Louis Vuitton's iconic trunk

Louis Vuitton's iconic trunk

The Louis Vuitton Trunks that Take 150 Hours to Make,Behind the scenes at the Louis Vuitton atelier, where each bespoke piece is the result of a collaboration of specialists, a complex process that has remained largely unchanged since the 19th century.
From Ernest Hemingway’s Library Trunk commissioned in 1923 to the trunks created for artist Damien Hirst and the FIFA World Cup Trophy in recent years, Louis Vuitton trunks have stamped their mark on history and have continued to grace our lives ever since. Enjoy finding out more about how it’s made, and next time you see one, feel free to look – and definitely touch.
Patrick-Louis Vuitton, great-great-grandson of the brand’s founder, is responsible for the maison’s special orders and commissions.

At the historical workshop in Asnières – which dates back 150 years and is also where the brand’s family home and travel museum can be found – the craftsmen have ample natural light as well as top-of-the-line lighting, electrical systems and tools to ensure that the quality of their creations remain uncompromised.

The components are part of the Watercolour Box , a special order for Patrick-Louis Vuitton. While the brand offers “made-to-order” pieces, which allow clients to choose from existing styles, materials and colours.

The craftsman must therefore ensure durability and precision in every aspect of the trunk’s construction, from the wooden structure, coating, slats and corners that contribute to shock absorption, as well as the zinc sheeting for bottom insulation.


Craftsmen use the popular saddle stitch when crafting many of their leather goods. 

The corners and edges of hard-frame luggage – the parts most susceptible to wear and tear – are protected by a strong vulcanised fibre exclusive to Louis Vuitton, known as Iozine.

While machines are used for the more mundane tasks, the steps that require creativity and savoir-faire are all handled by the craftsmen.

Age-old techniques and tools are still used to this day. Here, a craftsman ensures the finishing is perfect with a device that smoothes the leather without damaging it. The whole process from start to finish can take up to six months due to the amount of care and effort put into it.