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Viva La Vuitton


Lights! Action! Vuitton!


The legendary luxury goods label is about to embark on its 150th year of service

to the fashion world.  So it’s time to put your best arm forward and join Kyrsty

Hazell through the journey of the LV phenomenon…


One of the most unmistakable and most wanted brand has reached the grand old age of 150.  From its iconic luxurious bags to those ads, it’s fair to say that LV stakes its claim as the coolest bag ever.


The bags to riches fairy tale all began with a man called Louis Vuitton, who as a French trunk maker in 1854, had to design custom built pieces for the well travelled. Whilst doing this, his talents were noted and as they say, the rest is history. Vuitton built up his legend around travel by creating his own luggage, handbags and accessories, which were as innovative as they are elegant.


With the signature LV monogram logo stamped in gold, which associates with big cheques, jets and international lifestyles, it is clear that it was the beginnings of the work of a legend. Gradually his designs became the Sine Qua Non of luggage for the sophisticated traveller, with anyone who is anyone stepping out with the LV luxurious luggage like JLO, Victoria Beckham, SJP, Joan Collins and Audrey Hepburn to name a few.


However the story doesn’t quite finish here. As if the success of the LV wasn’t enough, they decided to join forces with other designers such as Vivienne Westwood which resulted in her infamous ‘Bumbag’ Romeo Gigli’s amphora bag and no other than the uber cool and utterly fabulous Marc Jacobs. A man who is one of the most sought after and copied designers as we know it, was chosen as Louis Vuitton’s creative director of Womenswear in 1997. 


Although LV were still going strong, it had began to lose its sense of exclusivity as the original pattern had been copied to the extreme with fakes appearing all over the world.  It had gone from the upper class arm candy to urban girl heaven, leaving people not being able to tell the difference between a £600 exclusive to a 6 quid market job. 


LV needed a new creative design to perk up the brand and it seems that Mr.Jacobs was just the man to do it.  From a scruffy New Yorker with a speciality of grunge clothing to the Messiah of beautiful handbags, Marc Jacobs made his mark on the industry in a crash, bang, wallop style!


His hit designs include the Vernis range – a fun, punchy, bright patent collection.  The mini monogram range, which appeared on everything from belts, bags, hats, scarves and umbrellas proved popular amongst the younger generation, it was clear to see that from here, Jacobs was a veritable goldmine.  With Jacobs ability to foresee future ‘must haves’ the logomania soon followed. 

Late American artist, Stephen Sprouse was appointed to splatter LV’s traditional monogram bags in a ‘I’m wearing Louis Vuitton and don’t you know it!’ graffiti style print. Fairytale scenes of butterflies, snails and mushrooms appliqued in different fabrics boasting a childlike fantasy, was then designed with the hep of illustrator and designer, Julie Verhoeven.


Japanese artist Takashi Murakami then came along to help invent the Eye Love range, which resulted in adorable cartoon like, candy coloured monogrammed bags covered in gold studs, padlocks and bows.  Every girly girls dream and celebrity must have, which ended up Marc Jacobs being the toast of success at LV and LV’s credibility being well and truly restored. A fairy tale ending at its very best. 


Both the creativity and ever changing styles of the brand plus its usefulness and quality have helped keep the iconic brand alive and kicking for 150 years. Due to {mosimage}its staying power it isn’t a surprise that every ‘happening’ and A List celeb wants a piece of the action.  Contributions from Jennifer Lopez, Christina Ricci, Chloe Sevigny and more recently, Star Wars hottie Hayden Christensen, have all helped continue its stylish marketing. 


Young Hollywood stars are used to portray an image individualistic glamour with a glint of strength and power which is a reference to the brand itself. These representations give the brand its own voice which screams, ‘We are here to stay.’

Having had a sneaky peak at the new selection for Spring 2004, it’s clear that LV is here to stay. The new Theda bag mixes original canvas used in the 1800’s with opulent gold ostrich trim – pure gorgeousness.  Also it seems that not only does LV provide glam handbags, hot accessories and fab shoes but it’s also making bum bags cool…Is there no end to LV’s talents?

It’s as if Jacobs has the ability to know what we want before we even know we want it! A living genius…Bon Anniversaire!


Kysty Hazell

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