French businessman, craftsman, designer, and founder of his namesake leather goods brand, Louis Vuitton, died on February 27, 1892.
Louis Vuitton was born in Anchay, France in 1821 into a working class family. Tormented by his stepmother and bored of the mountain life, Vuitton set out for the exciting city of Paris at the tender age of 13. It took him two years to walk the nearly 300 miles from Anchay to Paris, stopping ever so often along the way for shelter and food.
Once he made it to Paris, Louis Vuitton served as an apprentice under successful box maker Monsieur Marechal. Within a few years, Vuitton had made a name for himself as a premier craftsman of boxes and luggage within the Parisian fashion scene.
When the Empress of France commissioned Louis Vuitton, he became exposed to a new elite and royal clientele. Vuitton even created a new luggage trunk that was easier to transport and stack, more water resistant, more durable, and lighter; critics called this trunk the birth of modern luggage.
However, Louis Vuitton’s luggage business came screeching to a halt at the onset of the Franco-Prussian War. Vuitton returned to his shop following the war only to find a ransacked factory, no remaining workers, and the village o f Asnieres in ruins.
With fervent determination, Louis Vuitton devoted his time to making his luggage company bigger and better and set up shop in an affluent section of Paris at the address of 1 Rue Scribe. Vuitton spent the next 20 years molding his luggage business into a luxury brand until his death in 1892. Since then, Louis Vuitton has become one of the most sought after and recognizable luxury brands around the globe.