Luxury Brand Origin Stories
6 Luxury Brands, Their History & Timeless Designs
Luxury brands have played a part in defining our identity for centuries, shaping the way we think about fashion, design, and craftsmanship. In this blog, we will take a closer look at some of the most iconic luxury labels in the world and explore their rich history, from their humble beginnings to their rise to the top of the luxury fashion market.
From Louis Vuitton to Chanel, Hermès to Gucci, and Goyard to Fendi, we will explore
brands and designs that have stood the test of time, and continue to be synonymous with luxury and opulence. Join WGACA as we discover the rich history of designer brands and learn more about the stories behind some of the most recognizable and
exclusive heritage fashion houses in the world, as well as their most sought-after, timeless creations.
History of Chanel
The history of Chanel begins with its founder, Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel, who was born in 1883 in Saumur, France. She began her career as a seamstress and singer before opening a shop in 1913, selling hats under the name Chanel Modes. In 1915, she opened a shop in Deauville, France and began selling clothing, and in 1913 she introduced her first line of jewelry. In the 1920s, she opened a boutique in Paris, called Chanel Modes, which featured her own designs.
Chanel revolutionized the fashion industry with her simple, elegant designs, which were a departure from the ornate, heavily decorated styles that were popular at the time. She introduced the iconic "little black dress" and popularized the use of jersey fabric, which was less expensive than other fabrics and more comfortable to wear. She also introduced the use of costume jewelry, a more affordable and accessible alternative to real jewelry.
Chanel's designs were inspired by the simplicity and functionality of masculine clothing, her love of travel and her experiences living in different cities. She was one of the first designers to use masculine details in a women’s clothing collection which featured pockets and button-down shirts but with a new feminine edge.
Her success as a designer and businesswoman was not without controversy, as she was known for her unconventional lifestyle and had a number of high-profile relationships, including a German officer during World War II. Despite this, her designs have stood the test of time and the fashion house continues to be a symbol of timeless luxury.
Chanel’s Black Quilted Double Flap Bag
With a constant surge in demand, the Chanel Double Flap bag remains one of the most pervasive, timeless icons ever created by the luxury house. Its origin dates back to the 1920s when Coco Chanel challenged the norms of handbags by creating a design that frees the hands, inspired by the straps on soldiers’ bags. The shoulder bag has since witnessed various iterations and reinterpretations that withstood its revolutionized universality.
Chanel’s Beige Vertical Half Flap Shoulder Bag
Crafted from soft lambskin in subtle beige, finished with the iconic interlocking CC turn- lock and complete with polished gold-plated hardware, the vintage Chanel bag is one of the best Chanel luxuries to collect. With its vertical leather quilting and the jumbo size available at WGACA, invest in these models to make a Chanel fashion statement that exudes elegance and simplicity.
History of Louis Vuitton
Louis Vuitton, also known as “LV”, is a luxury fashion brand that was founded by Louis Vuitton in 1854. What first began as a small luggage and trunk-making company in Paris, France, quickly gained popularity among the wealthy for its high-quality and durable products. In 1858 Louis Vuitton won the gold medal at the Universal Exhibition in Paris, which helped to establish the brand's reputation for craftsmanship and quality.
Louis Vuitton's son, Georges Vuitton, joined the company in 1892 and helped to expand the brand's product line to include handbags, purses, and other fashion accessories. In 1901, the brand introduced the iconic "LV" monogram, which was designed to prevent counterfeiting and has since become a synonymous symbol in marking the brand’s identity.
In the 1920s, the brand expanded its product line to include clothing and jewelry and opened its first store outside of France, in London. During this time, the brand also expanded its clientele to include Hollywood celebrities, socialites, and royalty.
The brand was then acquired by luxury conglomerate LVMH in the 1980s and has since expanded its product line to include a wide range of luxury products, including sunglasses, watches, and perfumes. The fashion Maison is now one of the most valuable luxury brands in the world, with more than 460 stores in over 50 countries.
