Louis Vuitton Information Guide

Louis Vuitton

In 1837 Louis Vuitton arrived in Paris at the age of 16. His father was a farmer and his mother died when he was only 10 years old. At only 14 he left home and began a long 2 year journey on foot to Paris for a better life. He acquired an apprenticeship under Monsieur Maréchal at a box making and packing workshop. At the time, carriages and trains were the main modes of travel and luggage was handled roughly. Craftsmen such as Vuitton were hired to pack their belongings carefully. After Vuitton was hired by the wife of Napolean Bonaparte III he gained a reputation as a trunk master and worked for the royal and elite of Paris. In 1854 he opened his first shop on Rue Neuve des Capucines. Louis Vuitton worked up until his death in 1892 at the age of 72, leaving the company to his son Georges.

Louis Vuitton locks, Louisvuitton.com

In 1886 Georges invented and patented a locking system that made it impossible for thieves to pick during travel. The Tumbler lock was so effective, Georges publicly challenged Houdini (an American escape artist) to break out of it. Houdini never accepted the challenge. This lock is still used today.

In 1896 to honor the death of his father, Georges Vuittion designed the signature LV monogram. The design is patterned with LVs, quatrefoils, and flowers. By this time, the brand had grown enough popularity to attract many counterfeiters and the new design was meant to distinguish their brand globally. 

Certificate of LV Monogram Trademark

LVMH Headquarters Paris France, Michel Euler

In 1987 Louis Vuitton joined Moet Hennessy, creating the LVMH conglomerate. Today, LVMH is the largest luxury conglomerate, owning 75 different brands under 6 business groups. Some huge names in the fashion industry under the LVMH group include Christian Dior, Fendi, Givenchy, Celine, and Tiffany & Co.

In 1925 Chanel commissioned her own custom LV bag which was originally called the Squire bag. The bag was dome shaped and designed to hold just your personal belongings unlike their large travel pieces. It wasn’t until 1934 when Chanel allowed them to release the handbag for mass production to the public. It was redesigned throughout the years, renamed Champs-Élysées, and then finally named the Alma. The iconic bag became so popular it has been created in BB, PM, MM, and GM sizes. Today, it comes in BB and PM.

Louis Vuitton Alma BB bag, Louisvuitton.com

Louis Vuitton Nano Speedy bag, Louisvuitton.com

In 1930 Georges created the Keepall for shorter trips. That same year he shrunk the bag to carry personal items and called it the Express. Although the bag was smaller than other luggage bags, it was still considered luggage. Follwing the success of Breakfast at Tiffany’s,  Audrey Hepburn requested that they shrink the bag further so that she could carry it on a daily basis and the Speedy 25 was born. It now comes in the sizes nano, 20cm, 25cm, 30cm, and 35cm. 

In 1932, the Noé bag was created by Gaston Vuitton, George’s son. He designed the bag with a reinforced bottom and drawstring closure to carry 5 champagne bottles without breaking. The bag was able to carry 4 bottles sitting upright and one upside down in the center. Today, the bag comes in the sizes Nano, BB, Petite, and the largest called simply “Noé” which is the original size meant to carry champagne. 

Louis Vuitton Alma BB bag, Louisvuitton.com

Louis Vuitton Bag Sizes
Nano/Mini/Micro Following today’s tiny bag trend, LV introduced these sizes for selected iconic bags. Bags that come in these sizes include the Speedy, Noe, and Capucines
(Baby Bandoulière)
The Baby Bandouliere, which translates to "baby shoulder" describes their line of baby sized bags with a detachable shoulder or crossbody strap. Most bags come in this size.
(Petit Modèle)
The Petit Modèle, meaning small model in French, describes their line of petite or small sized bags. Most bags come in this size.
(Moyen Modèle)
The Moyen Modèle, meaning medium model in french, describes their medium sized bags. Most bags come in this size but some have been discontinued.
(Grande Modèle)
The Grande Modèle, meaning large model in French, describes the largest size for their bags. This size is used mainly for larger tote bags such as the Neverfull or On the Go.
Louis Vuitton Date Codes & Factories
France A0, A1, A2, AA, AAS (Special Order), AH, AN, AR, AS, BA, BE, BJ, BU, DR, DU, CO, CT, ET, FL, LM (2019 onwards), LA (2019 onwards) LW, MB, MI, NO, RA, RI, SA, SD, SF, SL, SN, SP, SR, TJ, TH, TR, TS, TY, VI, VX
Italy BC, BO, CE, FO, MA, PL, RC, RE, SA, TB, TD, NZ
BC (2015 onwards), CA, JJ (mostly straps), LO, LB, LM, LW, GI, UB
United States FC, FH, LA, OS, SD, TX, FL