Louis Vuitton
Overview
Louis Vuitton Malletier – commonly referred to as Louis Vuitton (lwi vɥitɔ̃, commonly ˈluːiː viːˈtɒn), or shortened to LV – is a French fashion house founded in 1854 by Louis Vuitton
Louis Vuitton (designer)
Louis Vuitton , was the founder of the world-famous Louis Vuitton brand of leather goods now owned by LVMH. He had established a reputation in his fields of making luggage, thus was appointed as trunk-maker to Empress Eugénie de Montijo, wife of Napoleon III...

. The label is well known for its LV monogram, which is featured on most products, ranging from luxury
Luxury good
Luxury goods are products and services that are not considered essential and associated with affluence.The concept of luxury has been present in various forms since the beginning of civilization. Its role was just as important in ancient western and eastern empires as it is in modern societies...

 trunks and leather goods to ready-to-wear, shoes, watches, jewellery, accessories, sunglasses, and books. Louis Vuitton is one of the world's leading international fashion houses.
Encyclopedia
Louis Vuitton Malletier – commonly referred to as Louis Vuitton (lwi vɥitɔ̃, commonly ˈluːiː viːˈtɒn), or shortened to LV – is a French fashion house founded in 1854 by Louis Vuitton
Louis Vuitton (designer)
Louis Vuitton , was the founder of the world-famous Louis Vuitton brand of leather goods now owned by LVMH. He had established a reputation in his fields of making luggage, thus was appointed as trunk-maker to Empress Eugénie de Montijo, wife of Napoleon III...

. The label is well known for its LV monogram, which is featured on most products, ranging from luxury
Luxury good
Luxury goods are products and services that are not considered essential and associated with affluence.The concept of luxury has been present in various forms since the beginning of civilization. Its role was just as important in ancient western and eastern empires as it is in modern societies...

 trunks and leather goods to ready-to-wear, shoes, watches, jewellery, accessories, sunglasses, and books. Louis Vuitton is one of the world's leading international fashion houses. Louis Vuitton sells its products through standalone boutiques, lease departments in high-end department stores, and through the e-commerce section of its website.

From foundations to World War II

The Louis Vuitton label was founded by Vuitton in 1854 on Rue Neuve des Capucines in Paris, France. In 1858, Vuitton introduced his flat-bottom trunks with trianon canvas, making them lightweight and airtight. Before the introduction of Vuitton's trunks, rounded-top trunks were used, generally to promote water run off, and thus could not be stacked. It was Vuitton's gray Trianon canvas flat trunk that allowed the ability to stack with ease for voyages. Becoming successful and prestigious, many other luggagemakers began to imitate LV's style and design.

In 1867, the company participated in the universal exhibition in Paris
Exposition Universelle (1867)
The Exposition Universelle of 1867 was a World Exposition held in Paris, France, in 1867.-Conception:In 1864, Emperor Napoleon III decreed that an international exposition should be held in Paris in 1867. A commission was appointed with Prince Jerome Napoleon as president, under whose direction...

. To protect against the duplication of his look, he changed the Trianon design to a beige and brown stripes design in 1876. By 1885, the company opened its first store in London, England on Oxford Street. Soon thereafter, due to the continuing imitation of his look, in 1888, the Damier Canvas pattern was created by Louis Vuitton, bearing a logo that reads "marque L. Vuitton déposée", which translates into "L. Vuitton registered trademark". In 1892, Louis Vuitton died, and the company's management passed to his son.

After the death of his father, Georges Vuitton began a campaign to build the company into a worldwide corporation, exhibiting the company's products at the Chicago World's Fair
World's Columbian Exposition
The World's Columbian Exposition was a World's Fair held in Chicago in 1893 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus's arrival in the New World in 1492. Chicago bested New York City; Washington, D.C.; and St...

 in 1893. In 1896, the company launched the signature Monogram Canvas and made the worldwide patents on it. Its graphic symbols, including quatrefoils and flowers (as well as the LV monogram), were based on the trend of using Japanese and Oriental designs in the late Victorian era
Victorian era
The Victorian era of British history was the period of Queen Victoria's reign from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. It was a long period of peace, prosperity, refined sensibilities and national self-confidence...

