Louis Vuitton Company’s History and Cultural Concepts


Different companies have varying approaches to business depending on their products, customers, and the culture and traditions of the country within which they operate. Louis Vuitton Malletier, known commonly as Louis Vuitton, is one of the most renowned fashion houses, offering luxury clothing items and accessories. As the company is over 150 years old, and its goods remain in demand among its target clientele, Louis Vuitton’s approach to conducting business should be examined. This paper will discuss the fashion brand, and its history and consider cultural and intercultural, and individual and collective concepts.

Company History

Louis Vuitton Malletier is a fashion house name after its founder, the French trunk maker, Louis Vuitton. The company was established in 1854 by Vuitton, who was already an experienced trunk-master, having worked under Monsieur Maréchal for 17 years (Louis Vuitton). Since the age of 16, Vuitton learned how to craft baggage that would protect his customers’ belonging, as travel chests were often broken at the age of horse-drawn carriages (Louis Vuitton).

The trunk maker quickly found success and expanded the company, opening an atelier in Asnières near Paris, which is operational to this day. The workshop that began with just 20 employees now houses approximately 170 artisans working on the design of signature goods (Louis Vuitton). Vuitton’s son, Georges, continued his father’s work and revolutionized it by inventing the new lock system and commissioning the design now synonymous with the brand: the famous Louis Vuitton monogram (Louis Vuitton). Overall, since its foundation, the company experienced continual growth and enjoyed commercial success.

Company Profile

Louis Vuitton is one of the most financially successful companies in the fashion industry. According to Forbes, the brand value of the business is estimated at $47.2 billion, making it the most valuable luxury fashion label in the world. In the last five years, the company increased its revenue by 3.75%, while its net income and earnings per share grew by 3.62% and 3.64%, respectively (The Wall Street Journal).

Furthermore, the cash flow increased by almost a quarter, at 23.32%, with capital spending decreasing by 0.54% over the five years (The Wall Street Journal). Although the sales of the brand plunged by 16,8% in 2020 due to its shops being closed in many countries because of the worldwide pandemic, the company remains highly profitable (The Wall Street Journal). Overall, Louis Vuitton is the most valuable luxury fashion house in the world, with its net worth and income continuing to grow.

Approach to Business

Individualism vs. collectivism

Louis Vuitton has a unique approach to conducting business, which allowed the brand to remain both relevant and profitable throughout its history. Under the administration of different CEOs and chairpersons, including Louis and Georges Vuitton, the company managed to adjust to striking changes in the market, which saw the decline in interest in travel trunks. This success can be attributed to the brand’s ability to achieve its goals while supporting its employees and the community as a whole. According to Masuda et al. (2), the individualism vs. collectivism construct in the field of business research describes the “people’s preference to act as individuals or in groups in society.”

It can be used to distinguish people’s values in the workplace, including those of employees and the management (Masuda et al. 2). The construct is often applied to measure how groups of people behave in society and are specifically used to evaluate their mentality and performance under similar circumstances. Thus, the concept assesses how people relate to self-achievement and the benefits to others.

It can be argued that Louis Vuitton is a label that is oriented toward collectivism rather than individualism. Furthermore, it is high in vertical collectivism, with persons in power feeling “a strong duty to endorse power for their ingroup members” (Masuda et al. 6). This tendency is exemplified by the brand’s approach to pricing its luxury goods and efforts in environmental conservation. For instance, the pricing of Louis Vuitton products varies in different countries, depending on the cost of labor and production in the given state (Yaman). Thus, the company does not exploit its workers by selling expensive goods produced by cheap labor.

However, the average wages of workers from countries at risk of labor abuse may be viewed as inadequate compared to the brand’s prices. In addition, it utilizes eco-design in its stores to reduce energy consumption and opens workshops in areas with high environmental quality (Anido Freire and Loussaïef 571). Overall, Louis Vuitton tries to ensure that its employees are fairly paid and that its stores are not harming the environment, indicating that it is collectively oriented.

