Arts & Culture - Louis Vuitton Publishing 18/02

Louis Vuitton Manufactures

Published by Assouline, this exclusive book showcases the ateliers of Louis Vuitton and the artisans who create the Maison’s exceptional pieces.

Born out of craftsmanship, Louis Vuitton fosters the idea that an atelier can be a place of fulfillment and individuality. A place where savoir-faire can be learned, respected, and transmitted - and innovation nurtured - by artisans who routinely challenge the image of a traditional workshop. Making sure that the workplace allows and encourages every employee to develop their skills and thrive in the best possible conditions, as well as respecting their uniqueness and differences are essential to the enduring success of Louis Vuitton.

Featuring photographs commissioned exclusively for this book, the volume highlights the extraordinary locations and buildings of Louis Vuitton’s ateliers around the globe, and the equally extraordinary artisans who express their talent through Louis Vuitton’s creations, while carrying the founder’s techniques and savoir-faire into the twenty-first century.

“Fundamentally, it’s not about luggage, it’s about innovation.”

Michael Burke, Louis Vuitton Chairman & CEO

Trunks

Carried out by skilled artisans who possess an authentic sense of craftsmanship and savoir-faire, Louis Vuitton’s trunk making tradition lies at the heart of its legend. The Maison’s atelier in Asnières at the edge of Paris has been the stronghold of Louis Vuitton’s trunk making heritage for over 160 years. Following the same rhythms and using the same tools since the nineteenth century, today dexterous hands at the workshop cut, form, sew, glue, hammer, and assemble each trunk with a venerable precision and patience. From the first domed trunks to the most modern designs produced today, Louis Vuitton’s spirit is still driven by the same reputation for excellence and expertise, and a desire to elevate travel to an art.

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Leatherwork

With multiple ateliers in France including the Vendôme Abbey, and an ultra-modern workshop at Ranch Rochambeau in Texas, USA, Louis Vuitton’s skilled craftsmen balance artisanal heritage and technical innovation, promoting the expertise of local artisans. From the production of city bags to one-of-a-kind runway pieces and exotic leather goods, every model is treated as a unique piece requiring the greatest care and attention in its production, from selecting the hide to the final check, all requiring a mastery of exceptional savoir-faire.

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Jewelry

Combining both outstanding craftsmanship and unparalleled creativity, the Maison’s exceptional savoir-faire is showcased at Louis Vuitton’s High Jewelry atelier on the prestigious Place Vendôme in Paris. Here, master jewelers share a deep understanding and passion for their historic craft, while bringing the Maison’s Artistic Director Francesca Amfitheatrof’s visions to life. In order to showcase and highlight each precious stone, these highly skilled artisans must overcome countless technical challenges with utmost precision, resulting in incredibly complex and intricate creations.

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Watchmaking

Located in the capital of watchmaking since 2014, Louis Vuitton’s La Fabrique du Temps atelier gathers all the horological talents and métiers in one site, allowing the Maison to bring its creative spirit and high-quality craftsmanship to this great art. Since the first Louis Vuitton watch in 2002, a growing collection of innovative watches has earned the Maison the acclaimed reputation of a premier watchmaker. From High Complication Watchmakers and Dial Makers to Movement Constructors, the role of each person in the atelier contributes to the making of these unique and timeless creations.

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Shoes

Located in the heart of a region renowned for its expertise, Louis Vuitton’s shoemaking atelier in Fiesso d’Artico, Italy manifests the dynamism of both the region and the Maison. Here, traditional savoir-faire is passed down from generation to generation, intuitively guided by a very Italian aesthetic sense; by a hand that recognizes, almost without the aid of the eye, the balance of an arch, the perfection of an ankle, or the tracing of a logo. Requiring up to eight months of meticulous work from the first drawing to the finished product, designing a shoe involves 150 to 200 specific operations from sewing and stitching to applying patinas and positioning the heel.

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Ready-to-Wear

After the launch of Louis Vuitton’s first fashion collection in 1998, unprecedented global fame ensued, as did pioneering high-profile collaborations with artists such as Takashi Murakami, Richard Prince, and Stephen Sprouse. Designed and produced with perfection and meticulous detail and savoir-faire in the Maison’s ateliers in Paris, each season’s collections and custom-made red-carpet pieces showcase the expertise of embroiderers, feather workers, pleaters, and all the artisans who create these exceptional garments, bringing the studio’s design sketches to fruition.

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Fragrance

Dedicated to fine perfumery, historic estate Les Fontaines Parfumées, is home to Louis Vuitton’s fragrance workshop in Grasse. Anchoring the Maison in the heritage of Grasse, the worldwide capital for raw materials and the art of perfume for almost five centuries, it is here where Master Perfumer Jacques Cavallier Belletrud dreams up his creations.

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