Case Study: How Louis Vuitton Builds its Iconic Trunk
Take a peek inside the painstaking, time-honored process of how Louis makes passions portable.
Motivated by great explorers, a sense of curiosity, and boundless imagination, Louis Vuitton transformed the art of travel with novel ideas like the trunk-bed for explorer Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza, a tea trunk for the Maharajah of Baroda, and more recently, a musical trunk for a DJ. The one prerequisite: Every item must be portable so there are no boundaries on where you can take your treasure chest. In 1859, Vuitton established his workshop and home in the village of Asnières-sur-Seine, several miles up the famed river from Paris, where today an expanded atelier continues to create ingenious trunks and hard luggage. Under the watchful eye of fifth-generation family member Patrick Louis Vuitton, who oversees the fabrication of every special order from concept to completion, about 300 to 350 bespoke commissions are produced a year. Each is handmade using largely the same techniques Louis Vuitton pioneered with his original creations. It takes between four and six months to complete an order, but as these bits of kit are known to last a century or more, it’s probably worth the wait.