I’m unsure why Google isn’t celebrating by replacing their letters with handbags, BUT today is, in fact, Louis Vuitton’s 196th birthday.
Who was Vuitton and how did he change fashion forever? This household name today, had a very different beginning than what you think of this luxury brand to be. Vuitton began his career as a poor and uneducated child, with few options.
His mother and father both died when Vuitton was 10. At the age of 13, he left home in eastern France, alone and on foot, bound for Paris. He walked 292-miles for more than two years, taking jobs to feed himself along the way and staying wherever he could find shelter.
In Paris, he became a boxmaker. During the Industrial Revolution, box-making was a highly respectable craft. In a market that only had rounded tops on their trunks, Vuitton introduced rectangular shaped trunks. Imagine, just making one small change, changed the world of fashion?
The Empress of France, Eugenie de Montijo, loved this new design and hired Vuitton as her personal box maker. She complimented his work by saying he packed the most beautiful clothes in an exquisite way. De Montijo provided Vuitton with a gateway to other elite clients who provided him with work for the rest of his career. Vuitton continued working until his death at the age of 70.
The next time you purchase a brand new Louis Vuitton and smell that warm scent of leather, think of Vuitton, and all of the dedication that he put in through his entire life for you to be holding that bag. Think also that you, too, could someday make one small change, that changes the world as we know it.
Cheers, to my favorite Frenchman!