Today the brand Louis Vuitton is the epitome of sophistication, luxury and glamour, but when it began in the 1850s it was founded on hard work, blisters and sweat. In 1837 an ambitious 16-year-old named Louis Vuitton walked from his home in eastern France to Paris, keen to find his fortune amid the Industrial Revolution. He became a box maker and packer, creating trunks for high society to transport their precious belongings on voyages. Vuitton had a knack for it and quickly gained a reputation. In 1854 he opened his own shop and four years later hit upon the revolutionary idea of manufacturing flat-topped trunks that went against the conventional curved designs.
Lifting the lid on how a Louis Vuitton trunk is made
Words by Rob Chilton