Every once in a while a girl gets lucky as Louis Vuitton decides to invite her to the very source where magic happens and the prettiest and most desirable creations are conceived. To insiders it’s known as the so-called Secret Places (#secretplaces) where a select flock of people are invited to… and indeed hidden behind the walls of a typical Parisian suburban street lies the Louis Vuitton Family House which has been the workshop of the maison ever since 1859.
My visit started with a welcoming tea party in the central room of the Family House, which turned out to be a spectacular culminating point of Art Nouveau work including a set of beautiful stained glass windows that had me in total awe.
I then witnessed a bit of Louis Vuitton history as I was taken into the archives where the highlights were revealed. Of course a lot of beautiful flat top trunks were part of the journey and most of them were in the so-called Checked Damier, which was the very first print that Louis Vuitton created. The iconic LV monogram was only introduced in 1986 by Georges Louis to prevent counterfeiting. And why the focus on flat trunks? Well, it was Louis Vuitton that innovated the travel world with his stackable flat trunks as before this, trunks came with a round top that allowed water to run-off.
One of my favorite archive pieces was a bag that was originally used to store laundry. Designer Kim Jones took inspiration of the amazing graphical logo and used it for his SS 2012 debut menswear collection. Needless to say that being surrounded by so much beautiful goodies, this wish list of mine is getting longer and longer…
I was also totally hypnotized with this Oriental inspired cabinet consisting of wooden inlay work that pretty much seemed to have inspired Mr Vuitton in the creation of his ever so iconic monogram. The resemblance is pretty striking, don’t you think?
The workshop in Asnières has become over the years the place where all special orders are created (including some amazing custom-made trunks) and where the most luxurious exotic leather bags come to life. It’s all meticulous handwork and it's amazing to see how the savoir-faire that is passed onto younger generations by Louis Vuitton experts. It’s pretty amazing to see how trainees are educated to master the technical skills and dedication required to make a Louis Vuitton trunk or exceptional bag.
The process is unbelievable and many steps are taken from the very beginning of the inspecting of the leather to the very end, when a beautiful piece of covetable art comes to life.
Many thanks to Louis Vuitton for this incredible experience and thanks to Maya Bogaert for joining me on this trip and for making the beautiful pictures.