. The patents later proved to be successful in stopping counterfeiting. In this same year, Georges traveled to the United States, where he toured various cities (such as New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago), selling Vuitton products during the visit. In 1901, the Louis Vuitton Company introduced the Steamer Bag, a smaller piece of luggage designed to be kept inside Vuitton luggage trunks.

By 1913, the Louis Vuitton Building opened on the Champs-Elysees
Champs-Élysées
The Avenue des Champs-Élysées is a prestigious avenue in Paris, France. With its cinemas, cafés, luxury specialty shops and clipped horse-chestnut trees, the Avenue des Champs-Élysées is one of the most famous streets and one of the most expensive strip of real estate in the world. The name is...

. It was the largest travel-goods store in the world at the time. Stores also opened in New York, Bombay, Washington
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

, London, Alexandria
Alexandria
Alexandria is the second-largest city of Egypt, with a population of 4.1 million, extending about along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the north central part of the country; it is also the largest city lying directly on the Mediterranean coast. It is Egypt's largest seaport, serving...

, and Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires is the capital and largest city of Argentina, and the second-largest metropolitan area in South America, after São Paulo. It is located on the western shore of the estuary of the Río de la Plata, on the southeastern coast of the South American continent...

 as World War I began. Afterwards, in 1930, the Keepall bag was introduced. During 1932, LV introduced the Noé bag. This bag was originally made for champagne vintners to transport bottles. Soon thereafter, the Louis Vuitton Speedy bag was introduced (both are still manufactured today). In 1936 Georges Vuitton died, and his son, Gaston-Louis Vuitton, assumed control of the company.

During World War II, Louis Vuitton collaborated
Collaborationism
Collaborationism is cooperation with enemy forces against one's country. Legally, it may be considered as a form of treason. Collaborationism may be associated with criminal deeds in the service of the occupying power, which may include complicity with the occupying power in murder, persecutions,...

 with the Nazis during the German occupation of France. The French book Louis Vuitton, A French Saga, authored by French journalist Stephanie Bonvicini and published by Paris-based Editions Fayard tells how members of the Vuitton family actively aided the puppet government led by Marshal Philippe Pétain
Philippe Pétain
Henri Philippe Benoni Omer Joseph Pétain , generally known as Philippe Pétain or Marshal Pétain , was a French general who reached the distinction of Marshal of France, and was later Chief of State of Vichy France , from 1940 to 1944...

 and increased their wealth from their business affairs with the Germans. The family set up a factory dedicated to producing artifacts glorifying Pétain, including more than 2,500 busts.

Caroline Babulle, a spokeswoman for the publisher, Fayard, said: "They have not contested anything in the book, but they are trying to bury it by pretending it doesn't exist." Responding to the book's release in 2004, a spokesman for LVMH said: "This is ancient history. The book covers a period when it was family-run and long before it became part of LVMH. We are diverse, tolerant and all the things a modern company should be." An LVMH spokesman told the satirical magazine Le Canard Enchainé
Le Canard enchaîné
Le Canard enchaîné is a satirical newspaper published weekly in France. Founded in 1915, it features investigative journalism and leaks from sources inside the French government, the French political world and the French business world, as well as many jokes and humorous cartoons.-Early...

: "We don't deny the facts, but regrettably the author has exaggerated the Vichy episode. We haven't put any pressure on anyone. If the journalists want to censor themselves, then that suits us fine." That publication was the only French periodical to mention the book, LVMH is the country's biggest advertiser in the press.

