Much can be learned about a person from the manner in which they travel. From heiresses to actors, aristocrats to pop stars, writers, composers, dancers and designers, here are the personalities who have travelled through our modern era, whether by train, plane, car or canoe, accompanied by luggage that defines good taste.
With suitably glamorous style, over fifty individuals are described in witty and perceptive detail. Everyone who’s anyone is here: from Madonna to Marilyn Monroe, from the Duchess of Windsor to Karl Lagerfeld, from Audrey Hepburn to Keith Richards, from the firm’s eponymous founder Louis Vuitton to artist Jeff Koons, who has created his own controversial homage to the masters of art on the company’s bags.
Every traveller has a tale to tell: every bag reveals a personal secret. In her canvas Louis Vuitton bag Greta Garbo never kept more than a pair of blue espadrilles, flannel pyjamas and some pots of her favourite jam. (But she had a trunk specially made for her seventy pairs of Ferragamo shoes.) Ernest Hemingway, who owned and lost several Vuitton trunks, rediscovered in 1957 notes for a novel that he’d absentmindedly left in a trunk in the basement of the Paris Ritz some thirty years before. Richard Burton made sure that Elizabeth Taylor always had enough Louis Vuitton trunks (as well as furs and jewels), through both their marriages; in fact, the trunks outlasted her next two husbands as well.