It’s a truth universally acknowledged that the children of the rich and famous rarely obtain the same success as their parents. Georges Vuitton however, was the exception to this rule.
The son of Louis Vuitton (the creator of the eponymous famous brand) helped to create many of the labels legacy traits. Indeed, after his father passed away in 1892, he quickly began to roll out a stream of classic Louis Vuitton pieces.
By 1896 Georges Vuitton had created the famous ‘LV’ monogram canvas (featuring diamonds, circles and flowers) which helped to set apart the brand’s products in a burgeoning luxury market. He also promised something that other luggage providers at the time could not provide - an unpickable lock. According to the fashion house he “revolutionised luggage locks with an ingenious closing system that turned travel trunks into real treasure chests”.He also helped to launch the Louis Vuitton Building on the Champs-Elysees in Paris in 1913, which at the time was the largest travel goods store in the world, and by which time Coco Chanel was a patron of the brand. Throughout the early 1900s, he continued to roll out classic bag shapes that would remain timeless throughout the century. They included the Steamer bag (a smaller piece designed to be kept inside luggage trunks), which would lay the way for other bag styles in the first half of the 20th century including the Keepall bag, the Noe bag and the Papillon bag, the latter of which appeared in the mid-sixties.
Moving into the 20th century
To push the brand even further however, it would take another mastermind, nearly a century later. In 1997 Marc Jacobs joined the Louis Vuitton label as creative director and quickly made his presence felt at the label. He launched the brand’s first-ever ready-to-wear clothing line. He transformed the house which was famous for making high-end luxury luggage, into a fully fledged fashion house. There were iconic moments throughout his 16-year tenure at the brand, from his catwalk collections - such as his minimalist 1998 debut show, fronted by Naomi Campbell - to his 2012 show which championed the brand’s Parisian heritage. Hosted at the Les Arts Decoratifs, the show looked forwards, by digging deep into the history of the brand. Both through honouring the 19th-century trunk at the core of the brand, and by uniting the pillars of culture art and commerce, which served as an inspiration for much of his new collections. With one hand on the past and one of the future, the designer was quick to credit the brand’s neighbours across the pond as a source for his inspiration too. “Both New York and Paris offer profound yet contrasting catalysts for creativity. In New York, I’m inspired by my friends... the movies I see, the music I listen to. Then I go back to Paris and the team there allows me the frivolity of my fantasy as a designer living in Paris,” the designer explained at the time. Alongside his iconic collections for the house, he also partnered with leading artists, catapulting the brand into the 21st century. He launched a range of successful partnerships with Stephen Sprouse, Takashi Murakami, Richard Prince and Kanye West.
The rise of jewellery
In 2001, Marc Jacobs launched the first-ever Louis Vuitton jewellery range. His first designs for the label centred upon a charm bracelet which soon became one of the most popular pieces at the fashion house. Over his remaining years at the company, Marc Jacobs helped to develop the brand’s jewellery range and successfully grew it into its own division by 2013. In less than 20 years the fashion has grown to produce some of the leading pieces of high jewellery in the industry. In 2016, Louis Vuitton released its first-ever Blossom collection, based on the monogram flower motif, originally designed by Georges Vuitton back in the 1890s. The stunning collection depicted a blossoming flower bud at various stages of bloom, throughout the collection. “We are 100 per cent strict, in that the design must start from the stone. This way nothing is compromised,” said a spokesperson for the brand. “The Blossom series is characterised by some exceptional gems, with each chapter devoted to a stone of exemplary size and colour,” added Hamdi Chatti, the vice president for watches and jewellery at the house at the time. The series was such a success, that it influenced the house’s decision to launch the B.Blossom series this year. The new design is again influenced by the iconic 1896 design by Georges Vuitton, reinterpreted for a new generation. According to the house, the gold, diamond and yellow designs which are central to the new collection are inspired by the “powerful and daring” women who wear the label. The new collection is an “emblem of female independence and the essence of femininity,” says the house. Another key part of the new collection is the iconic design across several new rings. The pieces can be worn individually or stacked, and are available in malachite, onyx, white agate, pink opal, diamonds or plain gold in both yellow and pink gold. Also available in the new ring collection are three statement signet rings, including both diamond and carved stone designs. More iconic pieces in the new range include a beautiful bracelet in gold with sensual contour, which encases in its curves, five precious pearls either with diamonds or in onyx. Fans of the current geometric trend will love the bead and pendant monogram flower set, available in short and long necklaces, as well as bracelets. There are also statement minimalist earrings in the new range, which can be both worn to compliment the other pieces in the collection, or as standalone jewellery. “The new B.Blossom collection finds its beauty in a finely nuanced metamorphosis that encompasses the genesis of the original design, reinterpreted and honouring Louis Vuitton’s signature collection with a bold new attitude,” said a spokesperson for the label. We couldn’t agree more - no doubt Georges Vuitton would be proud of the new range.
For more information, visit louisvuitton.com