Louis Vuitton’s Monogram Canvas Speedy 35
The Louis Vuitton Speedy is a timeless house icon owing to the house’s unmistakable compact silhouette and signature monogram canvas. With its elegant and contemporary design, the LV Speedy was able to remain a relevant piece that conforms to today’s fast-paced, travel-centric world that the brand was created for. The LV Speedy has been a highly sought-after item for over 100 years, becoming the embodiment of luxury and the vision of a carefree jet-set lifestyle. The bag has developed its own unique culture, from its origins in the mind of Audrey Hepburn to contemporary designs by Virgil Abloh and Yayoi Kusama. It has become a historical icon in the luxury world, demonstrating how celebrity influence and practical innovation can come together to create something that’s truly unforgettable.
LOUIS VUITTON DAMIER EBENE ALMA PM
The Louis Vuitton Alma is a timeless and sophisticated handbag from the French luxury fashion house. The bag is made from the brand's iconic Damier Ebene canvas, which features a subtle checkerboard pattern in shades of brown. The Alma PM is a smaller version of the classic Alma silhouette, making it the perfect size for everyday use. The sleek design and durable materials make it a perfect accessory for the fashion-conscious woman on the go.
History of Hermès
The history of Hermès dates back to 1837, when Thierry Hermès established a harness workshop in Paris, France. The company initially focused on making fine equestrian equipment such as saddles, bridles and harnesses. Hermès’ unsurpassed reputation for detail and craftsmanship quickly grew and the company began to expand its product line to include other leather goods, such as handbags and wallets.
In the early 1900s, Hermès began to focus more on fashion, introducing its first handbags, and in 1922, the brand introduced its iconic "Kelly" bag. Later, Hermès began to expand its product line to include silk scarves and ties, which became popular among the elite and are still considered one of the brand's signature products. Hermès also began to expand its presence globally, opening stores in cities such as London, New York, and Tokyo.
Today, Hermès houses a range of products featuring high-quality leather goods, silk scarves and ties, fashion accessories, and perfumes. The pinnacle of high-end luxury brands is also famous for its waiting lists for its exceedingly desirable Birkin bag.
Hermès NATURAL VACHE LIEGEE BIRKIN 35
The Hermès Birkin bag is a luxury handbag that was first introduced in 1984. The bag was named after the British actress and singer Jane Birkin, who was a close friend of Jean-Louis Dumas, the then-CEO of Hermès. The Birkin bag quickly gained popularity among high-profile clients and celebrities, becoming a status symbol and emblem of wealth and luxury. Handcrafted by a single artisan and taking several days to complete, the bags are produced in limited quantities, making them highly coveted. Over the years, the Birkin bag has become one of the most sought-after and collectible luxury bags in the world, with some versions selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars at auction. It is an iconic piece of fashion history that is now synonymous with the luxurious brand name.
Hermès Vert Fonce Crocodile Porosus Lisse Kelly Sellier 32
The Hermès Kelly is a timeless bag that has stood the test of time, remaining a favorite among fashion enthusiasts for decades. The bag was first introduced in the 1930s and named after the American actress and Princess of Monaco, Grace Kelly. The Hermès Kelly bag is known for its elegant and classic design, featuring a structured shape and a sleek, statement silhouette. The bags are made from the finest materials, which only get better with age, making the bag a long-lasting investment piece. Produced in limited quantities, the bag’s rarity further adds to its integrity and uniqueness, which is even multiplied when picked as a historic pre-owned luxury. The Hermès Kelly is a true representation of unfailing grace and elegance, and it is no wonder that it has become a permanent piece that transcends trends.
History of Gucci
The history of Gucci began in 1921, when Guccio Gucci opened a small leather goods store in Florence, Italy. Gucci was inspired by his experiences working in luxury hotels and saw an opportunity to create a line of high-quality leather goods for the wealthy. The company began by creating a variety of leather goods, such as handbags, luggage, and shoes.
Gucci continued to expand its product line in the 1930s and 1940s, adding clothing and other accessories to its collection. In the 1950s, Gucci introduced the iconic "GG" monogram, which is still used today and became one of the most recognizable logos in the fashion industry. During this time, Gucci also began to broaden its presence globally, opening stores in New York, London, and Paris.
From facing financial difficulties, family disputes, and assassinations, to being taken over by new management, the brand underwent a significant turnaround, reintroducing its heritage and impeccable Italian craftsmanship. This helped restore Gucci’s allure and it became one of the most sought-after fashion houses in history.
