090528 LV Patrick Louis Vuitton

PARIS — Patrick-Louis Vuitton, great-great-grandson of Louis Vuitton, has died in Paris age 68.

He was part of the fifth generation of heirs to the founder of luxury leather goods brand Louis Vuitton and served as head of the Special Orders department within the house’s atelier in Asnières.

Patrick-Louis Vuitton joined the family business in 1973, at age 22. Starting as a carpenter craftsman within the company, he became production manager of the Louis Vuitton atelier in Asnières in 1975, before being named general manager of the workshop.

He went on to open the second ever Louis Vuitton workshop in 1977, in the village of Saint-Donat in the Southeast of France, over 100 years after the opening of the house’s inaugural atelier in Asnières.

Patrick-Louis Vuitton’s area of expertise was special orders. He joined the technical department of the Asnières atelier in 1986, where he was in charge of the hard-sided luggage collection as well as special orders.

One year after joining the creative department in 1989, he became head of the Special Orders section within the atelier. Some of his famous projects included a bespoke trunk for tattoo artist Scott Campbell, enabling to store needles, machines and ink, as well as the Kabuki trunk for famous Japanese Kabuki actor Ichikawa Ebizo XI.

The Vuitton heir divided his time between his home in the Parisian suburb of Neuilly and his country house in Normandy.

“After a lifetime of work dedicated to excellence and creativity, Patrick-Louis acquired a perfect expertise of our savoir-faire, invented and produced hundreds of extraordinary trunks that carry on our legacy of the art of travel,” Michael Burke, chairman and chief executive officer of Louis Vuitton, said in a statement.

“Patrick-Louis possessed an avant-garde and modern spirit, along with a ‘strong-tempered personality from the Jura,’ a reference he often enjoyed using to describe himself. He always knew how to nourish the maison’s heritage and to give vision to the future. ‘Savoir-faire can only exist if it is transmitted’ was one of his favorite expressions,” added Burke.

Patrick-Louis Vuitton’s legacy is carried out by his two sons, Pierre-Louis and Benoît-Louis, who both work within the business.

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