1945 through 2000

During this period, Louis Vuitton incorporated its leather into most of its products, ranging from small purses and wallets to larger pieces of luggage. In order to broaden its line, the company revamped its signature Monogram Canvas in 1959 to make it more supple, allowing it to be used for purses, bags, and wallets. It is believed that in the 1960s, counterfeiting returned as a greater issue to continue on into the 21st century. In 1966, the Papillon was launched (a cylindrical bag that is still popular today). By 1977 with annual revenue up to 70 million Francs ($14.27 million US$). A year later, the label opened its first stores in Japan: in Tokyo and Osaka
Osaka
is a city in the Kansai region of Japan's main island of Honshu, a designated city under the Local Autonomy Law, the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and also the biggest part of Keihanshin area, which is represented by three major cities of Japan, Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe...

). In 1983, the company joined with America's Cup
America's Cup
The America’s Cup is a trophy awarded to the winner of the America's Cup match races between two yachts. One yacht, known as the defender, represents the yacht club that currently holds the America's Cup and the second yacht, known as the challenger, represents the yacht club that is challenging...

 to form the Louis Vuitton Cup
Louis Vuitton Cup
The Louis Vuitton Cup is a yachting competition connected with the America's Cup. The Louis Vuitton Cup was used as the selection series to select the team to sail as the challenger in the America's Cup...

, a preliminary competition (known as an eliminatory regatta) for the yacht race. Louis Vuitton later expanded its presence in Asia with the opening of a store in Taipei
Taipei
Taipei City is the capital of the Republic of China and the central city of the largest metropolitan area of Taiwan. Situated at the northern tip of the island, Taipei is located on the Tamsui River, and is about 25 km southwest of Keelung, its port on the Pacific Ocean...

, Taiwan in 1983 and Seoul
Seoul
Seoul , officially the Seoul Special City, is the capital and largest metropolis of South Korea. A megacity with a population of over 10 million, it is the largest city proper in the OECD developed world...

, South Korea in 1984. In the following year, 1985, the Epi leather line was introduced.

1987 saw the creation of LVMH
LVMH
LVMH Moët Hennessy • Louis Vuitton S.A., better known as LVMH, is a French multinational luxury goods conglomerate headquartered in Paris, Île-de-France, France. The company was formed after the 1987 merger of fashion house Louis Vuitton with Moët Hennessy, a company formed after the 1971 merger...

. Moët et Chandon
Moët et Chandon
Moët & Chandon , or Moët, is a French winery and co-owner of the luxury goods company Moët-Hennessy • Louis Vuitton. Moët et Chandon is one of the world's largest champagne producers and a prominent champagne house. The company holds a Royal Warrant to supply champagne to Elizabeth II...

 and Hennessy
Hennessy
Jas Hennessy & Co., or more simply Hennessy, is a world-leading cognac house with headquarters in Cognac, France. Today, the company of Jas Hennessy & Co...

, leading manufacturers of champagne and cognac
Cognac
Cognac is a commune in the Charente department in southwestern France. It is a sub-prefecture of the department.-Geography:Cognac is situated on the river Charente between the towns of Angoulême and Saintes. The majority of the town has been built on the river's left bank, with the smaller right...

, merged respectively with Louis Vuitton to form the luxury goods conglomerate. Profits for 1988 were reported to have been up by 49% more than in 1987. By 1989, Louis Vuitton came to operate 130 stores worldwide. Entering the 1990s, Yves Carcelle was named president of LV, and in 1992, his brand opened its first Chinese location at the Palace Hotel in Beijing. Further products became introduced such as the Taiga leather line in 1993, and the literature collection of Voyager Avec... in 1994. In 1996, the celebration of the Centennial of the Monogram Canvas was held in seven cities worldwide.

After introducing its pen collection in 1997, Louis Vuitton made Marc Jacobs alongside Jae its Art Directors the following year in 1998. In March of the following year, they designed and introduced the company's first "prêt-à-porter" line of clothing for men and women. Also in this year products introduced included the Monogram Vernis line, the LV scrapbooks, and the Louis Vuitton City Guide.

