A Match Made in Heaven

A Match Made in Heaven

Charlotte Perriand circa 1955

As a fashion house more than a century old, Louis Vuitton has a high standard to uphold. Following on from its long history of luxury, class, and quality – not to mention high standards of beauty and craftsmanship – everything produced by Louis Vuitton is based on these fundamental aspects of the brand’s ideology. In celebration of this, Louis Vuitton has chosen to draw inspiration from a woman who very much embodies the spirit of its brand: Charlotte Perriand.

Text by Meagan Dill

Photographs courtesy of Louis Vuitton

Charlotte was a French architect, designer, and photographer. She has the unusual distinction of having lived through most of the twentieth century, as she was born in 1903 and died in 1999. For the bulk of her 96 years she was an active creative and was particularly influential in the five decades running from the 1920s through to the 1960s. Her interior design work was consistently at the forefront of the industry’s revolution, and her focus on comfort and functionality set her apart from her peers.

Charlotte was not only a frontrunner in the creative sense, but also in a broader, more practical sense: she was the first woman in the history of the world to work as an architect and designer. By doing so, she paved the way for other women to be able to follow in her path, empowering themselves by working in a challenging yet rewarding industry which had previously been exclusively male territory.

As part of Louis Vuitton’s celebration of timeless muses, the company chose to honour Charlotte’s legacy by bringing a previously unused architectural design of hers to life. The piece in question: a design of a family holiday house, entitled La Maison au Bord de l’Eau, designed decades ago as an entry for a competition run by a French architectural magazine. The design came in second place but was never built – that is, until Louis Vuitton resurrected the design and made it a reality by actually building it in Miami, USA.

The celebration didn’t end there, though. This year, Louis Vuitton honours Charlotte further by dedicating an entire collection (Icons Spring/Summer 2014) to preserving her legacy and celebrating her ideals. Thus, the line is based on the concepts of timelessness and elegance without compromising simplicity and functionality. These ideals of Charlotte’s combined with Louis Vuitton’s own ideals look set to make the perfect pair. Ultimately, the two are united in their shared boldness, innovation, and uncompromising sense of quality and style.

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