Last Sunday I went to the beautiful Grand Palais in Paris to see the exhibition called “Volez Voguez Voyagez” (“Fly Sail Travel ” in English) about Louis Vuitton.
I must say that I was a little bit sceptical about the exhibition thinking that it will just be a display of luxury goods…. but I was wrong!
The exhibition is an ode to a passionate, dedicated, hard-working, innovative, courageous, talented person.
The exhibition is an ode to quality craftsmanship. It is so good to see, in our industrial world, what human hands can do with beautiful natural materials such as wood!
This luxury brand started with a simple man coming from a modest family who had talents, who was visionary and innovative and who had a passion. I personally admire people with an entrepreneur spirit, with a passion, with a taste for quality and who starts something from scratch. It was definitely the case for Louis Vuitton!
The scenography of the exhibition is well thought and beautifully executed! It is all about travelling as the products from Louis Vuitton was first of all travelling accessories.
When you go around you have this feeling of going back to the 20’s, which is my favourite period in history as I find that women were chic, classy and elegant.
So everything started with this guy… Louis Vuitton.
He comes from Anchay, a small village from the Jura Mountains in the East of France. He arrived in Paris when he was fourteen and worked as a box maker/packer apprentice for Romain Marechal who had a small company manufacturing boxes in which women could have their voluminous wardrobes.
He learned how to use wood which was the most important material for him. Wood reflected Louis humble origins and reminded him of the forest of his native area.
Louis Vuitton founded his own company in 1854, creating trunks made of wood, leather, textile, etc….and having “high class” customers such as the Empress Eugenie.
At the request of André Citroën who organised expeditions through Africa Louis Vuitton created trunks adapted to explorers (tea sets, toiletries, etc…)
The rise of yachting, aviation, train inspired Louis Vuitton to create accessories such as steamer bags…
Louis Vuitton died in 1892 and his son and grand-son continued the Vuitton adventure. The famous monogram LV will be officially the emblem of the company in 1896.
Volez Voguez Voyagez!