The last events in the 20th century were the release of the mini monogram line in 1999, the opening of the first store in Africa in Marrakech, Morocco in 2000, and finally the auction at the International Film Festival in Venice, Italy, where the vanity case "amfAR" designed by Sharon Stone
Sharon Stone
Sharon Vonne Stone is an American actress, film producer, and former fashion model. She achieved international recognition for her role in the erotic thriller Basic Instinct...

 was sold with the proceeds going to The Foundation for AIDS Research
AmfAR
amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to the support of AIDS research, HIV prevention, treatment education, and the advocacy of sound AIDS-related public policy.-History:...

 (also in 2000).

2001 to present day

By 2001, Stephen Sprouse
Stephen Sprouse
Stephen Sprouse was a fashion designer and artist credited with pioneering the 1980s mix of "uptown sophistication in clothing with a downtown punk and pop sensibility" .-Career:...

, in collaboration
Collaboration
Collaboration is working together to achieve a goal. It is a recursive process where two or more people or organizations work together to realize shared goals, — for example, an intriguing endeavor that is creative in nature—by sharing...

 with Marc Jacobs
Marc Jacobs
Marc Jacobs is an American fashion designer. He is the head designer for Marc Jacobs, as well as Marc by Marc Jacobs, a diffusion line, with more than 200 retail stores in 60 countries. He has been the creative director of the French design house Louis Vuitton since 1997...

, designed a limited-edition line of Vuitton bags that featured graffiti
Graffiti
Graffiti is the name for images or lettering scratched, scrawled, painted or marked in any manner on property....

 written over the monogram pattern. The graffiti read Louis Vuitton and, on certain bags, the name of the bag (such as Keepall and Speedy). Certain pieces, which featured the graffiti without the Monogram Canvas background, were only available on Louis Vuitton's V.I.P.
Very Important Person
A Very Important Person, or VIP is a person who is accorded special privileges due to his or her status or importance.Examples include celebrities, heads of state/heads of government, major employers, high rollers, politicians, high-level corporate officers, wealthy individuals, or any other...

 customer list. Jacobs also created the charm bracelet, the first ever piece of jewelry from LV, within the same year.

In 2002, the Tambour watch collection was introduced. During this year, the LV building in Tokyo's Ginza
Ginza
is a district of Chūō, Tokyo, located south of Yaesu and Kyōbashi, west of Tsukiji, east of Yūrakuchō and Uchisaiwaichō, and north of Shinbashi.It is known as an upscale area of Tokyo with numerous department stores, boutiques, restaurants and coffeehouses. Ginza is recognized as one of the most...

 district was opened, and the brand collaborated
Collaboration
Collaboration is working together to achieve a goal. It is a recursive process where two or more people or organizations work together to realize shared goals, — for example, an intriguing endeavor that is creative in nature—by sharing...

 with Bob Wilson
Bob Wilson
Bob Wilson may refer to:*Bob Wilson , played for the 1958 L.A. Dodgers*Bob Wilson , British cartoonist of the Stanley Bagshaw series of children's cartoons...

 for its Christmas windows sceneography. In 2003, Takashi Murakami
Takashi Murakami
is an internationally prolific contemporary Japanese artist. He works in fine arts media—such as painting and sculpture—as well as what is conventionally considered commercial media —fashion, merchandise, and animation— and is known for blurring the line between high and low art...

, in collaboration with Marc Jacobs
Marc Jacobs
Marc Jacobs is an American fashion designer. He is the head designer for Marc Jacobs, as well as Marc by Marc Jacobs, a diffusion line, with more than 200 retail stores in 60 countries. He has been the creative director of the French design house Louis Vuitton since 1997...

, masterminded the new Monogram Multicolore canvas range of handbags and accessories. This range included the monograms of the standard Monogram Canvas, but in 33 different colors on either a white or black background. (The classic canvas features gold monograms on a brown background.) Murakami also created the Cherry Blossom pattern, in which smiling cartoon faces in the middle of pink and yellow flowers were sporadically placed atop the Monogram Canvas. This pattern appeared on a limited number of pieces. The production of this limited-edition
Special edition
The terms special edition, limited edition and variants such as deluxe edition, collector's edition and others, are used as a marketing incentive for various kinds of products, originally published products related to the arts, such as books, prints or recorded music and films, but now including...

 run was discontinued in June 2003. Within 2003, the stores in Moscow, Russia and in New Delhi, India were opened, the Utah and Suhali leather lines were released, and the 20th anniversary of the LV Cup was held.

