Before trendsetters flocked the streets of New York’s Fifth Avenue and the flagship store in Paris, Louis Vuitton was the sought after designer of steamer trunks. This may seem a far cry from the current designs of boho purses and luggage bags we see imprinted with that famous LV monogram today, but at the time these steamer trunks were a staple amongst travelers.
The Volez, Voguez, Voyagez Exhibition takes you back in time, to the mid-1800’s when Louis Vuitton had only just introduced his collection of steamer trunks that rose to fame due to their light weight, airtightness, and convenience due to how easy they were to stack. One minute you’re entering the exhibition through the American Stock Exchange on Trinity Place..
But once you make your way through the entrance queue, which includes a virtual subway car gliding passed ordained in Louis Vuitton embellishments, you arrive in last century France where Louis Vuitton was just becoming a household name in Europe.
While at first glance the variety of steamer trunks stood out because of that famous print, I quickly became intrigued by just how many variations Louis Vuitton went on to create.
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Are you a go-getting travel writer? Then this trunk is for you! Take your research very seriously? Then up your budget for this writer trunk that includes a built in bookshelf for all of your sources!
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It’s no mystery as to how Louis Vuitton built his empire; his constant innovation combined with an eye for design were a driving factor behind his success. And while Europe had already jumped on the Vuitton train, it wasn’t until his father’s passing that Louis Vuitton decided it was time to go global.
In 1893, Louis Vuitton stepped foot in the United States for the first time. By the 1920’s , known as the golden age of travel, he had opened his world famous store along Paris’ Champs-Elysees and became a leader in the luggage industry.
The exhibit displays a variety of artifacts from Louis Vuitton’s original designs, to photographs, train tickets, and some original Louis Vuitton advertisements.
Slowly, we make our way towards modern-day when Louis Vuitton decided to begin using leather as a staple material of his products. Louis Vuitton, as well as his collaborators knew that to stay relevant it was necessary to stay up-to-date on the new styles. This was a turning point of the Louis Vuitton label as purses, wallets, and more-modern luggage became increasingly common in his lines. Louis Vuitton also stores began springing up globally from India to the United States to South America.
According to Business Insider, today Louis Vuitton ranks as the 19th of best-selling high-end designers. To put that in perspective, Dior ranked at 95, and Prada at 94. Louis Vuitton label designs can be seen on actors and actresses as they sashay down red carpets, and on the shoulders of label-enthusiasts as they walk the city streets.
It’s been approximately a century since Louis Vuitton’s passing, but his successors have done a pretty outstanding job at keeping Louis Vuitton as a focus in modern-day high-fashion. Of course, this is also due to some popular collaborations with brands such as Supreme, Jeff Koons, and many more.
And while I think many would agree that many Louis Vuitton items are a far cry from a necessary purchase, it’s pretty dang inspiring when you realize that this entire enterprise started with one man and a simple idea.
Volez, Voguez, Voyagez: the Louis Vuitton Exhibition is a free exhibition, though you must reserve a time-slot for either a guide or self-guided tour through the exhibitions main link.
Visitors have until January 7, 2018 to stop by the exhibitions New York location before it makes it’s way to another city. Whether it’s fashion, history, travel, or even business, there will be some part of the Louis Vuitton story that resonates with you.
Remember that Walt Disney quote, about how it all started with a mouse?
Well, in this case, it all started with a trunk.
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