This article was publish on the Jerusalem Post
If you are like me and have a taste for the fine things in life and you prefer to invest in a good quality item that lasts through passing fashion trends then you understand the real value of a luxury product. So did Mr Vuitton when he first started his iconic brand under his name in France more than 150 years ago in 1854. From making travel trunks and suitcases for upper class clients he fast became the leading master in his field and until this day the brand is synonymous with luxury travel and leather goods.
In 1859 Louis Vuitton opened his workshop in Asnieres, a village 30-40 minute drive from Paris to expand his workshop and keep up with the many orders for his now known suitcases that came through from high society personalities. Very soon Asnieres was not only a manufacturing site but also the family’s residence for several generations. This way there was no need for Mr Vuitton and his wife to commute from Paris to the workshop every day (a journey that took several good hours back then with a horse carriage). Today this site remains the heart of the brand’s well known heritage and the tradition of the art of savoir – fair (know-how)
This iconic art deco house is open for VIP clients, members of the press and company’s staff for gatherings and meetings. The workshop is one of 12 Louis Vuitton workshops in France, this one is unique because this is where all the special orders and limited editions are made, and as it turns out nothing is impossible to make here. From exotic custom made leather goods in vibrant colors made out of ostrich and crocodile skins to personalized trophy cases made for Tennis and olympic champions, to made to measure jewellery boxes for the rich and famous and even skateboards, all of which off course, will carry the famous LV monogram and will be made with the highest level of craftsmanship. What makes each Louis Vuitton product that is made here so unique is the amount of work and planning that goes into it. Imagine that 10 or more people are working on one bag, or suitcase. Each person is specializing in a different part of the product, one is cutting the pattern or mastering the woodwork to perfection, the other is gluing the pieces together the third adding the hinges and some adding the final touches, and all together they create the perfect LV product through an uncompromising knowledge passed through the years and team effort.
The third part of the Asnieres compound is the Louis Vuitton travel museum, dedicated to the history of the brand, where you can find the first personalized trunks from the early days all the way to extraordinary fashion show pieces by previous Creative Director Marc Jacobs and current designer Nicolas Ghesquiere and some of the brand’s well known window displays.
In today’s fast fashion market when everything is available for immediate purchase the iconic luxury brand is more unique than ever, keeping producing their products in the exact same way as they did 150 years ago while adapting to the fast pace world we live in takes a lot of effort and thought, this kind of remarkable combination between historical traditions, superior artisan craft, and modern design is what will make Louis Vuitton last for many more years to come.