Monogrammed manufacturer – Louis Vuitton has become synonymous with luxury travel through their now iconic monogrammed trunks. Forbes estimates the brand is worth just a little shy of $30 billion.
Elite heritage – Since its founding in Paris in 1854, the Louis Vuitton company catered to the more glamorous-minded members of society, including empresses, explorers and artists. In this photo from 1888, Louis Vuitton's son Georges and grandson Gaston-Louis pose with factory workers in front of a horse-drawn delivery van.
Keeping pace with modernity – In order to meet the growing demand for his trunks, Louis Vuitton opened a new workshop in Asnières, northwest of Paris in 1859. The factory, seen here on the back of the 1897 Vuitton catalog, was designed using the most modern architectural developments of the time.
The spirit of adventure – Here, a group of workers is photographed inside the workshop in 1909. The company's long history has been inextricably linked to travel, and Vuitton trunks were designed with a flat top to fit the modern requirements of mass-journeys by train and steamboat.
Start of a journey – The town of Asnières was chosen as the location of Louis Vuitton's workshop because of its convenient transport links - it sits along the Seine, and is connected to Paris by rail. Here, a 1903 photo shows poplar boards used for manufacturing of trunks unloaded from a barge.
Supreme material – The wood would then be sorted inside a warehouse such as this one, and artisans would select the finest planks which would then be cut and classified according to what product would be made out of them.
Style in every detail – Delivery cars with the famous LV logo are parked in front of the factory in 1909.
Advertising with quality – This advertising leaflet for Louis Vuitton from 1910 shows the interior of the factory, and is a world away from the brand's glossy and elaborate ads found in high-end magazine today. CEO Bernard Arnault says that Vuitton always relied primarily on quality, not marketing, to sell its products.
Final finesse – Artisans work in a room bathed in natural light in this image from 1902. This is where fine touches that distinguished Vuitton products were made.
A priceless warehouse – Items that were still unfinished were stored in this area.
Mastery of craft – On the first floor, artisans put finishing touches on the trunks and boxes bound for the French elite. Today, it takes between 18 months and two years to fully train a worker to produce items of the quality required by Louis Vuitton.
Master trunk-maker – This print shows the interior of the Louis Vuitton factory in Asnières, and also displays the bronze medal awarded for his participation at the International Exposition of Paris in 1867. The print also carries an advertising slogan: "La Maison Vuitton packs the most fragile objects with safety."