With its retro-chic Label collection, Louis Vuitton sheds new light on its peripatetic past.
Credit: Stephen Lewis

When Louis Vuitton opened its doors on the Right Bank in 1854, ladies relied on serious steamer trunks fitted with compartments dedicated to corsets and crinolines for even the briefest sojourn. So it’s not surprising that the first real triumph of the luxury goods company was its exquisite wardrobes, frequently personalized by clients with stickers from cruise ships and grand hotels. Now, more than a century and a half later, the house has dug into the archives to find inspiration for its new Label collection—a line of small leather accessories embellished with vintage Vuitton advertisements, jaunty reminders of the proverbial golden age of travel. From the travel wallet to the teeny “pochette” purse, with its oversize wardrobe trunks stamp, these pieces offer a streamlined approach to elegance. While the latter has room for little more than cash, lipstick, and a cell phone, it carries on the spirit of a more gracious era.