Tailor-made for success
In 1987, the Louis Vuitton company merged with the Moët Hennessy corporation, giving rise to the LVMH empire. Ten years later, Marc Jacobs was brought on board to design the first ready-to-wear clothing, shoes and accessories ranges. It was a bold move that would change the fate of the house forever. With little concern for the conventions established by other major fashion houses, Jacobs produced luxurious and contemporary designs. Shows were a magnificent spectacle, with the designer going so far as to send a locomotive filled with models steaming into the Louvre – an image that will be forever etched in the fashion world’s collective memory. Jacobs called on a host of contemporary artists to reimagine Louis Vuitton’s classic leather goods. Richard Prince, Stephen Sprouse and Takashi Murakami took up the challenge, incorporating graffiti, primary colours and pop references to the monogram.
A new era with Nicolas Ghesquière
After 15 years at Balenciaga, French designer Nicolas Ghesquière replaced Marc Jacobs in 2013. His first collection was a major departure from the brand’s prior aesthetic. Ghesquière worked with stylist Marie-Amélie Sauvé to take the Vuitton silhouette in a more futuristic direction, inspired by technological advances. His collections combined strong lines and highly technical fabrics in sharp silhouettes, blending the incredibly sophisticated with the everyday. Looks were brought to life by muses that never failed to make headlines, among them: Willow Smith and Lightning (the 3D heroine from the Final Fantasy video game), further proof of Ghesquière’s forward-thinking approach. Mindful of the need to retain the relevance of the brand’s accessories, the designer also pursued artistic collaborations, this time with Cindy Sherman, architect Frank Gehry (behind the impressive Fondation Louis Vuitton) and designer Rei Kawakubo to work on key pieces ranging from trunks to tote bags.
World renowned accessories
It is impossible to separate the Louis Vuitton brand from the iconic monogram and damier pattern. If the brand has demonstrated anything since the early days of making trunks – which are now considered highly collectable – it is an ability to design beautiful bags that stand the test of time. Among the best-selling designs are the Neverfull, Speedy, Noe, Alma and Capucine bags, with seasonal variations in different colours and fabrics that ensures fresh appeal across multiple generations. Nicolas Ghesquière has added to the list of best-sellers by introducing new designs including his stand out reinvention of the famous trunk in a mini format – the ultimate sign that the designs are able to move with the times.