VOLEZ VOGUEZ VOYAGE (TO FLY TO SAIL TO TRAVEL) is an exhibit you should fly, sail or travel to immediately! The story of Louis Vuitton, as told by Jennifer, our enthusiastic docent, was nothing less than riveting.
The exhibit is in Manhattan in the old American Stock Exchange building at 86 Trinity place, since Gaston, grandson of Louis, loved all things Art Deco. We saw 16 mini-rooms, 1100 products, all in celebration of Louis Vuitton, his descendants, and his industrialization of travel that changed the world.
As we went from room to room, Louis came to life. In 1835 at age 14, he walked to Paris in two years, working along the way. In Paris, he apprenticed to a crate manufacturer.
By age 19, Louis founded his own company as an expert trunk maker, revolutionizing the industry with the first flattop, stackable trunks (as opposed to rounded trunks.) His son George would later design the famous LV Monogram to honor his father.
And the things we saw: trunks for cars, trains and planes; a vertical wardrobe trunk that held 30 pairs of shoes; and Lauren Bacall’s and Elizabeth Taylor’s trunks. His creations were strong yet lightweight.
Louis soon invented the Steamer Bag for the purpose of holding dirty laundry since privileged women often wore 6-10 outfits a day.
Although Louis died in 1892, his son and grandson made the brand more versatile, fashionable and global. They created everything from leather handbags and typewriter cases, to overnight bags and violin cases. All leather was the finest quality, the stitching always meticulous.
The Red Carpet Room was a showcase of glamorous gowns. Apparel is as luxurious as everything made by Louis Vuitton. Such luxury comes with a hefty price, since everything is hand-made, a painstaking process.
In 2017, the company was valued at $28.8 billion with more than 460 stores in 50 countries. It has often been named “The world’s most valuable luxury brand.” The exhibit is free and is open until January 7, 2018. To loll in such luxury, call 1-866- 884-8866 or visit louisvuitton.com