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Industry + Insights The Latest The Guide / July 10, 2017 / Ally Castro
All About Louis Vuitton Monograms & Prints

There's nothing like the feeling of getting your first Louis Vuitton! Over decades, there have been so many exciting variations of LV monograms, prints and leathers.  Below, we've put together a little guide on the history and properties of some of the brand's most iconic ones.

Louis Vuitton got his start in 1854 as a trunk-maker in Paris. Fast forward to today, his namesake fashion house is one of the world's most valuable luxury brands.  In fact, anything emblazoned with the brand's distinct monogram and prints are considered status symbols across the globe. Many creative directors and designers later, it gets increasingly more difficult to pick out the perfect Louis, since there are so many amazing choices! So, let's start with everyone's all-time fave:

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Louis Vuitton Neverfull

MONOGRAM CANVAS: Easily the world's most recognizable fashion print, the Monogram Canvas is a true Louis Vuitton classic. The Monogram was first created by Louis' son, George in 1896 to stop counterfeiters from mimicking the brand's designs. The unique pattern is made up of interlocking L and V initials and flowers inspired by Japanese and Oriental designs.

The canvas itself is durable, water-resistant and has proven to hold up well over time. Most vintage monogram handbags show little or almost no wear at all.

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Louis Vuitton Monogram Vernis Tote Bag

MONOGRAM VERNIS: The Monogram Vernis leather outshines (literally!) them all. The line was introduced  to the world when Marc Jacobs become creative director. The material is made of calfskin leather, embossed with monogram and coated with a glossy finish, hence the name Vernis ("varnish").

The Vernis is water-resistant but susceptible to scratches and color changes and transfer.  Owners of the Vernis should be very careful not to expose it to sunlight for too long and when setting it down, do not let it come into contact with anything with dye, including magazines.  (Tip: store in a dust bag, out of the sun).

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Louis Vuitton Monogram Empreinte Crossbody Bag

MONOGRAM EMPREINTE: Another embossed variation of the monogram, the Monogram Empreinte was introduced in 2010. It is made of a smooth calf leather with a natural grainy texture. The line is surprisingly durable and there's a lush, less rigid quality to the Empreinte, than the Vernis,  which softens over time. However, it is still surprisingly heavier than the other prints if you prefer a particularly durable feel.

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Louis Vuitton Damier Ebene Speedy Bag
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Louis Vuitton Damier Azur Speedy

DAMIER EBENE & DAMIER AZUR:  The print Damier Ebene / Azur, which literally translates to "checkerboard" in English, was created in 1888. The two most popular versions of this print are the Ebene, a combination of two shades of brown or graphite (perfect for the men in your life), and Azur, a blue-grey base with a checkered white overlay (perfect casual chic look and a favorite amongst resort dwellers). For people looking for something a little more discreet, but still designer, this print is perfect.

Like the monogram, the Damier is made of printed canvas and is also known for its lasting quality.

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Louis Vuitton Epi Leather Trunk Clutch

EPI: The Epi, a sturdy textured leather, made its unofficial debut in the 1920's, but became a mainstay in 1985. The Epi was the first leather line for the fashion house and came into fruition as a response for the growing demand of a durable travel leather. It's a structured, ripple-like material requires little care and maintenance. The Epi has remained popular with Louis Vuitton customers looking for a more subtle look amongst the brand's leather goods.


                                         OTHER NOTABLE LIMITED-EDITION PRINTS

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Louis Vuitton x Takashi Murakami Multicolor Monogram Bag

Louis Vuitton x Takashi Murakami: The 2003 Monogram Multicolore collaboration between the brand and Japanese artist, Takashi Murakami was wildly successful and stays relevant to this day. For the Louis Vuitton x Takashi Murakami collection, Murakami used what he described as his 'Kauai palette', incorporating it into the brand's monogram print.

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Louis Vuitton x Yayoi Kusama Waves Neverfull Bag

Louis Vuitton x Yayoi Kusama: Another collaboration with another famous Japanese artist, this line featured monogrammed leather goods, clothes, and accessories covered in Kusama's trademark polka dots. For the Louis Vuitton x Yayoi Kusuma collection, Kusuma is most known for her used Infinity Mirrors traveling art exhibition in 2018. 

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Louis Vuitton x Supreme Bandouliere Camouflage Keepall

Louis Vuitton x Supreme: No one saw this collaboration coming since Louis Vuitton's lawsuit against Supreme in 2000. The result was a mashup of the brand's monogram in stark white against Supreme's signature red backdrop, which caused a frenzy amongst the hype beast crowd inflating resale prices. Welcome to the Louis Vuitton x Supreme collaboration.

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Louis Vuitton x Jeff Koons Monet Pochette Metis

Louis Vuitton x Jeff Koons: Probably one of the most well-known living artists today, Jeff Koons took famous paintings from five legendary artists - Leonardo Da Vinci, Vincent Van Gogh, Peter-Paul Rubens, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, and Titian - and placed gold letters spelling our their names and the Louis Vuitton monogram over it. The Louis Vuitton x Jeff Koons collaboration divided Louis Vuitton fans and provoked a lot of different reactions. Personally, we love seeing art and fashion join forces and this one's brilliant.

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Louis Vuitton x Stephen Sprouse Graffiti Keepall

Louis Vuitton x Stephen Sprouse: Marc Jacobs convinced the fashion house to let 80s fashion designer, Stephen Sprouse, create a graffiti version of Louis Vuitton's monograms.  The Louis Vuitton x Stephen Sprouse collaboration was the first time Vuitton's monogram had been updated, and it's since become a pop culture phenomenon.


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Louis Vuitton x Jay Ahr Embroidered American Flag Keepall

Louis Vuitton x Jay Ahr: Jonathan Riss’ (also known as Jay Ahr) lifelong love of exploration led him to collect and build one of the world’s largest collections of vintage Louis Vuitton Keepall bags. It took him two decades to collect and masterfully craft his artistic inspirations and embroidery techniques to create iconic, worldly themes for the most recognizable designer travel bag ever. This Louis Vuitton X Jay Ahr collection has this artist's trademark signature style of unique embroidery on these keepalls make these beauties one of a kind. Each bag is hand embroidered onto the bag’s canvas.

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