Jewellery is born of myriad inspirations. Rarely, though, does it take the life of a man for its starting point. Louis Vuitton’s latest collection, Bravery, however, is as intrepid as its name suggests. Celebrating the bicentenary of his birth, it is a jewelled biography of the founder of one of the largest luxury houses in the world.
Francesca Amfitheatrof, Louis Vuitton’s artistic director for jewellery and watches, is the brains behind the collection. Two years ago, she immersed herself in the house’s archives to discover the man behind the brand, the visionary who foresaw the expansion of international travel in the 19th century, and whose inventions, such as the stackable canvas trunk in 1858, won him awards and royal patronage around the globe. Further innovations, such as the tumbler lock and instantly recognisable LV logo, enabled him to influence what we recognise today as the definition of luxury.
“Louis Vuitton was such an innovator and a pioneer that he created this path to understanding the world of travel and how it was going to expand over time,” says Amfitheatrof. She credits him with establishing the strength of vision that remains the brand’s guiding light: “He trailblazed a path that we now take for granted.”