Harper's Bazaar March 2016 - Page 76

STYLE Bazaar BAZAAR DECODES ...the heritage o f tr o L u e i s Vu a Th it gage reinvented: g u ll e v ity Steamer B C ag n to (Clockwise from top left) Portrait of Louis Vuitton; looks from Louis Vuitton Resort 2016 and Spring 2016 shows; Louis Vuitton City Steamer bag, price upon request; making of the Louis Vuitton City Steamer bag. COURTESY: GRÉGOIRE VIEILLE / LOUIS VUITTON IN 1855, when Monsieur Louis Vuitton opened his luggage shop in Paris, he drew a clientele that prized his innovative trunks. They were light, easy to stack, and featured drawers and slots that weren’t easy to find in other trunks available at the time. In 1901, responding to the changing travelling needs of his customers, his son Georges Vuitton created the Steamer Bag. At the time, it epitomised what Louis Vuitton would come to be in the following years: The go-to luggage maker for the privileged. Empress Eugénie of France (wife of Napoleon III), King Alfonso XII of Spain, and Czar Nicholas II had been some of LV's royal patrons. In the new century came designer Coco Chanel, the Aga Khan, and actor Mary Pickford. The spacious Steamer was designed to fit into LV's travel trunks and could be hung in cabins for easy access to essentials on train journeys. It quickly became popular because of its design— which easily fit into the baggage racks on prestige steam trains, hence earning it the name. And inspired by the same iconic Steamer luggage line, the City Steamer bag was revealed at Louis Vuitton’s Resort 2016 show. Nicolas Ghesquiére created the bag to blend the brand’s travel traditions with a ladylike shape and discrete feminine signatures. It features the handles of the Louis Vuitton Dora handbags and a trapezoidal shape against the original, more rigid rectangular shape. Seen recently in the arms of Selena Gomez, the City Steamer bag has gone on to become one of LV’s most exclusive offerings, available in three sizes, and is only made to order. n 76