In 2004, Louis Vuitton celebrated its 150th anniversary. The brand also inaugurated stores in New York City (on Fifth Avenue), São Paulo
São Paulo
São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil, the largest city in the southern hemisphere and South America, and the world's seventh largest city by population. The metropolis is anchor to the São Paulo metropolitan area, ranked as the second-most populous metropolitan area in the Americas and among...

 , Mexico City
Mexico City
Mexico City is the Federal District , capital of Mexico and seat of the federal powers of the Mexican Union. It is a federal entity within Mexico which is not part of any one of the 31 Mexican states but belongs to the federation as a whole...

 , Cancun
Cancún
Cancún is a city of international tourism development certified by the UNWTO . Located on the northeast coast of Quintana Roo in southern Mexico, more than 1,700 km from Mexico City, the Project began operations in 1974 as Integrally Planned Center, a pioneer of FONATUR Cancún is a city of...

 and Johannesburg
Johannesburg
Johannesburg also known as Jozi, Jo'burg or Egoli, is the largest city in South Africa, by population. Johannesburg is the provincial capital of Gauteng, the wealthiest province in South Africa, having the largest economy of any metropolitan region in Sub-Saharan Africa...

. It also opened its first global store in Shanghai. By 2005, Louis Vuitton reopened its Champs-Élysées
Champs-Élysées
The Avenue des Champs-Élysées is a prestigious avenue in Paris, France. With its cinemas, cafés, luxury specialty shops and clipped horse-chestnut trees, the Avenue des Champs-Élysées is one of the most famous streets and one of the most expensive strip of real estate in the world. The name is...

 store in Paris designed by the American Architect Eric Carlson (reputed to be the largest and most successful LV store in the world), and released the Speedy watch collection. In 2006, LV held the inauguration of the Espace Louis Vuitton on its 7th floor. In 2008, Louis Vuitton released the Damier Graphite canvas. The canvas features the classic Damier pattern but in black and grey, giving it a masculine look and urban feel.

In 2010, Louis Vuitton opened what it described as their most luxurious store in London.

On 17 September 2011, Louis Vuitton opened it's very first Island Maison (island mansion) in Singapore. It is the first 'maison' to be opened in South-east Asia.

Advertising campaigns

The Louis Vuitton company carefully cultivates a celebrity following and has used famous models and actresses such as Jennifer Lopez
Jennifer Lopez
Jennifer Lynn Lopez is an American actress, singer, record producer, dancer, television personality, and fashion designer. Lopez began her career as a dancer on the television comedy program In Living Color. Subsequently venturing into acting, she gained recognition in the 1995 action-thriller...

, Hayden Christensen
Hayden Christensen
Hayden Christensen is a Canadian actor. He appeared in Canadian television programs when he was young, then diversified into American television in the late 1990s. He moved on to minor acting roles before being praised for his role of Sam in Life as a House, for which he was nominated for a Golden...

 and most recently Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie is an American actress. She has received an Academy Award, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and three Golden Globe Awards, and was named Hollywood's highest-paid actress by Forbes in 2009 and 2011. Jolie is noted for promoting humanitarian causes as a Goodwill Ambassador for the...

 in its marketing campaigns. Breaking from their usual traditions of employing supermodels and celebrities to advertise their products, on 2 August 2007, the company announced that the former USSR leader Mikhail Gorbachev
Mikhail Gorbachev
Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev is a former Soviet statesman, having served as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1985 until 1991, and as the last head of state of the USSR, having served from 1988 until its dissolution in 1991...

 would appear in an ad campaign along with Steffi Graf
Steffi Graf
Steffi Graf is a former World No. 1 German tennis player.In total, Graf won 22 Grand Slam singles titles, second among male and female players only to Margaret Court's 24...

