Louis Vuitton began manufacturing trunks in Paris in 1854, and the company he started went on to become one of the world's most famous makers of luxury goods, known especially for its designer luggage pattern: a beige-on-chestnut monogram, "LV." Vuitton's high-quality travelling trunks were such a hit that he had to expand his factory within a few years, relocating to Asniéres in 1860. As the years went by the Vuitton line gained international recognition, thanks in part to a bronze medal at the 1867 World's Fair and a gold medal at the 1889 World's Fair, both held in Paris. After Louis died in 1892, his son, Georges, took the company to new heights, developing what is recognized as the first "designer label" on a product. (Widespread copying of Vuitton patterns pushed Georges to design the distinctive "LV" monogram.) Vuitton's luggage company has since become a world leader in luxury consumer goods, with products that include travel books, perfume, distilled spirits and designer clothing.

Georges Vuitton is also credited with developing Vuitton's unique five-combination lock... In 1936, after Georges died, his son, Gaston-Louis, took the helm of the company... In 1983 the Louis Vuitton company joined with America's Cup to form the Vuitton Cup, a preliminary competition -- called an eliminatory regatta -- for the world's most prestigious yacht race... In 1998 Vuitton entered the world of high fashion with the designs of Marc Jacobs.


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