Louis Vuitton Malletier - commonly referred to as Louis Vuitton or shortened to LV - is one of the world's leading international fashion houses. Founded in 1854, Louis Vuitton and the famous LV monogram are among the world's most valuable brands. Originally a maker of high quality trunks, the company has since expanded into other leather goods, as well as clothing, shoes, watches, jewelry, accessories, sunglasses and other items. In 1977, Louis Vuitton merged with Moet et Chandon and Hennessy to become LVMH, a luxury good conglomerate that owns many of the leading luxury fashion houses in the world.
LV's signature Monogram canvas was launched in 1896, and is patent protected worldwide. The pattern which consists of the LV monogram, quatrefoils and flowers was based on the trend of the time to use Japanese and Oriental designs. The Damier canvas pattern was introduced previously in 1888. The company remained a manufacturer and retailer of travel goods, notable trunks, until 1930, when it introduced the Keepall. In 1932, the Noe was created and the Speedy was introduced soon thereafter. These continue to be manufactured and remain popular around the world. The most iconic bags, such as the Speedy and the Neverfull, are available every season. Other bags are offered on a limited basis, some in collaboration with other artists such as Stephen Sprouse (in collaboration with Marc Jacobs), Richard Prince, Takashi Murakami, and most recently Yayoi Kusama. In 2013, in an effort to revitalize its image of an ultra-luxury handbag brand, LV introduced a high end of luxury handbags available in limited quantities, including its W Tote, which was an instant success.
In November 2013, Louis Vuitton hired Nicolas Ghesquiere, who made Balenciaga a 21st century fashion powerhouse, as its women's Creative Director. As he did at Balenciaga, taking Crisobal Balenciaga's vision and turning it into avant garde, must have fashion, Ghesquiere created the Petite Malle, a chic mini take on the classic LV trunk. Debuted in the fall/winter 2014-2015, it was quickly deemed the next "It" bag and the breakout star of the season. Since his debut, Ghesquiere's handbag collections have been modern and fresh reinterpretations of the brand's famous trunk and handbag styles.
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