Hello guys, let’s continue with our series ‘The story of…’ Today we will be talking about the designer Louis Vuitton. He was born on on the 4th of August 1821 in France in a family of carpenters and farmers. When he was 10, his mother, who was a hat maker, died and his father followed soon after. He had a very difficult relationship with his adoptive stepmother, so he left at the age of 13. Doing some weird jobs for a living. he traveled aprox 450 km to Paris where he arrived in 1837, in the middle of the Industrial Revolution, he apprenticed under Monsieur Marechal, a successful trunk maker and packer. Within a few years he gained a reputation among the most fashionable people of Paris, as one of the city’s premiere practitioner of the craft.
After the re-establishment of the French Empire under Napoleon III, the Empress of France hired Vuitton as her personal trunk maker and packer. She charged him with “packing the most beautiful clothes in an exquisite way”. This provided Vuitton with an opening to the royal and elite clientele which provided him with work for the rest of his career.
He married 17 year-old Clemence-Emilie Parriaux in 1854, when he was 33 years-old. He left Marechal’s shop soon after and opened his own trunk making and packing workshop in Paris. He hung a sign, outside his shop, that read “Securely packs the most fragile objects. Specialising in packing fashions.” In 1858, Vuitton introduced his revolutionary rectangular canvas trunks, inspired by H. J. Cave and Sons of London, at a time when the market only had rounded-top leather trunks. The demand for his trunks was huge, so he opened a new shop in Asnieres-sur-Seine. The original pattern of the canvas was called “Damier”. Vuitton also invented the first pick-proof lock
After the Franco-Prussian War, in 1871, the demand fell and his workshop was in shambles. Many of his tools were stolen and all his staff was gone. Vuitton rebuilt quickly, opening a new shop at 1 Rue Scribe, next to a famous jockey club in the heart of Paris. He later ied in 1892.
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