Since establishing its reputation as a purveyor of fine monogrammed luggage over a century ago, the Louis Vuitton brand has evolved to meet the demands of modern women, both in terms of fashion trends and lifestyle.
This evolution is explored with an almost scientific rigor in “Louis Vuitton City Bags: A Natural History,” a new illustrated book published by Rizzoli.
Fashion historian Florence Müller collaborated with sociologist Jean-Claude Kaufmann, author Ian Luna and journalists Colombe Pringle and Mariko Nishitani for a multidisciplinary approach.
The result is an in-depth history and impressively complete taxonomy of the French brand’s famous bags, which have come to symbolize the essence of modern fashion.
Family trees and family portraits
From trunks and suitcases to the Steamer bag, a soft-sided tote that was a step along the road to today’s city bags, the authors trace the roots of each line of LV’s iconic luggage and handbags.
Readers can discover the genealogy of the “Neverfull” and the iconic “Sac Plat,” for example, which descended from a laundry bag and a rigid clothing case.
The work also includes a selection of “family portraits,” illustrating various lines and styles of Louis Vuitton bags through the ages. One photograph, taken by Patrick Gries, brings together around 30 prestigious pieces, ranging from early trunks to modern handbags.
The authors also cover some of the brand’s most notable collections, including the Speedy, Papillon, Alma, Lockit, Noé, Bucket and Pochette lines, providing a sweeping overview of the luxury brand’s bags across the generations.
Campaigns and brand ambassadors
Collectors and loyal fans will also get a look at the brand’s campaigns through the years, illustrated with archival images of early Louis Vuitton advertisements and more modern fashion photographs.
The book includes images from Bert Stern’s 1967 shoot for Vogue UK, for example, featuring the British model Twiggy posing with the Papillon bag and the Toilette pouch.
“Louis Vuitton City Bags: A Natural History” is published by Rizzoli and priceed at $85.