Forbes

LOUIS VUITTON AT 200

A truncated history of the famed luggage maker.

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August 4, 1821

Born to a working-class family in eastern France, Louis Vuitton leaves home at 16 to build a new life in Paris—a 292-mile walk away.

1859

After apprentici­ng under a renowned box maker, Vuitton opens his own shop and launches a revolution­ary flat, waterproof steamer trunk.

1896

Four years after Vuitton dies at 70, his son Georges debuts the famed LV monogram print in honor of his father.

1925-34

Louis Vuitton introduces its first handbags: the Alma (custom-made for Coco Chanel), the Keepall and a bucket bag, the Noé, designed to carry Champagne.

1987

Three years after the brand goes public, Bernard Arnault merges Louis Vuitton with Moët Hennessy in a $4 billion deal to form the luxury conglomera­te LVMH.

2018

Virgil Abloh is named creative director of menswear, ushering in a new genderand timebendin­g future for the brand.

2020

Forbes names Louis Vuitton the world’s most valuable luxury brand, worth $47.2 billion with $15 billion in annual sales— all from thinking outside the box.

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