The Louis Vuitton logo: The history behind the logo, meaning, and pattern

The Louis Vuitton logo: The history behind the logo, meaning, and pattern

In the fashion industry, the Louis Vuitton logo is well known and revered. The fashion behemoth is connected with success and trends, from celebrities to influencers. The brand's success, however, has a drawback. Louis Vuitton is one of the world's most counterfeited accessories. So why is the logo in such high demand? Is it just an astute marketing strategy?

The Louis Vuitton logo
French fashion company Louis Vuitton, part of the world's biggest luxury group LVMH, is seen on the facade of the factory in Asnieres-Sur-Seine, Paris suburb, on May 27, 2010. Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP
Source: Getty Images

Louis Vuitton is well-known for its leather, impeccable tailoring, and distinctive monogram, the LV emblem. However, few people are aware of the history of the renowned brand. How did it start, who was the founder, and what its current value is?

Who started Louis Vuitton?

Frenchman Louis Vuitton Malletier launched the Louis Vuitton label in Rue Neuve des Capucines in Paris in 1854. He started by selling travelling trunks that were unique at the time. The available bags had rounded tops to prevent water from soaking in. However, Louis decided to engineer flat top trunks.

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His trunks were easy to stack on top of each other, making them ideal for long journeys. The bags became a success and were favoured by travellers across Europe.

Due to the overwhelming success of his brand, Malletier decided to change the Trianon design to a beige and brown stripes design to avoid counterfeiting.

Business boomed, and Malletier displayed the bags in various exhibitions across Europe. Then, unfortunately, Louis Vuitton died in 1892, and his son Georges Vuitton assumed control of the company.

To grow the brand and avoid copycats, Georges patented the logo worldwide. The trademark monogram canvas logo with LV was first introduced in 1896. It had quatrefoils, flowers and the LV monogram. The pattern was inspired by the late Victorian craze of employing Japanese Mon designs.

The success led to another milestone for the company. In 1913, the first Louis Vuitton building was unveiled in Paris. Later, the company opened outlets in New York City, London, Washington D.C., Alexandria, and Buenos Aires.

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Georges Vuitton died in 1936, and his son Gaston-Louis Vuitton took over the business. Then WWII happened, and the company entered a controversial phase in its history. After the Germans invaded France, many companies failed but Louis Vuitton survived.

How did the fashion behemoth survive? Well, they collaborated with the Germans to boost their income and keep their business alive. However, after the war, the company faced criticism for collaborating with the Germans.

Regardless, the fashion behemoth managed to overcome that phase and reinvented its product lineup. The business started adding leather into its product line and redesigned its Monogram Canvas.

Since the '40s, the company has been doing well. In 1997, another milestone occurred, Louis Vuitton opened its first women's clothing line. It has since become one of the world's most profitable fashion brands. Research in 2010 ranked them as the 19th most valuable brand, with just over $19 billion.

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The Louis Vuitton symbol

The Louis Vuitton logo
The logo of Louis Vuitton is pictured in the street of London, United Kingdom, on 11 December 2019. Photo: Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto
Source: Getty Images

What does the Louis Vuitton logo mean? The logo represents the initials of the founder, Louis Vuitton Malletier. Since 1892, the only change to the Louis Vuitton emblem has eliminated the brand's name beneath the monogram.

Designer Mark Jacobs started utilizing the LV monogram alone in all marketing endeavours in 1997. Apart from this minor change, the logo you see now is identical to the first design of a century ago.

Louis Vuitton logo pattern

The Louis Vuitton logos reflect the timeless nature of the brand. The design reflects the company's long and dramatic history. It's a status symbol that hasn't altered much in over a century.

Is it illegal to use the LV logo? Well, it depends on the mode of application. If you use the logo for personal use, then it's considered art. However, to use the logo on a product is illegal, as it misrepresents the commodity.

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Louis Vuitton products

The Louis Vuitton logo
A vintage Louis Vuitton crossbody on July 18, 2016, in Berlin, Germany. Photo: Christian Vierig
Source: Getty Images

Louis Vuitton trunks have been handcrafted since the nineteenth century. Each trunk is assigned a unique serial number and can take up to 60 hours to construct, while a suitcase might take 15 hours.

The company sells its products through its stores worldwide, maintaining control over product quality and pricing. It also enables LV to block the entry of counterfeit goods into its distribution channels.

Among the popular products sold by the outfit is the Louis Vuitton crossbody. The bags are among the best sellers for the company. Another product is the collaboration with the boy band group Bangtan Boys (BTS).

So, what is Louis Vuitton BTS? It is a collaboration between the South Korean music group BTS and Louis Vuitton. BTS was announced as brand ambassadors for LV back in April 2021.

The Louis Vuitton logo is a well-known trademark all over the world. From a trunk manufacturer to a fashion powerhouse, the company has evolved. Celebrities and iconic figures have praised the brand, which is focused on providing high-quality products.

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