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Fashion Designer Louis Vuitton

Learn about fashion designer Louis Vuitton in this Howcast video with expert Nancy Deihl.

Transcript

The founder of Louis Vuitton was born in a mountainous region of France in 1821. And when he was 13 he decided he really wanted to do something else, so he went on foot to Paris to seek his fortune in the city. And it took him two years to get there traveling on foot. When he got there he found work as an apprentice to a packer. A packer was someone who helped people get ready for traveling.

And he learned how to build specialty boxes. And while he was an apprentice or an assistance, he was hired by the Empress of France, a woman named Empress Eugenie who was the wife of Napoleon the Third. Empress Eugenie was a great style setter. She had an immense wardrobe and life at the court in those days required that you had to change your clothes several times a day. So Louis Vuitton developed a specialty in packing fashion.

Eugenie was a fashion setter and she was a major client of the important designer Charles Frederick Worth. Louis Vuitton working for Eugenie had exposure not just to fashion and to court life, but developed an appreciative following.

When he decided to go out on his own, he had a clientele and he had a lot of expertise. And so he put the two together to build a very high end packing and luggage business. His first trunks used canvas instead of leather which made them lighter and made the surface more durable. His first trunks were very innovative. He used canvas instead of leather which made the trunks lighter and gave them a more durable surface. He also introduced waterproof trunks and made them flat tops so that they could be stacked.

Vuitton prospered and he brought his sons into the business an they continued to operate it after his death in 1892. Louis Vuitton revolutionized luggage making, bringing modern technology into a traditional craft.

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