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The history behind Louis Vuitton’s iconic trunk

The craftsmen have ample natural light as well as top-of-the-line lighting, electrical systems and tools to ensure that the quality of their creations remain uncompromised.
Written by Aashis pandey

From Ernest Hemingway’s Library Trunk commissioned in 1923 to the trunks created for artist Damien Hirst and the FIFA World Cup Trophy in recent years, Louis Vuitton trunks have stamped their mark on history and have continued to grace our lives ever since.

In the lifestyle universe, 1896 and 1906 are the twin turning points in the legend of Louis Vuitton. In 1896, Georges Vuitton, son of the founder of the brand, created the iconic monogram canvas, bearing a repeated pattern of shapes regularly interspersed with a monogram that intertwines the letters L and V, the founder’s initials. The motif drew on medieval European and Japanese designs to deliver a product that held an almost heraldic appearance, lending the items made with it an aristocratic air that Louis Vuitton’s customers were only too pleased to adopt.

Patrick-Louis Vuitton, great-great-grandson of the brand’s founder, is responsible for the maison’s special orders and commissions.

Then, in 1906, the motif was applied to a trunk designed by Gaston-Louis Vuitton.

Its proportions, beech wood reinforcements, brass corners and rivets, patent lock and monogrammed exterior made the trunk a certificate of savoir faire. As the 20th century brought the world closer together, Louis Vuitton created a range of trunks to assist in reaching far-flung parts in style: flat-top trunks, wardrobe trunks, bed trunks for explorers, secretary trunks, streamer trunks, auto trunks and aero trunks. A library trunk for transporting books and a typewriter became a desk when opened. A trunk for carrying paintings would keep an artist’s canvasses safe. Henri Matisse owned one.

The craftsmen have ample natural light as well as top-of-the-line lighting, electrical systems and tools to ensure that the quality of their creations remains uncompromised.

The components are part of the Watercolour Box (Boîte à Aquarelle), a special order for Patrick-Louis Vuitton.

The craftsman must ensure durability and precision in every aspect of the trunk’s manufacturing.

The craftsman covers the wood with either canvas or leather, but not before signing the trunk with a hidden stamp.

Craftsmen use the popular saddle stitch when crafting many of their leather goods. The stitch, which has been executed identically for more than a century, is known for its lasting strength and is done using two needles and a flax thread coated with beeswax.

A craftsman hammers a nail into the Iozine to reinforce it.

The craftsman fixes the seven-point lock onto the trunk by hand.

A craftsman ensures the finishing is perfect with a device that smoothens the leather without damaging it.

 

 

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Aashis pandey

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