Gucci is now one of the most en vogue luxury brands that is reinforced by its innovation and progressive, eclectic designs.
Gucci Beige Woven Vintage Belt Bag
A staple icon, this versatile belt bag is imperatively a Gucci collectible. It features a beige woven textile exterior with the iconic Gucci "GG" logo along with the red and green Web panel prominently displayed on the front making the vintage-inspired silhouette as recognizable as much as it is timeless.
Gucci Brown-Grained Leather Web Vintage Boston Handbag
Luxurious and timeless, this handbag is another classic accessory by the renowned Italian fashion house Gucci. Featuring the brand's signature green and red Web stripe detail on the sides, this handbag is not only a statement piece that will spruce up your whole attire, but also a sustainable and durable bag that will last for years to come.
History of Goyard
The history of Goyard dates back to 1853 when François Goyard established a trunk-making workshop in Paris, France. The company quickly gained prominence for its first-rate durable trunks, which were favored by the wealthy. The famous Goyard trunks were known for their intricate designs and inarguable use of high-quality materials.
In the early 1900s, Goyard began to expand its product line to include handbags, purses, and other leather goods. And later, in the 1920s and 1930s, Goyard opened its first store in Paris. During this time, Goyard also widened the brand’s presence globally, opening stores in cities such as London, New York, and Tokyo.
Goyard is renowned as one of the most select luxury brands in the world, famous for producing the finest handbags, purses, and leather goods. Its iconic chevron pattern and monogram, which is hand-stenciled, has become one of the most recognizable designs in the fashion industry. The label is also known for its discretion; it doesn't advertise or participate in any fashion shows, making it even more exclusive.
Goyard Brown & Black Logo Canvas Vintage Trunk
Epitomized with vintage luxury, this must-have Goyard collectible is a true testament to the brand’s timelessness and craftsmanship. Focused on classic and understated design, this Goyard trunk features a minimalist aesthetic with clean lines, simple shapes, and neutral colors, making it a suitable and relevant choice for a wide range of styles and tastes throughout the years.
Goyard Brown Goyardine Canvas Saint-Louis PM
Functional and durable, the Saint-Louis Goyard tote bag is one of the most sought-after creations made by the brand thanks to its bold chevron canvas and minimalist design. This iconic piece is highly coveted for its timeless style and versatility. The tote is reversible, allowing you to switch between the signature chevron canvas and a waterproof interior canvas side, providing a practical option for different occasions.
History of Fendi
The history of Fendi begins in 1918, when Adele and Edoardo Fendi opened a small leather goods store in Rome, Italy. The company began by creating a variety of leather goods such as handbags, luggage, and shoes. In the 1920s, Fendi started to experiment with fur, using it to trim their leather goods and creating a line of fur-lined handbags, which soon became very popular.
In the 1950s, Fendi was taken over by the five Fendi sisters, who expanded the brand's product line to include ready-to-wear clothing and began to place the brand amongst luxury fashion houses. In 1965, the brand introduced its iconic "double F" logo, which is still used today and became one of the most signature logos in the fashion industry.
Fendi was later acquired by luxury conglomerate LVMH, and under the direction of Karl Lagerfeld as creative director, the brand underwent a significant turnaround, reintroducing its heritage and glamour. Today, Fendi is celebrated for its experimentation with unusual materials, such as fur and feathers, and its use of bright colors, bold prints and playful designs.
Fendi Navy Denim Rose Baguette
An utterly romantic and dreamy silhouette, this rose shoulder bag by Fendi is one to be collected. Rendered in denim, embroidery, mirrored roses and green leaves embellishments, this chic Fendi baguette is a timeless and highly desired piece that’s back on-trend, owing to its character and versatility.
Fendi Navy Zucchino Canvas Mamma
Uncover yet another unique design by Fendi. Featuring the iconic Fendi double F logo in an all-over pattern, the Fendi Zucchino Canvas Mamma shoulder bag is a luxurious and timeless piece that is perfect for fashion-conscious collectors. Made from Zucchino canvas, a signature Fendi material, this shoulder bag is a durable addition and investment piece that stands the test of time.