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Louis Vuitton

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(established 1854)

A leading manufacturer of high‐quality travel goods founded in Paris, Louis Vuitton has become a truly global brand associated with luxury travel, the LV monogram immediately conveying an aura of status, sophistication, and style. The roots of this success lay in a number of landmark products, commencing with Vuitton's grey Trianon canvas trunk (1854). The stylish LV Monogram canvas (1896) and the soft Steamer Bag (1901) prefigured the opening of the Louis Vuitton building on the Champs‐Elysées in Paris, the largest travel goods store in the world. The famous Keepall Bag, often seen as a forerunner of the duffel bag, was launched in 1924 and was followed by similar products. In the last quarter of the 20th century Louis Vuitton developed as a truly global brand: the first LV stores opened in Tokyo and Osaka in Japan in 1978, in South Korea in 1984, in China (1992), in Marrakesh (2000), in Moscow (2003), and New Delhi (2003). Louis Vuitton had also become part of the LVMH conglomerate that owned Moët champagne, Hennessey cognac, and the Lacroix and Givenchy fashion labels. By the late 20th century the LV label was applied to a wide range of expensive products, other than travel goods per se. These included watches, silk scarves, pens (such as those designed by Anouska Hempel in 1997), and ready‐to‐wear clothing and footwear (initiated in 1998). Frenchman Marc Sadler became the company's artistic director in 1998, marking the start of a number of fresh initiatives and collaborations with designers, illustrators, and artists.

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