Louis Vuitton - An Essential Guide

Posted by Jonathan Delmas

When was Louis Vuitton founded?
The fashion house of Louis Vuitton was founded when the namesake founder

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Louis Vuitton moved to Paris in 1837. Louis Vuitton began his career as an apprentice in the premises of the successful packaging business owned by Monsieur Maréchal. Vuitton studied the respected craft of box-making, at that time, box-making and packing was focussed on creating carrying cases specific to the items to be transported. The pre-formed cartons and boxes we know today hadn't yet been invented. Vuitton realised early success becoming the personal box-maker and packer to Joséphine, Napoleon ‘s wife. After a time Vuitton decided to strike it alone and opened his own trunk company at 4 rue neuve des capucines. In 1859 Vuitton opened his first workshop. The Louis Vuitton atelier employed saddlers, locksmiths, artisans to create trunks for packing. Vuitton’s original design was a plain color, with the classic strap. The now iconic LV monogram on canvas was not created until 1896, by Vuitton’s son George.

How to pronounce Louis Vuitton ?
Phonetically we would pronounce this as “loo. ee. Vuh.ton”

What fabric are classic LV monogram Louis Vuitton bags made from?
Louis Vuitton bags are produced using an exceptional quality vinyl coated canvas. This fabric is the brand signature and was created in 1896 by george This material is versatile, it is lightweight, water resistant and more durable than certain types of leather. There are three versions of the famous LV monogram which you can choose from on your Louis Vuitton bag.

What materials has Louis Vuitton used to make bags?
As the Louis Vuitton brand has developed, it has expanded the variety of materials that they use in the bag construction. Some key releases include;

  • 2005 denim LV monogram which has been available in blue, green, pink, grey and black LV monogram denim
  • 2010 lin monogram which is a mix of cotton, lin and polyamide
  • 1997 vernis leather, introduced by Marc Jacobs, becoming extremely popular for its shiny monogram leather finish
  • 1920 epi leather was first introduced, then reintroduced in the 1985 collection
  • 2012 the empreinte leather which is a luxurious calfskin leather detailed with the classic LV monogram
  • 2007 the mahina, an LV monogram finished perforated leather, it was inspired by Polynesian culture and the crescent moon
  • 1993 the taiga leather which was inspired by the largest coniferous forest in Russia
  • 2004 the shuali leather made of luxurious goat skin
  • Other leathers have been used by the brand, such as taurillon, lambskin, calfskin and luxurious exotic skins, like the shiny crocodile, python or ostrich leather. These exotic skins have become staples in Louis Vuitton fashion runway shows.



When was the Damier introduced?
Contrary to many people’s expectations the LV monogram was not the first

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design Louis Vuitton used to identify and differentiate their creations. In 1888, Louis Vuitton created the damier ebene, a relatively simple design similar to a checkerboard. “Damier” in French refers to two tones of brown with the trademark Louis Vuitton. In 2006 a new

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interpretation was created, inspired by the french riviera, the damier azur which is a more summery canvas, in 2008 a newest version of this famous design was created, the damier graphite which is black and dark grey in colour. Created to widen the appeal of Louis Vuitton, this finish has proven to be particularly popular with men.

Iconic Louis Vuitton design - Speedy
This iconic bag was created by the brand in 1930 in size 30 but it wasn't called

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the Speedy , it was named the ‘Express’. In 1959 Audrey Hepburn placed a personal request to the Maison, to create a smaller version of the Express, to accommodate Audrey’s request Vuitton created the famous Speedy 25 and instantly this new bag became an “IT bag”. An early example of the power of celebrity.
The Speedy is a simple rounded design, with two handles, a lengthwise zip, and finished with a padlock to secure the bag. The Speedy 25 will complement virtually any personal style and it looks incredible from street to chic.
The Speedy has been made in a range of sizes such as the Speedy nano followed by the Speedy 25, Speedy 30, 35 and 40.

In 2011 the Speedy had a small update through the addition of the bandoulière (strap in French), making this popular bag more versatile as now you can wear it as a crossbody or shoulder bag. The zip closure has also been updated, it can now be closed from either end, making it easier to open and access your belongings inside. You may find some people are referring to this newer version, the Speedy B.

The Speedy bag has been an iconic bag for more than 60 years and been so popular that it has been used in all Louis Vuitton collaborations. Speedy variations we have seen include embroidered versions, epi leather for a more formal style, denim or multicolour are just a few. Some of these limited edition collaborations are highly prized, for example the graffiti speedy can be found on the resale market for up to £5000. If you see one, you may consider snapping it up!. If you have a specific Speedy you are looking for, the Avenard Couture team is happy to reach out into their global contact database to find one for you. Limited edition or not, just ask because you may be only one message from your dream Speedy.

When the Sac Plat was released?
The Sac Plat was introduced in the market in 1968 for the urban professional in need to carry important documents or necessary overnight. Initially the Sac Plat was a hit bag for the jetsetter, its simple structure and convenient shape made carrying documentation simple. Remember in the late 60s everything was done on paper, and there was no internet.  

