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Louis Vuitton is always on the cutting-edge of fashion, using the finest materials and meticulous details. Their most recent collections include an eclectic color palette, incorporating shades of bright yellow, fuchsia and magenta. Silk pleated pants and fluid tame tops are at the heart of the Spring 2011 women’s collection. Clutches made from exotic animal skins, such as stingray and lizard leather, complement the radically unique outfits. An Asian influence is seen with the carefully pressed Asian jackets, and blouses and skirts are found beaded with vivid crystals. Even the LV shoes are constructed immaculately using patent and suede calf leather.

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This French label was established in 1854 by Louis Vuitton, who had an extensive background in the luggage industry. He was born in 1821 and traveled to Paris in 1835, picking up small jobs along the way. One of his jobs involved designing luggage bags for affluent individuals, including the wife of Napoleon III of France. With this exposure to royalty, Vuitton was able to grasp the elements that made a superb traveling case. Armed with this knowledge, Vuitton began making his own luggage, building the framework for his designer label.

The Louis Vuitton brand was conceived in 1854, and several years later, Vuitto's luggage was lightweight and sealed tight, qualities that were important to travelers. The smart ideas attracted a lot of attention, and many other luggage makers began imitating Vuitton’s designs.
With the Louis Vuitton brand becoming recognizable on a global level, Georges began traveling around the US, targeting the large cities of New York and Chicago. Here he sold Louis Vuitton products and soon introduced the Steamer Bag, which was a small sized luggage bag that fit inside larger luggage trunks. In 1913, the Champs-Elysees was opened and was the largest store in the world that sold travel goods. Other stores were then opened throughout the world, including New York, London and Buenos Aires.

Louis Vuitton continued to introduce new types of luggage throughout World War I, including the Keepall bag, Noe bag and the Speedy bag. The Noe bag was used to transport wine bottles and is still manufactured today, along with the Speedy bag. In 1936, Georges passed away and left the company to his son, Gaston-Louis Vuitton.
During WWII, the label began dabbling in controversial issues, such as by forming a partnership with the Nazis and helping the French government increase their wealth from business affairs with the Germans. This time period, where the German occupation of France was taking place, was documented in literature, although today’s LVMH label feels that many of the “facts” reported in the literature were exaggerated.
This book titled, Louis Vuitton, A French Saga, claimed that the Louis Vuitton label set up a shop and produced materials that supported Philippe Petain, a French Marshal at the time. Many French Jews were sent to German concentration camps at the hands of Petain. Although the Louis Vuitton label acknowledges that this once family-run business may have indeed played a role in Petain’s actions, spoke models state that these actions were long before today’s modern company, LVMH.
After WWII, the label began expanding its product line to offer wallets, purses and bags. During the 1970s and 80s, the brand began reaching out to other countries, including Japan and Asia. This strong influence led the company to change its face in 1987, being known as LVMH, Louis Vuitton – Moet Hennessy. Moet et Chandon and Hennessy were the leading manufacturers of cognac and champagne. This partnership increased sales, driving up profits by 49%. The label had an even stronger global influence as stores opened in China, and the LVMH label became a luxury goods corporation.
Bound for success, Louis Vuitton went on to market the Taiga leather line in 1997 and then launched a men and women’s clothing line the following year. Marc Jacobs became an art director and designed limited-edition bags and jewelry, putting the brand on the runway for success in accessories and ready-to-wear clothing. Even with Louis Vuitton’s extensive product line, their luggage remains some of the most remarkable pieces, as they’re handmade and include impeccable hardware and detailing.
Louis Vuitton remains one of the most successful, valued brands in the world, and all of the products sport the signature LV symbol. This symbol is how consumers are able to tell counterfeited merchandise from the real thing, as the LV label is one of the most copied brands in the world. This counterfeiting has gone on since the 1970s and continues in today’s fashion market. Fortunately, Louis Vuitton lawyers have stepped forward and asked online search engines such as Google to discontinue any ads selling counterfeit LV merchandise.

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