You might only know the company as that company that this one “rich” guy in Shul talks about owning one belt, But this company is the biggest in luxury brands, Owning a total of 75 brands, including Dior Mark Jacobs and a lot more.
While being valued at $30B, LV does have a very humble beginning.
in 1821 Louis Vuitton was born to Dad, an impoverished farmer, And mom a hat designer; in Anchay France, being right after the Napoleonic war, The French economy was in bad shape, Especially for farmers who were struggling and almost going bankrupt, Louis worked on his Father’s farm growing up, When Louis was ten years old, his mom died, And left him with his dad alone, His dad remarried, To an evil woman who made little Louise’s life miserable, And that is when Louis decided to take the dangerous step And run away from home.
Louis traveled from Anchay to Paris, Without money, food, or clothing, But with a Drive to make it big. He met Monsieur Marechal, who gave him a job, Building leather travel boxes which were becoming very popular, due to the first railroad being built in France Making traveling increasingly popular.
Louis was exceptionally talented And very soon became the Queen Eugenic De Montijo’s craftsman; Louis was finally making good money, So after a year of working for the Queen in 1854, Louis opened the first Louis Vuitton shop, selling traveling boxes.
Louis changed from leather to canvas which was lighter, more durable, and water-resistant, and that’s the story of how modern Luggage came to life.
Louis wasn’t done yet, In 1867, He then redesigned the women’s hand bag’s, Which were up until till then big chunky and unfashionable, Louis found a way to market them as classy and modern.
His son, George Vuitton, Started helping the company and designed the lock on the suitcase we still use today. But it wasn’t only up from there, Soon after that, France found itself in the Franco-Prussian war, Causing Louis to stop production and eventually cause him to be homeless again, And run to a refugee shelter where he almost starved to death.
In 1871 after the war, he moved back home only to find his shop and factory destroyed, And all his material was stolen.
Property prices were low. Due to the war and Louis was able to buy a new shop, In an upscale district; within a few months, business was thriving, And the company was shipped orders to all over the world.
Louis designed the official stripped LV branded items After the technology was advanced enough to print separate colors on the fabric. It looked fresh and different, And soon became the way to show off; that you are up to date was by using LV handbags or Luggage.
In 1885 Louis opened a second shop in London. In 1892 the company released its first catalog to make ordering easy.
But soon after that, Louis passed away in 1892 at age 72, And till this day, no one knows the cause of his death. His son George took over the company and moved to New York to expand the business, Where he met John Wanamaker, Wanamaker had vast department stores in the USA at that time.
In 1896 the official LV logo was designed after the name of the founder and George’s father. Just before World war 2, George does leave the company to his son Gaston Vuitton. Gaston had a tough start having to shut down all factories and stores due to the war. Gaston did work with nazis so they wouldn’t destroy his company, And LV was the only company operating during WW2 in Germany, which is one of the darker sides to the story,
A spokesman for LV said, “this is ancient history. We are diverse tolerant, and all of the things a modern company should be”
After the war in 1946, Gaston gave the company to his three sons And one daughter, whose husband took over the company. And continued designing and producing the company products. Six years later, LV was doing 260,000,000 annually in sales, Which is when the company went public,
In 1997 LV hired Marc Jacobs to design some products that became another brand owned by LV.
Today LV is valued at 379,000,000,000, making it the ninth most valuable company globally and the #1 most popular designer brand.