, Andre Agassi
Andre Agassi
Andre Kirk Agassi is a retired American professional tennis player and former world no. 1. Generally considered by critics and fellow players to be one of the greatest tennis players of all time, Agassi has been called the best service returner in the history of the game...

, and Catherine Deneuve
Catherine Deneuve
Catherine Deneuve is a French actress. She gained recognition for her portrayal of aloof and mysterious beauties in films such as Repulsion and Belle de jour . Deneuve was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in 1993 for her performance in Indochine; she also won César Awards for that...

. Many rappers, most notably Kanye West
Kanye West
Kanye Omari West is an American rapper, singer, and record producer. West first rose to fame as a producer for Roc-A-Fella Records, where he eventually achieved recognition for his work on Jay-Z's album The Blueprint, as well as hit singles for musical artists including Alicia Keys, Ludacris, and...

 and Juicy J
Juicy J
Jordan Michael Houston, better known by his stage name Juicy J is an Academy Award winning American rapper and record producer from Memphis, Tennessee and is the co-founder and a member of the duo Three 6 Mafia . He is also the younger brother of Project Pat...

 have mentioned the company in certain songs.

The company commonly uses print ads in magazines and billboards in cosmopolitan cities. It previously relied on selected press for its advertising campaigns (frequently involving prestigious stars like Steffi Graf
Steffi Graf
Steffi Graf is a former World No. 1 German tennis player.In total, Graf won 22 Grand Slam singles titles, second among male and female players only to Margaret Court's 24...

, Andre Agassi
Andre Agassi
Andre Kirk Agassi is a retired American professional tennis player and former world no. 1. Generally considered by critics and fellow players to be one of the greatest tennis players of all time, Agassi has been called the best service returner in the history of the game...

, Gisele Bündchen
Gisele Bündchen
Gisele Caroline Bündchen is a Brazilian fashion model, occasional film actress and goodwill ambassador for the UN Environment Programme.In the late 1990s, Bündchen became one of the first in a wave of Brazilian models to find success...

 and Catherine Deneuve
Catherine Deneuve
Catherine Deneuve is a French actress. She gained recognition for her portrayal of aloof and mysterious beauties in films such as Repulsion and Belle de jour . Deneuve was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in 1993 for her performance in Indochine; she also won César Awards for that...

) shot by Annie Leibovitz
Annie Leibovitz
Anna-Lou "Annie" Leibovitz is an American portrait photographer.-Early life and education:Born in Waterbury, Connecticut, Leibovitz is the third of six children. She is a third-generation American whose great-grandparents were Jewish immigrants, from Central and Eastern Europe. Her father's...

. However, Antoine Arnault, director of the communication department, has recently decided to enter the world of television and cinema: The commercial (90 seconds) is exploring the theme "Where will life take you?" and is translated into 13 different languages. This is the first Vuitton commercial ad ever and was directed by renowned French director Bruno Aveillan
Bruno Aveillan
Bruno Aveillan is a multimedia artist, a photographer and a film maker.- Biography :Bruno Aveillan was born in Toulouse. He is one of France's most distinguished and internationally sought after commercials directors. After graduating from Ecole Supérieure des Beaux Arts in Toulouse, he joined...

.

Products

Since the 19th century, manufacture of Louis Vuitton goods have not changed: Luggage is still made by hand. Contemporary Fashion gives a preview of the creation of the LV trunks: "the craftsmen line up the leather and canvas, tapping in the tiny nails one by one and securing the five-letter solid pick-proof brass locks with an individual handmade key, designed to allow the traveler to have only one key for all of his or her luggage. The wooden frames of each trunk are made of 30-year-old poplar
Poplar
Populus is a genus of 25–35 species of deciduous flowering plants in the family Salicaceae, native to most of the Northern Hemisphere. English names variously applied to different species include poplar , aspen, and cottonwood....

 that has been allowed to dry for at least four years. Each trunk has a serial number and can take up to 60 hours to make, and a suitcase as many as 15 hours."