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In 2020 Louis Vuitton released a mini version, and again the Petit Sac Plat became the hit bag and sold out everywhere. Like the original, the Petit Sac Plat is ideal for a jetset lifestyle, while we have no need for carrying around documents, this gem of a bag will perfectly hold your essentials - phone, passport, lipstick and a lotion.

Is Louis Vuitton a good investment ?
Some Louis Vuitton are very good investments, remember in 2003 marc jacobs collaborated with the famous Japanese artist Takashi Murakami to release a LV monogram with 33 different colours. Now nearly 20 years later these bags are still in fashion and the resale market has remained quite stable, with prices starting at £50 for a small piece through to more than £100,000 for an iconic LV monogram trunk. We have also seen examples of both the Multi Pochette and Petit Sac Plat selling out everywhere and reselling for almost double the price. When shopping for a new bag, we always advise our clients to buy the bag they love, if you are buying for an investment there is risk as the strength of the resale market is driven by the fashion on that day, and fashion changes.

Why is the Multi Pochette so popular ?
We have seen this bag everywhere, so popular and sold out in every Louis Vuitton retail outlet around the world. This bag was inspired by the famous Pochette LV. The Multi Pochette is composed of two bags, a coin purse and a strap.

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This Multi Pochette has been popular everywhere, there’s little wonder why. The Multi Pochette is a versatile addition to your wardrobe, as you can separate the pieces to create different looks depending on your need. You can use the strap on your Speedy or any other Louis Vuitton bag. The coin purse can be attached to your belt or other bag, allowing infinite ways you can style it from street style to super chic. Did you realise that you could use only one of small bags with the gold chain to create yourself a clutch? The Multi Pouchette really will take you from day to night in any situation with style..
Browse our collection, we likely have a Multi Pouchette waiting for you, or don't be afraid to ask, our team is here to help you.

How to know the date of my Louis Vuitton ?
In the early 1980’s, Louis Vuitton introduced “Date Codes”, to help to know when and where your bags or accessories were crafted. The Date Codes are three (3) numbers , the first two (2) indicate the year of production, and the third number indicates the month of production. Using the example here; “853” 85 means was made in 1985 and 3 was produced in march.LV date codes 1 Damier Louis Vuitton LV monogram avenard Couture luxury handbags speedy petit sac plat mini pouchette

Then in the early 1990’s Louis Vuitton changed the presentation of the “Date Codes” by adding 2 letters, those letters indicate which country Louis Vuitton produced the bag.LV date codes 2 1 Damier Louis Vuitton LV monogram avenard Couture luxury handbags speedy petit sac plat mini pouchette

The first two (2) letters are the country reference, the first and third number are the month of production and the second and fourth are the year of production. Using this example “AR1004” AR means made in France, 10 refers to the month of October and 04 refers to the year of production as 2004.
Sometimes you will find that the letters will change. Louis Vuitton has production facilities all around Europe, and the USA. Louis Vuitton products are most commonly produced in France and Spain, but you will sometimes find German, Swiss and Italian produced items.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the Date Code on your bag, you are welcome to contact our authentication team and they will be happy to help you to understand the provenance of your bag.

How can you tell if your Louis Vuitton is genuine?
Being one of the top designers with the most desirable products in the world, Louis Vuitton bags and accessories have been counterfeit quite often. It is quite unfortunate and difficult for the brand to police. Unfortunately the quality of the counterfeit bags are getting better and better, we now are hearing more about “super fakes” which are incredibly difficult to distinguish unless you are a trained bag authenticator. These counterfeit products are illegal in most countries. You may also hear of a bag being referred to as a “Dupe”; this is code for counterfeit, and you should be wary of them.
Here are a few tips to help you spot a genuine Louis Vuitton bag. Louis Vuitton has a very strict bag construction process, and technical requirements. This is helpful for you when trying to figure out if a bag is questionable. For some styles like the Speedy Louis Vuitton uses a single piece of canvas to make the bag and they finish the bag using a wax thread. You can easily see if there are multiple seams in the fabric of the bag. You should also see that the monogram only goes in one direction, and the monogram should perfectly align when the zip closes. The leather handles should feel like quality with no flex. For other tote and sac styles these can be more difficult as they do not follow this one single piece of fabric rule. If you have questions or concerns our authentication team is here to help you.
Increasingly luxury groups like Richmond, LVMH, Prada group, Chanel, etc, are introducing new technologies to address the issue of counterfeit product. On of the most promising is an implant created by Aura Blockchain Consortium. Shortly bags and accessories will be tracked by blockchain technology so that you will be able to attribute all the information on the bag to its new owner. Chanel appears to be leading with the introduction of this technology and have removed the authenticity card, replacing it with a CC logo/metal piece attached inside the bag.
Our team at Avenard Couture understand the threat that counterfeit products bring. Our team is highly trained and are constantly updating their skills. We reduce the risk as much as possible by supplementing our team's skills with the latest AI technology which accesses an enormous database which is constantly being refined and updated. When you buy a bag from Avenard Couture you can rest assured that it has been rigorously tested and is genuine.  Learn more about our Authentication Services by clicking here.


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