THE HOMELESS BOY WHO INVENTED LOUIS VUITTON!
Written by faithmueni on July 6, 2021
Louis Vuitton is the number one luxury brand in the whole world, valued at over $30 billion its history goes way back to the 19th century and begins with a boy teenager who could only dream of success. With no money or food, he worked with artisans and craftsmen to survive, barely making any money but he learned valuable skills that led to pioneering modern luggage and creating a billion-dollar empire.
In the 19th century, Louis Vuitton was born and raised in Achay France, and to a farmer and a hat maker. During that time, France was recovering from Napoleonic wars, and many farmers including the Vuitton’s faced bankruptcy.
Starting from a younger age, Louis had no option but to work on the family farm; from dusk to dawn he planted and harvested crops, raised the animals, and stockpiled firewood. When Louis turned 10 in 1831, life became even more difficult, his mother, Xavier Vuitton died, and soon after his father, Corinne Gaillard remarried. Louis’s stepmother was so wicked and made him feel miserable, and he finally felt that he had enough.
In 1835, Louis turned 13 and he quietly slipped away the farmhouse and headed to Paris with no money nor food. Fortunately, Louis found odd jobs with artisan and craftsmen who taught him how to work with metal, stones, fabrics, and woods. Still, he had no money and he, therefore, became homeless. He often slept in the woods with only a cloak to keep him warm.
At that time the first railway line had just opened, travel become more accessible and the industry started to boom, Craftsmen capitalized on this making custom boxes for aristocrats. They often traveled with paintings, instruments, and furniture and needed boxes that could fit and withstand long strips.
They also needed help with packing their belongings in a certain way that could protect them from breaking. Since Louis had acquired some of the skills, he tried to find work in a trade, and luckily he was hired as an apprentice. He did not earn much nut his willingness to learn paid off in more ways than one. He became the best of Marechal’s clients and later the Empress of France, Eugenie de Montijo appointed him as her personal box-maker.
After working for the empress for a year, he became more in demand and opened his first shop where he came up with new ideas for his new products that changed the standard for the industry. At the time, traditional boxes were made with leather and were rectangular in shape hence making the work easier to load.
The company, later on, collaborated with designers like Vivienne Westwood, Manolo Blahnik, and Izak Mizrahi who came up with new and bold ideas to create handbags using its monogram to celebrate 100 years’ anniversary. Marc Jacobs acted as the design director who revolutionized the brand by introducing its ready-to-wear high-quality designs in collaboration with high-profile famous artists such as Stephen Sprouse and Takashi Murakami.
At the time handbags started to be considered as luxury and were highly appreciated by society, since then LV has expanded into watches, Jewelry, sunglasses and continues to launch iconic bags. To maintain their quality most of their products require 300 stages to assemble and craftsmen must require 2years of training.
Today LV ranks as the NO.1 Luxury Brand in the world and its valuation has topped 30Billion Dollars. This is how the homeless boy has revolutionized and pioneered modern luggage and lied the foundation for a Multi-Billion Empire.