Many of the company's products utilize the signature brown Damier and Monogram Canvas materials, both of which were first used in the late 19th century. All of the company's products exhibit the eponymous LV initials. The company markets its product through its own stores located throughout the world, which allows it to control product quality and pricing. It also allows LV to prevent counterfeit products entering its distribution channels. In addition, the company distributes its products through LouisVuitton.com.

Korean travel retailer Shilla Duty Free is on the verge of striking an agreement to open the world's first Louis Vuitton airport store at Seoul Incheon International airport towards the end of 2011.

Brand

The Louis Vuitton brand and the famous LV monogram are among the world's most valuable brands. According to a Millward Brown 2010 study, Louis Vuitton is the world's 29th most valuable brand, right after Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company is an American multinational diversified financial services company with operations around the world. Wells Fargo is the fourth largest bank in the U.S. by assets and the largest bank by market capitalization. Wells Fargo is the second largest bank in deposits, home...

 and before Gillette. The brand itself is estimated to be worth USD 19.781 billion. For the sixth consecutive year, Louis Vuitton still at number one of ten most powerful brand published by the Millward Brown Optimor's 2011 BrandZ study with value of $24.3 billion. It was more than double value from the second rank.
Louis Vuitton is one of the most counterfeited brands in the fashion world due to its image as a status symbol. Ironically, the signature Monogram Canvas was created to prevent counterfeiting. In 2004, Louis Vuitton fakes accounted for 18% of counterfeit accessories seized in the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

.

The company takes counterfeiting seriously, and employs a team of lawyers and special investigation agencies, actively pursuing offenders through the courts worldwide, and allocating about half of its budget of communications to counteract counterfeiting of its goods. LVMH
LVMH
LVMH Moët Hennessy • Louis Vuitton S.A., better known as LVMH, is a French multinational luxury goods conglomerate headquartered in Paris, Île-de-France, France. The company was formed after the 1987 merger of fashion house Louis Vuitton with Moët Hennessy, a company formed after the 1971 merger...

 (Vuitton's parent company) further confirmed this by stating that "some 60 people at various levels of responsibility working full time on anti-counterfeiting in collaboration with a wide network of outside investigators and a team of lawyers." In a further effort, the company closely controls the distribution of its products. Until the 1980s, Vuitton products were widely sold in department stores (e.g. Neiman Marcus
Neiman Marcus
Neiman Marcus, formerly Neiman-Marcus, is a luxury specialty retail department store operated by the Neiman Marcus Group in the United States. The company is headquartered in the One Marcus Square building in Downtown Dallas, Texas, and competes with other department stores such as Saks Fifth...

 and Saks Fifth Avenue
Saks Fifth Avenue
Saks Fifth Avenue is a luxury American specialty store owned and operated by Saks Fifth Avenue Enterprises , a subsidiary of Saks Incorporated. It competes in the high-end specialty store market in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, i.e. 'the 3 B's' Bergdorf, Barneys, Bloomingdale's and Lord & Taylor...

). Today, Vuitton products are primarily available at authentic Louis Vuitton boutiques, with a small number of exceptions. These boutiques are commonly found in upscale shopping districts or inside luxury department stores. The boutiques within department stores operate independently from the department and have their own LV managers and employees. LV has recently launched an online store, through its main website, as an authorized channel to market its products.

Britney Spears video

On 19 November 2007 Louis Vuitton, in further efforts to prevent counterfeiting, successfully sued Britney Spears
Britney Spears
Britney Jean Spears is an American recording artist and entertainer. Born in McComb, Mississippi, and raised in Kentwood, Louisiana, Spears began performing as a child, landing acting roles in stage productions and television shows. She signed with Jive Records in 1997 and released her debut album...

 for violating counterfeiting laws. A part of the music video for the song "Do Somethin'
Do Somethin'
"Do Somethin" is a song by American recording artist Britney Spears from her first greatest hits compilation, Greatest Hits: My Prerogative. It was released on February 14, 2005 by Jive Records as the second single from the album worldwide except North America...