Cultural vs. intercultural

Major businesses and companies can also be viewed as cultural institutions as they develop their organizational philosophy. Moreover, every international company must consider the traditions of the countries where it conducts business while maintaining its unique message. The company states that its core message is to embody the art of living while preserving tradition, being creative and innovative, delivering excellence, and making a difference in the world (LVMH). Thus, Louis Vuitton aims to respectfully blend tradition and innovation in its products.

The company actively seeks to address the culture of different nations via its marketing campaigns and the choice of materials and patterns. For example, it recently incorporated traditional Mexican designs in its new furniture collection, employing a Mexican artisan Tenango de Doria (Ore and Eschenbacher). However, the use of indigenous patterns was viewed as cultural appropriation by the Mexican government as the brand failed to acknowledge the work of the artisan and did not explain why traditional designs were selected (Ore and Eschenbacher). A similar incident happened in 2012 when Louis Vuitton created a Basotho Plaid menswear collection celebrating the pattern of Basotho tribal blankets (BBC).

Although the array was commercially successful, it was widely criticized for exploiting the customs and traditions of the small tribe and failing to collaborate with the Basotho people (BBC). Thus, the brand was unable to follow its mission statement and blend traditional and modern approaches in its designs as they were viewed primarily as cultural appropriation. Overall, Louis Vuitton exhibits an unsatisfactory understanding of how to effectively share its vision on the international level and show respect to other cultures.


In summary, Louis Vuitton is one the most well-known brands in the world and is by far the most valuable fashion house. Since its foundation in 1854 by the French trunk maker Louis Vuitton, the company saw continuous growth as it adjusted its products to the new demands of the customers. The brand is collectively oriented as it aims to provide its employees with fair wages and is environmentally conscious. However, despite its core message of the natural blending of tradition and innovation, Louis Vuitton illustrates an irresponsible strategy to represent other cultures and intercultural communication.

Works Cited

Anido Freire, Naïade, and Leïla Loussaïef. “When Advertising Highlights the Binomial Identity Values of Luxury and CSR Principles: The Examples of Louis Vuitton and Hermès.” Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, vol. 25, no. 4, 2018, pp. 565-582.

BBC. “When Does Cultural Borrowing Turn into Cultural Appropriation?”. BBC News. 2017. Web.

Forbes. “Louis Vuitton”. Forbes. 2020. Web.

Louis Vuitton. “A Legendary History.” Louis Vuitton. 2020. Web.

LVMH. “The LVMH Approach Spirit.” LVMH, 2020. Web.

Masuda, Takahiko, et al. “Culture and Business: How Can Cultural Psychologists Contribute to Research on Behaviors in the Marketplace and Workplace?” Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 11, 2020, pp. 1-20.

Ore, Diego, and Stefanie Eschenbacher. “Mexico Calls out Louis Vuitton for Using Traditional Pattern.” The Business of Fashion, 2019. Web.

The Wall Street Journal. “LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE”. The Wall Street Journal, 2021. Web.

Yaman, Alex. “Louis Vuitton Pricing Strategy.” Global Marketing Professor, 2018. Web.

Cite this paper

Select style


BusinessEssay. (2023, January 17). Louis Vuitton Company’s History and Cultural Concepts. Retrieved from https://business-essay.com/louis-vuitton-companys-history-and-cultural-concepts/


BusinessEssay. (2023, January 17). Louis Vuitton Company’s History and Cultural Concepts. https://business-essay.com/louis-vuitton-companys-history-and-cultural-concepts/

Work Cited

"Louis Vuitton Company’s History and Cultural Concepts." BusinessEssay, 17 Jan. 2023, business-essay.com/louis-vuitton-companys-history-and-cultural-concepts/.


BusinessEssay. (2023) 'Louis Vuitton Company’s History and Cultural Concepts'. 17 January.


BusinessEssay. 2023. "Louis Vuitton Company’s History and Cultural Concepts." January 17, 2023. https://business-essay.com/louis-vuitton-companys-history-and-cultural-concepts/.

1. BusinessEssay. "Louis Vuitton Company’s History and Cultural Concepts." January 17, 2023. https://business-essay.com/louis-vuitton-companys-history-and-cultural-concepts/.


BusinessEssay. "Louis Vuitton Company’s History and Cultural Concepts." January 17, 2023. https://business-essay.com/louis-vuitton-companys-history-and-cultural-concepts/.