125 years ago, the French celebrated the 100th anniversary of the storming of the Bastille (a.k.a. the start of the French Revolution) by reconstructing the very monument they toppled for the Universal Exhibition of Paris, a grand, 240-acre exposition held in the heart of the city where a few moments went down in history: the unveiling of the Eiffel Tower, the invention of the phonograph, and the debut of Louis Vuitton's Damier print, shown off to the good people of Paris by the fashion house's namesake himself.
The Damier check has remained a brand signature ever since, but until now it's only appeared on bags in brown, black, and beige. For the Fall 2014 collection, however, creative director Kim Jones sent backpacks, duffles, and folios down the runway in a brand new shade: cobalt blue.
"I always think of midnight blue as being very Parisian," said Jones. "I wanted to redevelop the Damier in some way, and for me this was the most logical. It fits with my passion for color, but it's also discrete enough to be appropriate for business."
In addition to messengers, trolley bags, and a backpack hybrid—made in a variety of new leathers, like nubuck and "silver mirrored calf" with Damier debossing—there's a tote specially designed to help you breeze through airport security as well as travel games that fold up like mini portfolios. (There's even a small crystal and metal puzzle cube invented by Gaston-Louis Vuitton in the '20s.)
We're not sure if Vuitton had some extra Damier pieces on hand to sell to the fin-de-siécle fairgoers, but in another new move for the brand, Jones is making the accessories we saw walk down the runway mere moments ago available for purchase maintenant, ici.
—Perrin Drumm, associate online editor. Follow her on Instagram @perrindrumm.