Few brands have the roots and cultural clout of Louis Vuitton. The house’s trunks have come to define modern luggage, and the LV monogram is one of the most iconic and easily recognizable logos in the world—and it’s the most replicated (in an ironic twist, the monogram was originally conceived to prevent counterfeiters). Now, after a successful run in Paris last year, the French house is celebrating this 163-year history with the Volez, Voguez, Voyagez – Louis Vuitton exhibition, which will be open to the public in New York City through January 7, 2018.
Three floors of the historic American Stock Exchange building have been transformed into an immersive, 10-chapter narrative of the brand’s history. Designed by artistic director and set designer Robert Carsen and curated by revered fashion historian Olivier Saillard, the exhibition forgoes a traditional chronological order to instead trace the brand’s evolution alongside the emergence of the travel industry as we know it today.
Heavy wooden trunks constructed by Louis Vuitton himself give way to lightweight luggage designed to slip under seats on the Orient Express, followed by steamer bags designed to keep clean and dirty laundry separate while on luxury ocean liners like the Queen Mary. The final chapter is dedicated to the brand’s history with the Americas and New York City, featuring some of the very first trunks sold in the 1890s by John Wanamaker in New York and Philadelphia as well as pieces owned by American Royalty like the Guggenheims, Vanderbilts, and Hearsts.
Volez, Voguez, Voyagez – Louis Vuitton will be open to the public 7 days a week through January 7, 2018. Admission is free; no advance reservations are required.