The ‘Monogram Canvas’, symbol of Louis Vuitton. In 1854 Louis Vuitton established the house, but it’s his son Georges Vuitton that created the monogram in 1896, in honor of its father and it was also the day that an icon was born.
When the Monogram appeared, it was revolutionary. In the hands of Georges Vuitton, he transformed the icon into a universal symbol of modernity and today, the symbol has captured the minds of the people all around the globe.
In 1965 Gaston-Louis Vuitton recounted how his father, Georges Vuitton, had created the motifs on the Monogram Canvas: ‘First of all, the initials of the company – LV – are interlaced in such a way as to remain perfectly legible. Then a diamond. To give a specific character to the shape, he made the sides concave with a four-petal flower in the centre. Then the extension of this flower in a positive image. Finally, a circle containing a flower with four rounded petals.’
The Monogram is now recognised globally as a defining signature, both literally and metaphorically, of the House of Louis Vuitton. As it has travelled through time, certain of its features and meanings remain the same. Blurring the boundaries between craftsmanship, art and design, Louis Vuitton has repeatedly embraced the notions of innovation, collaboration and daring throughout The Monogram’s history.
It is within this context that Louis Vuitton’s ‘Celebrating Monogram’ project appears this year. It is a collection of works that shows the distinctly personal side of the Monogram; re-presenting something we think we all know in an extraordinary, individual and idiosyncratic way. Six creative iconoclasts – the best in their individual fields – who blur the lines between fashion, art, architecture and product design, have been given carte blanche to dictate and make whatever they see fit in the patterned canvas.