Luxury Luggage | Louis Vuitton First Class Icons for the Ages

Luxury Luggage | Louis Vuitton First Class Icons for the Ages

Immerse yourself in luxury this Spring and come to view one of the most extraordinary collections of Louis Vuitton luggage and paraphernalia, going under the hammer on 30 April. 

28 March 2024

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In the world of haute couture, few patterns or motifs can rival the iconic status and instant recognition of the Louis Vuitton monogram canvas. Originating in 1896 from the visionary mind of George Vuitton, this design has not only endured the test of time but has also become a symbol of unparalleled quality, luxury and exclusivity for over 120 years.

After having founded the company in 1854 and pioneered the manufacture of canvas-clad trunks, creating lightweight and durable luggage, paired with the invention of the unpickable lock in 1888, the eponymous Louis Vuitton died in 1893; his son, George Vuitton, inherited a company everyone sought to mimic. In the years following the Franco-Prussian War, the business struggled significantly, having to be rebuilt from the ground up following the destruction of the workshop during the war. Moreover, copying of the company's original designs by rival manufacturers throughout Paris also started to become an issue, undermining the value and quality of the brand.

 

A Louis Vuitton monogrammed canvas English 'Alzer' suitcase (£1,200-1,800)

A Louis Vuitton monogrammed canvas English 'Alzer' suitcase (£1,200-1,800)

 

To put a definitive stop to the plagiarism, George introduced the world to the monogram canvas, a worldwide copyrighted design and tribute to his late father, which would spread across the top echelons of society, becoming an instant symbol of status and means. With this mark and an emphasis on the American markets, the monogram canvas soon became a frequent sight on the glamorous ocean liners on which the social elite travelled between the metropolitan hubs of the world.

To further help propel the brand to the upper stratosphere of the fashion world, George opened shops in the socialite hotspots of the world, such as New York, Buenos Aires, London and Bombay (now Mumbai). In addition, he opened the new and, to this day, iconic flagship store on the Champs-Élysées, where clients can still shop the extensive range of models offered or, if in pursuit of the ultimate distinction, shop for 100% bespoke and customisable pieces designed in-store. Taking all forms and filling all requirements, commissions came from celebrities, maharajas, explorers, nobility and royalty, with cases created for the specific storage of, for example, books, shaving balms, cigars, and shoes.

 

A Louis Vuitton monogrammed canvas valise à chaussures 'Géminé' shoe trunk (£8,000-12,000)

A Louis Vuitton monogrammed canvas valise à chaussures 'Géminé' shoe trunk (£7,000-12,000)

 

The transition into the third generation of ownership saw George's son, Gaston-Louis, take the reins and project the brand forward through the Art Deco era, introducing many of the brand's most iconic designs along the way. It was also under his leadership that the company expanded into luxury leather goods, as well as smaller pieces of luggage such as the iconic Keepall, the Alma and the Speedy, thus encompassing a luxury lifestyle beyond travelling.

 

A Louis Vuitton monogrammed canvas Cabas Neverfull 'Saint Barth' tote bag (£1,500-2,000)

A Louis Vuitton monogrammed canvas Cabas Neverfull 'Saint Barth' tote bag (£1,500-2,000)

 

Coming to Sworders' April Design sale is an extraordinary collection of Louis Vuitton luggage executed in the iconic monogram canvas. Comprising the rare and exceptional, the collection ranges from Alzers in all sizes and Super Presidents to bespoke and custom order pieces such as watch boxes and cocktail bars. The piece de resistance, however, must be the unique bespoke trunk made for its sou’wester-wearing inhabitant – Willy Carnard, a giant rubber duck who has travelled the world within the confines of the trunk, now travelling toward a new home. When not in use, the collection has been looked after and cared for by Louis Vuitton in Paris, ensuring it is ready to hit the road in style whenever needed.

 

A Louis Vuitton monogrammed canvas special order portable bar (£18,000-22,000)

A Louis Vuitton monogrammed canvas special order portable bar (£18,000-22,000)

 

Having been utilised on everything from champagne bottles to shoes, the monogram canvas remains one of a few instantly recognisable symbols of the fashion world, having remained so for over a century, being re-invented and mimicked in the process. Immerse yourself in luxury this Spring and come to view one of the most extraordinary collections of Louis Vuitton luggage and paraphernalia, going under the hammer on 30 April. With many pieces in the collection having waiting lists longer than a year, this is a fantastic opportunity to acquire rare and coveted pieces. Having been professionally cared for, this remarkable collection is ready for new adventures, ready to accompany you on many journeys across the world in style.

 

A Louis Vuitton monogrammed canvas bespoke 'rubber duck' trunk (£15,000-22,000)

A Louis Vuitton monogrammed canvas bespoke 'rubber duck' trunk (£18,000-22,000)

 


 

 

Tuesday 30 April | 10am

design@sworder.co.uk | 01279 817778

 

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