Exploring The Art Of Travel With Louis Vuitton, 7HollywoodMag - Fall 2013/14

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Founded in Paris in 1854, Louis Vuitton is renowned for its trunks, luggage and bags. It’s been revered in rap songs, cherished by celebrities and valued at more than 100 times its original price decades after purchase – Louis Vuitton luggage is  the consummate status symbol, synonymous with luxury, taste and style.

Now a lavish new book documenting the esteemed brand’s expansive range  has been released by Rizzoli New York. "Louis Vuitton City Bags – A Natural History," is

bursting with indepth and educational insight while featuring  stunning photographs and art direction. The book  serves as a rare template exploring the a natural history of Louis Vuitton City Bags.

One of the brand’s identifiable mainstay’s namely its City Bag, is thoroughly examined in this weighty literary tome. City Bags represent the most successful line of accessories in the history of modern fashion and were instrumental  in making Louis Vuitton elevating its sales and international profile.

These soft-sided bags became Vuitton’s trademark, that date back to turn of the 20th century. With their unique and iconic shapes, they are now known by name, Speedy, Papillon, Alma, Lockit, Noé, Bucket, Neverfull, Sac Plat & The Pochette.

In turn this lavish book offers an sought after insight into the design nuances of the City bag range. It also  chronicles the development of the City Bags through a system  referencing the scientific classification of plants and animals. Tracing the origins and history of these bag "families" from the four pieces of hand-carried luggage that served as their direct, generative "ancestors," the Steamer, the Vanity, the Alzer & the Keepall—the book carefully examines the earliest specimens of City Bag through today’s most sought-after collectibles.

Apart from providing as complete a genealogy for each of the main handbag "families", the book examines how the artistic collaborations engaged by Louis Vuitton in the last two decades have hastened the evolution of City Bags, transforming the basic types into increasingly divergent forms. A classic Natural History book, this work is presented in a canvas clamshell with marble paper and a set of eleven illustrated plates.

Photographer Patrick Gries was responsible for the numerous luscious images utilized in this unique book.   Hailing from Luxembourg.In the 1980s, he contributed to various art and design magazines in New York before publishing his first documentary work on post-Communist Romania in 1990.  More notably, he has also  worked with many luxury brands, artists and institutions dedicated to art and design, notably the Fondation Cartier and the Quai Branly Museum in Paris. His photographs capture changing social realities, and have been presented in international exhibitions and numerous publications.

The large portion of the book’s informative text is the work of  Jean-Claude Kaufmann, a French sociologist.  Kaufmann is a specialist in socialization and subjectivity. Another interesting essay by journalist Mariko Nishitani explores L the brand’s presence and influence in Japan.

In additional an incisive introductory essay by Florence Müller bolsters the book’s timelessness and depth. Florence Müller is a French fashion historian. She is also an associate professor at the Institute Français de la Mode, where she teaches historic and contemporary fashion culture.