STYLE
03/08/2012 05:01 pm ET Updated Oct 02, 2012

'Louis Vuitton - Marc Jacobs: The Exhibition' Explains Who Actually Invented The Louis Vuitton Monogram (And Other Fun Facts)

You might think you know everything about Louis Vuitton and the brand's artistic director Marc Jacobs, but as the new exhibit, creatively titled "Louis Vuitton - Marc Jacobs: The Exhibition," reveals, you have no idea.

Although rumors persist that Jacobs will leave Louis Vuitton for Christian Dior, the native New Yorker's aesthetic has become critical to the image of the French fashion house. However, Jacobs, who has been the artistic director of Louis Vuitton since 1997, is just one of many to have helmed the house since it was founded in 1854.

When the brand's namesake, who was born in 1821 in eastern France, founded Louis Vuitton in the 19th century, it was initially an inventive luggage company that specialized in "packing of fashions." The first trunks were not even the leather Louis Vuitton is known for today, but actually waterproof waxed canvas. Vuitton's son, Georges Vuitton, took over the brand in 1896 and was the one who is responsible for inventing the "LV" monogram.

Fast-forward a century and enter Marc Jacobs. The current exhibit, which was celebrated Wednesday night by the designer-of-honor along with Gwyneth Paltrow, Sarah Jessica Parker and more, links the stories of both Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton and shows a wide range of Louis Vuitton's history: including pieces from the brands heritage like a trunk from to 1869-1871 that pre-dates the signature monogramed leather and more contemporary pieces like Takashi Murakami's cherry monogram canvas bag from 2005 and more.

How do you think the brand changed over the past three centuries? Check out the slideshow below for images from the exhibit and the upcoming book, "Louis Vuitton/Marc Jacobs" available this May:

PHOTO GALLERIES

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And, check out the celeb-filled fete that celebrated the opening of the exhibit:

PHOTO GALLERIES
Marc Jacobs -- Louis Vuitton exhibit

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