" shows fingers tapping on the dashboard of a hot pink Hummer
Hummer
Hummer was a brand of trucks and SUVs, first marketed in 1992 when AM General began selling a civilian version of the M998 Humvee. In 1998, General Motors purchased the brand name and marketed three vehicles: the original Hummer H1, based on the Humvee; and the H2 and H3 models that were...

 with what looks like Louis Vuitton's "Cherry Blossom" design bearing the LV logo. Britney Spears herself was not found guilty, but a civil court in Paris has ordered Sony BMG and MTV Online to stop showing the video. They were also fined €80,000 to each group. An anonymous spokesperson for LVMH
LVMH
LVMH Moët Hennessy • Louis Vuitton S.A., better known as LVMH, is a French multinational luxury goods conglomerate headquartered in Paris, Île-de-France, France. The company was formed after the 1987 merger of fashion house Louis Vuitton with Moët Hennessy, a company formed after the 1971 merger...

 stated that the video constituted an "attack" on Louis Vuitton's brands and its luxury image.

'Simple Living'

On 13 February 2007 Louis Vuitton sent a Cease and desist order to Danish art student Nadia Plesner for using an image of a bag that allegedly infringed Louis Vuitton's intellectual property rights. Plesner had created a satirical illustration, "Simple Living", depicting a malnourished child holding a designer dog and a designer bag, and used it on T-shirts and posters to raise funds for the charity "Divest for Darfur". On 25 March the court ruled in favour of LV that the image was a clear infringement of copyright
Copyright infringement
Copyright infringement is the unauthorized or prohibited use of works under copyright, infringing the copyright holder's exclusive rights, such as the right to reproduce or perform the copyrighted work, or to make derivative works.- "Piracy" :...

. Despite the ruling, Plesner continued to use the image, arguing artistic freedom, and posted copies of the Cease and desist order on her website. On 15 April 2008, Louis Vuitton notified Plesner of the lawsuit being brought against her. Louis Vuitton demanded $7,500 (5,000 Euro) for each day Plesner continues to sell the "Simple Living" products, $7,500 for each day the original Cease and desist letter is published on her website and $7,500 a day for using the name "Louis Vuitton" on her website, plus legal and enforcement costs.

An LVMH spokeswoman interviewed by New York Magazine said that Louis Vuitton were forced to take legal action when Plesner did not respond to their original request to remove the contested image, nor to the subsequent Cease and desist order. In October 2008, Louis Vuitton declared that the company had dropped its lawsuit but have since reopened it along with a new €205,000 claim due to a painting by the same artist. In May of 2011, the court in The Hague
The Hague
The Hague is the capital city of the province of South Holland in the Netherlands. With a population of 500,000 inhabitants , it is the third largest city of the Netherlands, after Amsterdam and Rotterdam...

 found in favour of Plesner's right to freedom of expression.

Craftsmen advertisements

In May 2010 the British Advertising Standards Authority
Advertising Standards Authority (United Kingdom)
The Advertising Standards Authority is the self-regulatory organisation of the advertising industry in the United Kingdom. The ASA is a non-statutory organisation and so cannot interpret or enforce legislation. However, its code of advertising practice broadly reflects legislation in many instances...

banned two of the company's advertising spots, depicting craftsmen at work on its products, for being in breach of its 'Truthfulness clause'. The ASA said that the evidence supplied by Louis Vuitton fell short of what was needed to prove the products were made by hand. The ASA said that the two adverts would lead consumers to interpret that Louis Vuitton bags and wallets were almost entirely hand-crafted, when they were predominantly created by machine.

The ASA stated: 'We noted that we had not seen documentation that detailed the entire production process for Louis Vuitton products or that showed the proportion of their manufacture that was carried out by hand or by machine. Vuitton denied that their production was automated, arguing that over 100 stages were involved in the making of each bag; they however admitted that sewing machines had been used in production process.'

External links

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