A debonair Louis Vuitton descendent inspires a new jewelry collection

Grandson of the visionary trunkmaker who founded his eponymous house in 1854, Gaston-Louis Vuitton was himself known to be a sophisticated, stylish man who loved to travel — though the workshops of Louis Vuitton always remained close to his heart. “I almost was born in a trunk!” he once exclaimed on a French television show in 1961. 

Gaston-Louis indeed was born in 1883 in Asnières-sur-Seine, where the legendary house continues to handcraft its trunks to this day in workshops that surround an Art Nouveau home where the iconic brand’s founder once resided. And while Gaston-Louis may not enjoy the high-wattage history established by his grandfather, his impact on the brand was without a doubt considerable, with contributions that included designs for trunks and travel bags that expanded the house’s collection and reinforced its position as an esteemed firm for those seeking high-end luggage that was both stylish and beautifully constructed. 

By every account a witty, charming and stylish man, now Gaston-Louis is being celebrated with a tribute he surely would appreciate. In late January Louis Vuitton announced the debut of Les Gastons Vuitton, an 18-piece jewelry collection — comprised of rings, necklaces, bracelets, earrings and pendants — designed specifically for men (though if a woman likewise falls in love with a Les Gastons necklace or ring, that wouldn’t be difficult to understand). The collection is now available at the Louis Vuitton boutique at South Coast Plaza. 

Men’s jewelry is undeniably trending, driven by a bevy of stylish stars that includes everyone from Timothée Chalamet and Harry Styles to Bradley Cooper, Tom Holland and Jay-Z, all of whom have worn Louis Vuitton on recent red carpets. The launch of Les Gastons Vuitton is yet another sign that men are becoming increasingly adventurous about jewelry and can add it to their wardrobes in ways both subtle and extravagant, with the latter among the reasons the term “male peacock” has become popular to denote guys who embrace a fashion-forward attitude. 

Designed by Francesca Amfitheatrof, Louis Vuitton’s artistic director for watches and jewelry, the collection in 18-karat yellow and white gold, and a splash of titanium, explores a trio of themes — or “chapters,” as they’re called — that honor both Gaston-Louis’ work and his love of the house. Throughout Les Gastons, there’s also a special attention to the Vuitton Monogram, perhaps the most celebrated symbol of the brand. 

The opening chapter has been christened “The Creators” and highlights Gaston-Louis’ artistic side, notably his love of sketching and his penchant for filling notebooks with design ideas. A “mechanical” ring and a pendant, both crafted in yellow gold and titanium, both offer a playful, tactile sensibility the wearer is sure to find irresistible. The titanium’s deep blue hue, meanwhile, is a color exclusively developed for Les Gastons Vuitton. “This collection is a bit like your pair of jeans,” Amfitheatrof says. “Everyone owns a pair of jeans, and the more you wear your jeans, the more you love them.” 

Dubbed “The Collectors,” the second chapter pays tribute to the notion that Gaston-Louis simply loved to collect objets d’art and other keepsakes in his travels, from cocktail napkins to vintage hotel labels and, of course, trunks — he was reported to have owned at least 175 of the latter. The Louis Vuitton Monogram motif is the star here, crafted via laser cutting into pendants, necklaces and more. 

A spirit of invention takes center stage in “The Curious,” the third and final chapter of Les Gastons Vuitton. The house is ever mindful that Gaston-Louis was born only six years before the Eiffel Tower opened to the public in 1889, and he was exactly 20 years old when the Wright brothers first powered airplane lifted into the sky in December 1903. In other words, anyone who grew up during this exceptional era of innovation was surely imbued with an unabashed spirit of what the future might bring. And with that in mind, perhaps the piece that honors “The Curious” to the greatest degree is the one that also embraces the heart of the Louis Vuitton heritage: the trunk, reimagined as both a stud earring and a pendant, each in white gold embellished with diamonds. 

That full-circle idea is integral not only to the overall savoir-faire of the house, but also brings one of the brand’s earliest influencers into the present day in a decidedly stylish way. Ultimately, while Louis Vuitton continues to enjoy, deservedly, the lion’s share of attention, Les Gastons Vuitton is a fitting tribute to a man who contributed both his heart and soul to the house, and certainly would appreciate that his name has lived on with unquestionable style.

This collection is a bit like your pair of jeans. Everyone owns a pair of jeans, and the more you wear your jeans, the more you love them.



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