It’s summer, it’s Friday, and it’s also the 163rd birthday of Louis Vuitton, the man who founded the storied label in Paris in 1854. (It’s also Obama’s birthday. Happy birthday, Barack. We really, really miss you.) In honor of this unofficial fashion holiday—which conveniently falls around the same time moneyed jet-setters hit the skies for some sun-soaked R&R, monogrammed LV luggage in tow—we thought it fitting to take a glamorous little trip down memory lane.
Before the Supreme collabs and the celebrity-filled campaigns and even the Speedy, the Vuitton label began as a maker of trunks, the first of which bore a beige-and-brown-striped pattern called the Rayée. (In 1888, the iconic Damier Canvas pattern that we still see today was introduced.) After Vuitton’s son, Georges, took over the business in 1892, the now-classic Monogram Canvas was born—and the rest, as they say, is history. While the luxury brand has since expanded into everything from smaller bags and wallets to clothes for men and women (Marc Jacobs was named its first-ever artistic director in 1997 and, for those who live under rocks, Nicolas Ghesquière heads up the ready-to-wear now, while Kim Jones designs men's), Vuitton’s leather trunks, which are all made by hand and can take up to 60 hours to finish, have been travel staples of the haute monde—even to this day.
Here, we rounded up some of the most legendary figures in history who’ve been photographed hauling around their very own LV bagage (or have been spotted next to a lowly bellhop hauling it—ahem, Naomi Campbell). From Diana Vreeland and Audrey Hepburn to Miranda Kerr and Jane Fonda, here’s photographic proof that a Vuitton suitcase is the best (and chicest) travel accessory. Feast your eyes upon the slideshow above—that is, if you aren’t already en route to Saint Tropez with your Keepall Bandouliére stowed overhead.