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Wednesday 7 July 2021

The Homeless Boy Who Invented Luis Vuitton

The homeless boy who created LUIS VUITTON.

LUIS VUITTON is the most valuable brand in the world valued at about $30,000,000,000 LUIS VUITTON was born in Anchy, France in 1821. With no money or job he used to work odd jobs with artisans and craftmen bearly making any more but harnessing valuable skills.

He was born by a farmer and hat maker at the time of Napoleonic war and many farmers including the VUITTON's faced bankruptcy.

At a young age he had no choice but to work on family farms. He planted and harvested crops, raised animals and stock piled firewood.

When LUIS turned 10 life became even more difficult as his mother passed away and soon after the dad Xvier vuitton got married. Luis stepmom as wicked as villains in fairy tale, made LUIS life miserable and eventually he had enough.

After LUIS turned 13 in 1835, he quietly ran way from their home in Anchey and headed to Paris with no money or food. Fortunately he found odd jobs with artisans and craftmen who taught him how to work with stones, wood, metal and fabric.

Still he had no money for shelter and became homeless. The first railway line in France had just open and travel became more accessible and industries began to boom. Craftsmen started making boxes for travellers. Who needed to put their arts and many things that could withstand long trips.

They also needed the service of packaging to prevent breaking of their arts. Since LUIS had the skill he learnt he decided to try and work in the train. Fortunately Monsieur Marechal hired LUIS VUITTON as an apprentice. He never earn more but willingness to work paid off later. He became the most favorite among Marechals workers.

Later on the Empress of France appointed him as her personal bags maker. After 4 years his bags were in high demand and he opened his first shop. Early on LUIS VUITTON came up with ideas for new products that changed the industry standard.

Traditional bags were made of leather and rectangular shape. Rain can't penetrate since me made the angles domed. This made the boxes impossible to stack and time consuming to load. 

Rectangular LUIS VUITTON bag.

To tackle these problems LUIS experimented with new materials and settled on canvas. When compared to leather, canvas was durable, lighter and more water resistant while waterproofing compounds make the boxes grey, it looked more clean and modern.

Using canvas materials LUIS created a slat trunk and his new product marked the birth of modern luggage. After 2 year of customers being skeptical it became a necessity.

Afterwards he set out for new invention, handbags. At the time hand bags were not impressed by the society because many people complained that they were bulky and would cause injuries to women. Still LUIS believed that they have potential and decided to make them with canvas.

He made them to suit different outfits and eventually LUIS could not keep up and demand help from his son George. Like his father George VUITTON came in with new ideas that changed the industry standard.

He created the tumble lock that turned trunks in to treasure chest and prevented theft. The family products became more desirable but soon after production came to halt.

A war erupted and destroyed the business -making LUIS VUITTON homeless for a 2nd time.

The Franco Prussian war caused the fall of LUIS. He and his family were forced to leave their home and workshop in Asnieres for the city. There they lived in a cramped shelter among refugees food became scarce that the vuittons nearly starved to death. 

When war ended, LUIS VUITTON returned home and was devastated to fine his material stolen and workshop distroyed. Using the remainder of the savings Luis waisted no time in rebuilding his workshop and finding a new shop location.

Months of reopening business was thriving again and orders came in from all over the world. Luis now tried to embolden himself with new ideas. At the time, technology was was advanced enough to print custom patterns on fabrics.

Since canvases are fabrics, LUIS VUITTON was able to create a line of trunk covered in a striped pattern. It updated and show people how up to date they were. It also made it more difficult for counterfeiters to copy his work.

Afterwards LUIS received many international orders that he opened a shop in London. His clientele was diversified which included royals and explorers.

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He became the only designers whose products can be found in bother homes of the elites and exotic rainforests. Eventually LUIS VUITTON decided to create his own catalogue to make ordering easy. It was a swift move to make the business face à new dimension. Same year an unexpected tragedy stormed on Luis efforts.

LUIS suddenly passed away in his home at the age of 72(1821 to 1892). Till today the cause of his death is unknown. It was now up to George VUITTON to take on his father's unfinished plans. George waisted no time to raise the business and travelled to the US to attend the world fair. 


Experience taught him that he needed an international sales network. Fortunately he met John Wanamaker the post master who could help. He pioneer the idea of departmental store and invented the price tag.

After meeting George he started selling LV in his New York departmental store. It became the first in the US to carry the brand. It was then that George created a monogram in memory of his father; a floral pattern with an interlocking L and V. Customers were shocked to see the monogram on products. Time changed and the new design took off. From then George and his son Gaston continued to follow LUIS VUITTON's footsteps and creating new designs.

They started creating noteworthy creations, even a bag to carry wine and champagne, keep all, and a redesign. A redesign of the coco channel commission, Alma. By then George had trashed across every state in the US.

Like his father he was bound to bring the business to new heights but unfortunately history repeated itself. He passed(1857-1936) away leaving Gaston to continue with LUIS unfinished plans alone.

Gaston was off to an unlucky start. The 2nd world war erupted and contracts were cancelled. Gaston has no choice but to shot down LV Factory and Stores. In LV a French Saga, the author claimed that Gaston became so desperate to survive and collaborated with the ruling party for Germany because he gave a green light to produce commemoratives busts and set up a shop in Vichy, France. The author claimed others were shot down but LV was the only shop allowed to open.

After the war ended in 1946, Gaston tasked his sons Henry, Jacque and Claude VUITTON with rebuilding the company. With their fathers guide the rebranded new models of luggage each year. 

But after Gaston's passing (1883-1970) business stagnated. Hard sided luggages became less popular. They divided themselves about how to run the company. 

They asked their sisters husband Henry Racamier to take over. By then Henry founded and sold a steel trading company for large profit. He had a keen business view and turned LV from wholesale to retail and tapped to the Asian market(Japan). 

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Within 6 years LV soared from $20 million to $260 million. It was then that Henry took LV public. 2 months later LV stocks started to fluctuate. Analysts warned that sales might fall since counterfeit goods were on the rise.

Still Henry went ahead with opening stores all over the world. Within just a few years, he proved the analysts were wrong this was in 1987.

LV reached almost $1 billion dollars in sales and merged with Möet-Hennessy, a champagne and cognac producer to produce a luxury goods conglomerate LVMH to prevent outside takeover.

Do you want more of the story? Or how möel wanted to bring down LUIS VUITTON in court? Use the comment section.

Rooney Nshing is simply a blogger by heart and scientist by soul passionated by Agriculture.

Good morning 🌄 my Africa greetings from 237.

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