It was Georges Vuitton, Louis Vuitton’s son, who decided in 1896 to carry on the adventure begun by his father by designing the famous Monogram Canvas. At the time, to foil counterfeiters, he created a canvas bearing bold graphics, a pattern that was instantly recognizable. The unique pattern is composed of flowers, a universal and timeless symbol, and the entwined Louis Vuitton initials. The pattern was based on the trend of using Japanese and Oriental designs in the late Victorian era. The Monogram fabric is crafted out of durable vinyl coated canvas.
Since it was first designed, the Monogram canvas has been associated with natural, vegetable-tanned vachetta cowhide leather. Its smooth, natural grain brings out the harmony of the carefully selected hide. The transparency reveals the natural markings, such as veins and wrinkles, proving it has not been treated. This delicate, easily scratched leather is a testament to the bag’s history and develops a unique amber patina, unique to each bag and greater suppleness with time. The leather starts out with a white tone and gradually darkens over time, leaving a rich caramel or amber color.
Contrary to popular belief, Damier Canvas was created before Monogram canvas. Influenced by the striped Raye canvas that was still being imitated, Vuitton wanted to take his design even further. In 1888, Louis Vuitton created the Damier Canvas pattern, which bore a logo that reads “marque L. Vuitton déposée”, which translates into “L. Vuitton registered trademark”. 1998 saw the one hundred year anniversary of the release of Monogram canvas, which lead to a re-release of the original Damier canvas. Ready for a fun fact? “Damier” literally translates from French to English to “Checker Board.” The current Damier Ebene pattern is printed on black coated canvas in small lines of two shades of brown to create the unique and lovable checked pattern, which is why Damier Ebene fades to black in some areas when it’s been gently used.
Launched in 2006, this line is a new interpretation of the iconic Damier Canvas, the Damier Azur collection takes us away to the celebrated shores of the French Riviera. At once classic and casual, subtly different, Damier Azur offers a complete collection of products ranging from city bags to luggage.
The black and grey themed Damier pattern was created in honor of Louis Vuitton’s 120th anniversary of the canvas. Released in 2008, the Damier Graphite collection is a discreet revisit of the classic Damier. Damier Graphite features an understated black and grey tonal pattern with smooth black leather, instead of the iconic brown. Damier Graphite is only released in Men’s accessories and leather goods.
The Monogram Mini Lin Canvas Collection is a newer line that sports a lighter, more supple but resistant canvas. It is made of 58% cotton, 24% linen and 18% polyamide. In 2010, the Mini Lin collection was reinvented and renamed to the Monogram Idylle Canvas Collection.