Ever since the establishment of his maison in 1854, Louis Vuitton has swept us off our feet. After walking from the Jura mountains all the way to Paris, the young trunk-maker settled near the very chic place Vendôme. His trunks are a breed apart, combining savoir-faire and creativity.
Vuitton took the impractical and cumbersome domed trunk of his era and turned it into the flat-topped, and stackable, trunk. He also replaced the heavy leather exterior with far lighter linen canvas. This was revolutionary. His first canvas-lined trunks that bore motifs were created in 1870 – like the checkered one – and in 1896 he introduced his famous monogram, setting himself apart from the copycats.
Vuitton catered to many a profile. The first that comes to mind is probably the silver spoon-fed European youth who set out on long and expensive Grand Tours and needed a place to store their many trinkets. However, he also created a special case – the Malle Bibliothèque – for Hemingway. Some of Vuitton’s trunks can be opened like a camping bed, others turn into dressing tables, or shower cubicles, others still are designed to protect delicate cameras, a musical instrument, golf clubs, or a collection of fishing poles. No matter how eccentric his patrons’ requests were, Vuitton made it a reality. Thanks to his resilient nature, he collaborated with distinguished and talented people.
From Grand Tours to Grand Prix
It is no surprise then, that the maison works hand in hand with athletes and sports institutions alike, creating bespoke trophies cases – most recently the Official Trophy Trunk of the Australia Open – like those for the Davis Cup, Roland-Garros, both the Rugby and the Football World Cups, the Formula One Trophy (Monaco Grand Prix), the Ballon d’Or, the Larry O’Brian Championship Trophy (NBA), the Auld Mug (America’s Cup), and even the Summoner’s Cup (League of Legends WOLRDS).
Louis Vuitton solidifies its image as a brand that blends elegance and excellence by signing Spanish tennis champion Carlos Alcaraz as their new ambassador. This comes in the wake of Alcaraz winning Wimbledon in 2023 and reaching first place in the ATP rankings.
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This collaboration between Alcaraz and Vuitton resulted in the creation of the Malle Vestiaire where Alcaraz’s stores his sports equipment. The trunk was developed in the historic Asnières workshop in the western suburbs of Paris, the birthplace of all Louis Vuitton trunks. Among the gear, we can find some monogram stamped tennis balls and his two grand slam titles. Alcaraz said ‘these objects perfectly define me’. The trunk is made of fine wood and the iconic monogram stamped canvas, as well as the maison’s signature components – brass locks, clasps, and rivets – but also features hand painted illustrations. These illustrations echo the tennis players short but very accomplished career and are expressed by vintage style heraldry marking his initials, date, and place of birth.
The vanilla coloured padded inside of the trunk is home to the many shelves and the five drawers with their leather handles, and microfiber lining. The main drawer comes with woven cotton straps, a clever nod to the legendary Secrétaire Linge trunk. According to Alcaraz ‘Working on this Malle Vestiaire with Louis Vuitton’s artisans has been a great experience and a privilege […] I am really proud of what we’ve been able to create together with this collaboration.’
The Malle Vestiaire is also available in the Monogram Eclipse canvas, an all-black interior, bespoke for the New Zealand rugby player Dan Carter – another of Louis Vuitton’s ambassadors. The Malle Vestiaire is entirely customisable, as each piece is tailor made.
Malle Vestiaire – €150,000