Getting his start as a luggage packer for the Parisian elite, the teenage Vuitton zeroed in on what made a good suitcase. After apprenticing with a trunkmaker, Vuitton launched his own eponymous line in 1854. Tossing all previous leather-made, domed-shaped luggage aside, Vuitton went back to the drawing board. Vuitton pioneered a canvas, rectangular suitcase lightweight, stackable and ideal for long journeys. Acclaim came quickly for Vuitton, whose designs were imitated within a decade. So the designer introduced a brand-new look for the cases, pasting his initials L.V. over a classy beige-and-chestnut coloring with a Japanese-inspired flower motif. The design has persisted until the present day with the company's highly popular monogram canvas. He handed the reins to his son Georges, who helped spread the desire for luxury luggage worldwide. Currently helmed by American designer Marc Jacobs as artistic director, Louis Vuitton luggage is as much a status symbol as it is a clothes carrier.