The Louis Vuitton label was founded by Vuitton in 1854 on Rue Neuve des Capucines in Paris, France. Louis Vuitton had observed that the HJ Cave Osilite trunk could be easily stacked. In 1858, Vuitton introduced his flat-topped trunks with trianon canvas, making them lightweight and airtight. The label’s LV monogramappears on most of its products, ranging from luxurytrunks and leather goods to ready-to-wear, shoes, watches, jewelry, accessories, sunglasses and books.
1987 saw the creation of LVMH. Moët et Chandon and Hennessy, leading manufacturers of champagne and cognac, merged respectively with Louis Vuitton to form the luxury goods conglomerate. In 1997, Louis Vuitton made Marc Jacobs its Artistic Director.<17> In March of the following year, he designed and introduced the company’s first « prêt-à-porter » line of clothing for men and women. Also in this year products introduced included the Monogram Vernis line, the LV scrapbooks, and the Louis Vuitton City Guide.
By 2001, Stephen Sprouse, in collaboration with Marc Jacobs, designed a limited-edition line of Vuitton bags<10> that featured graffiti written over the monogram pattern. The graffiti read Louis Vuitton and, on certain bags, the name of the bag (such as Keepall and Speedy). Certain pieces, which featured the graffiti without the Monogram Canvas background, were only available on Louis Vuitton’s V.I.P. customer list.
In 2003, Takashi Murakami,<10> in collaboration with Marc Jacobs, masterminded the new Monogram Multicolore canvas range of handbags and accessories. This range included the monograms of the standard Monogram Canvas but in 33 different colors on either a white or black background. (The classic canvas features gold monograms on a brown background.) Murakami also created the Cherry Blossom pattern, in which smiling cartoon faces in the middle of pink and yellow flowers were sporadically placed atop the Monogram Canvas. This pattern appeared on a limited number of pieces.
On 4 November 2013, the company confirmed that Nicolas Ghesquière had been hired to replace Marc Jacobs as artistic director of women’s collections.