional objects in limited edition series
1997 - A new line of products is born at the intersection of leathercraft and the world of writing. LV launches a line of original and refined pens designed by Anouska Hempel
1998 - Visionary designer Marc Jacobs begins his role as Artistic Director of LV
1998 - LV offers its first line of ready-to-wear clothing and footgear
1998 - The Monogram Vernis line premieres as the first collection of bags designed by Marc Jacobs. The patent calf skin is playfully dressed up with the elements of the Louis Vuitton logo and the famous flowers of the Monogram design.
1998 - Organization of the first international grand vintage car rally in China, from Dalian to Beijing. After having participated in the Black & Yellow Cruise of the 20's and 30's, LV resumes with the grand scale auto events of the beginning of the century.
1998 Creation of the Travel Books collection which today includes volumes on Paris, Tokyo, London, New York, Rio, Beijing, and Sydney
1999 - Monogram Mini
A new tone-on-tone jacquard canvas monogrammed with the famous LV mark creates the Monogram Mini canvas. This fabric gives elegance to a line of both casual and chic bags and footwear.
1999 Creation of the LV City Guide, an essential and innovative guide to the travel universe