Volez, Voguez, Voyagez

Gwen Lee
February 18, 2016


I recently visited the Louis Vuitton Expo at the Grand Palais and it beautifully brought to life the history of Louis Vuitton. The expo is named "Volez, Voguez, Voyagez" because Vuitton designed his bags for all modes of transportation: Fly, Sail, Travel!

Louis Vuitton. Who hasn’t heard of him? The famous brand was founded by a box maker / packer apprentice. He founded his company in 1854 and it has grown to be the phenomenon it is today.

The man of the hour: Louis Vuitton as a young man.

His very first trunk was on display! The fact that his first trunk was not only intact but looked nearly new shows the timelessness of his creations. Louis Vuitton products are made to last.

Fun fact, Empress Eugenie, the style icon of the century, was one of his first customers. Once she was seen with something, everyone wanted it.

His trunks were innovations of the time because they were the first to have flat tops so that you could stack his trunks. This was much more convenient because the wealthy were known to bring many trunks on their travels, not that the rich were ever tasked with carrying their own luggage. For instance, an entire wooden trunk could be brought for just four hats. This new version of the trunk helped make storing and loading trunks much easier. The adjectives most associated with his trunks are strength and lightness.

Vuitton’s son later created a theft-proof lock for their trunks that were already so popular because of their transportation ease, lightweight, and stylish look.

Vuitton’s famous steamer bags were a great hit because they were a much lighter mode of storage on sea travels. Steamer bags could be rolled up and stored when they weren’t being used. It was the modern day gym bag.


The evolution of these transportable bags led to the beautiful bags we see today.

Louis Vuitton created bags for all modes of transportation since his market was mainly the wealthy and the wealthy were the ones who could afford travels. His products were designed for boats and yachts, like the steamer bag, and here for flights as well.


When Marc Jacob was the head designer of Louis Vuitton, he was very inspired by graffiti. Here’s a humorous bag he created.

It says, “ My wife is always asking for money. $200 one day, $150 the next, $125 after that. “That’s crazy”, my friend said. “What does she do with it? “I don’t know”, I said. “I never gave her any.”

Everytime I meet a woman who can cook like my Mother… She looks like my Father.

My wife went to the beauty shop and got a mud pack. For two days she looked beautiful. Then the mud fell off.

I’ve been married for thirty years and I’m still in love with the same woman. If my wife ever finds out, she’ll kill me.”


Here is the white multicolor monogram Marc Jacobs created with Takashi Murakami.

Same monogram in black.

Here is Nicholas Ghesquiere, the current creative director of house Louis Vuitton's Fall 2014 Ready to Wear collection. 

Here's me reading Louis Vuitton’s book/collection of designs. The book covers are made of beautiful monogrammed leather.

Another fun fact, the monogram was created to combat counterfeits.

There was a cool painting of Louis Vuitton in Paris for sale at the gift shop.

I took a picture of a picture in one of the books sold at the gift shop. It is of Louis Vuitton trunks stacked like the Tour Eiffel.

An artisan worked on creating one of the newest leather coin purse right in front of us. The amount of precision and concentration required is astounding. The designs were, of course, beautiful.

Paris, merci for these amazing expos!

Au revoir,

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Gwen Lee

<p>Salut! Je m&#39;appelle Gwen. I am a sophomore at Babson College and currently about 11% fluent in French. I hope to remedy that while wining and dining in the beautiful city of Paris. I am majoring in Business with a focus in Marketing. Follow along my stories to experience the ups and downs of studying abroad à Paris!</p>

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