If you survived the logomania of the early 2000s, you know: there’s no monogram easier to recognize than Louis Vuitton.
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. The Start
2. Destined For Greatness
Louis’s son George Vuitton created a new type of lock, the tumbler lock.
4. A Great Escape
The father and son were so sure of their lock that they challenged Harry Houdini to a public escape. Sadly, Houdini didn’t agree.
5. A True Original
The brand’s signature monogram canvas debuted in 1896 as a way to fight counterfeits.
In 1914, the largest luggage store in the world was opened by the brand on Champs-Élysées in Paris.
7. Crafted With Care
Items are still made by hand in France.
8. All For the Show
The famous monogram inspired artist Salvador Dalí to create the “Dalígram.”
9. Modern Art
More recently, the brand has teamed up with artists like Takashi Murakami and Stephen Sprouse.
10. Carrie’s Choice
Sex and the City helped instigate a craze for the designer and its knockoffs.
11. Star Power
12. What’s in a Name?
13. Cheers to That
The M and H in LVMH stand for Moët and Hennessy, two popular brands of alcohol.
14. Power Player
15. Louis Louis Louis
As of 2013, the brand had been mentioned 19 times in songs by Kanye West.
16. Behind the Design
17. A New Beginning
The head designer for Louis Vuitton is currently Nicolas Ghesquière, who took the helm in 2013.