Louis Vuitton puts the focus on its artisans in Assouline’s new book, Louis Vuitton Manufactures. Author, historian and journalist Nicholas Foulkes takes a deep dive into the craftsmanship traditions of the maison, with an exploration of its creations, including trunks, bags, fragrances, watches, shoes, high jewellery and ready-to-wear. The skills intertwined with the design codes of the brand are celebrated in specially commissioned photography that puts the artisans at the heart of the process.

black and white picture of Louis Vuitton founders, image from Louis Vuitton Manufactures book
Louis, Georges and Gaston Louis Vuitton at the Atelier d’Asnières, north-west of Paris

Photography celebrates both the history and contemporary creation methods of the brand, from capturing Louis, Georges and Gaston-Louis Vuitton outside the Atelier d’Asnières to exploring the vast Ranch Rochambeau in Texas. Other images explore artistry, taking a closer look at intricate design methodologies, including the precise stitching on sneakers and refining the cut of the ubiquitous LV monogrammed leather.

Louis Vuitton puts an emphasis on local savoir-faire, drawing on the expertise of global craftspeople in a rethink of the traditional centralised workshop. Ateliers are based around the world – throughout France, in Geneva, Fiesso d’Artico in Italy, and Texas. Workshops are thoughtfully situated: in Ducey in Normandy, the picturesque island of Mont-Saint-Michel can be admired from the window; in Beaulieu-sur-Layon, a light-filled location translates into a low environmental impact.

Inside the page of Louis Vuitton Manufactures

big Texas office
Ranch Rochambeau Texas atelier

The book is an elegant tribute to a house that has stayed faithful to the original design language defined in 1854, with a focus on enduring style and lasting quality. Founder Louis Vuitton brought an art to the mundanity of travel through luggage and accessories that were both practical and chic. In new collections, designers across a range of disciplines, including architecture and art, have reinterpreted this functionality in designs that put artistry at their core. It is an aesthetic succinctly summarised by Louis Vuitton chairman and CEO Michael Burke: ‘Fundamentally, it’s not about luggage, it’s about innovation.’ §

workshop
Place Vendôme atelier
man making jewellery

Place Vendôme atelier

multi coloured Louis Vuitton bag

Ducey atelier