Lately Vuitton began a series of innovations: he built flat stacked trunks covered with canvas. This new method protected the luggage and its precious contents and soon met with considerable success – but attractive canvas was copied almost immediately. In 1873, LV launched a counter-attack, introducing a canvas bearing red stripes on a beige background, and a few years later, with a beige monochrome. Success was overwhelming, but with the same result: more and more counterfeit copies.
After Louis death in 1892, his son, Georges, took the company to new heights, developing what is recognized as the first “designer label” on a product – “LV” monogram. LV luggage thus became the first manufactured products to bear the brand name on the outside. Georges also developed the celebrated five-tumbler lock. Unpickable, each lock has its own number that allows the owner to open his entire luggage with a single key. Ever since its invention, this lock has been an element of all suitcases and trunks produced by LV.
In 1998 the superstar New York designer Marc Jacobs joined the firm as Artistic Director. He launches a pret-a-porter Vuitton line, a far cry from the historic luggage and bags. His designer clothes are so popular that Louis Vuitton now produces an entire collection of his shoes and launches in 2004 a jewellery collection as well as highly demanded watches collection. Now barely 40, Jacobs was behind the latest hot handbag wowing the wannabes, the manga “eye” bags designed by Takashi Murakami, a cult Japanese artist whose clean colours and flower shapes have livened up the brown and gold LV leather. Saying it wanted a “sophisticated, influential and sexy woman,” LVMH signed Jennifer Lopez in 2003 for its fall-winter advertising campaign. Marc Jacobs wanted a “contemporary icon” to represent the company and sought “a sophisticated, influential and sexy woman.”