The brand’s signature LV has been spotted on bags carried by everyone from Paris Hilton to Angelina Jolie. But there’s so much more to the luxury label than its place on the arm of Hollywood’s hottest A-listers. In fact, this fashion powerhouse has had a long and fascinating history that has managed to make it a cultural phenomenon time and time again. So read on for a little bit of history and some crazy-cool facts about the luxe brand behind some of your favorite bags.
1. Louis Vuitton Malletier began his career as a trunk maker at age 16.
2. The house of Louis Vuitton was founded in 1854.
3. Louis’s son George Vuitton created a new type of lock, the tumbler lock.
4. The brand’s signature monogram canvas debuted in 1896 as a way to fight counterfeits.
5. In 1914, the largest luggage store in the world was opened by the brand on Champs-Élysées in Paris.
6. Items are still made by hand in France.
7. The famous monogram inspired artist Salvador Dalí to create the “Dalígram.”
8. Sex and the City helped instigate a craze for the designer and its knockoffs.
9. Celebrities including Angelina Jolie, Madonna, and David Bowie have posed for the brand, but the strangest campaign star may be Mikhail Gorbachev, the final president of the USSR.
10. The label is part of LVMH, a group comprising 70 retail houses including Christian Dior, Donna Karan, and Givenchy.
11. The M and H in LVMH stand for Moët and Hennessy, two popular brands of alcohol.
12. According to Forbes, Louis Vuitton is considered the world’s 14th most valuable brand.
13. As of 2013, the brand had been mentioned 19 times in songs by Kanye West.
14. Marc Jacobs was the brand’s artistic director for 16 years, from 1997 to 2013.
15. The head designer for Louis Vuitton is currently Nicolas Ghesquière, who took the helm in 2013.