The revered French fashion house creates a custom traveling trunk to transport The Milkmaid.

Since its inception in 1854, French fashion house Louis Vuitton has established itself as a luxury heavyweight thanks to its elaborate trunks and hard luggage. Each year, around 300 to 350 bespoke commissions are produced by artisans that oversee the hand-crafted masterpieces from start to finish. Carpenters fashion trunks of all sizes from three types of wood (poplar, African okoume, and beechwood) and then cover them with the eye-catching fabric.

Though the Parisian maison has produced its fair share of iconic pieces, a recent commission for The Rijksmuseum (a world-class arts and history museum in Amsterdam) takes the craftsmanship to a new level. Louis Vuitton was commissioned to create a one-of-a-kind trunk to transport The Milkmaid, an oil-on-canvas painting of a domestic kitchen maid created by Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer (who also painted Girl with a Pearl Earring and Woman in Blue Reading a Letter). The Milkmaid is considered one of the most important pieces at The Rijksmuseum, so naturally the trunk chosen to transport it had to be second to none. That’s where Louis Vuitton came in.




The special-order trunk was outfitted with brass corners, a brass key lock (based on a design created in 1890), and the iconic “LV” monogram canvas (which was originally designed in 1986 by Louis Vuitton’s son, Georges). The interior is outlined with a cheery yellow chevron-patterned cushion with hand-painted stripes. Yellow and blue stripes on the exterior are an homage to the painting’s muted hues. The elongated trunk’s size was specially designed to perfectly fit the painting. The trunk will ferry The Milkmaid from its home at The Rijksmuseum to the Ueno Royal Museum in Japan for a temporary exhibition.

This isn’t the first time Louis Vuitton has championed the arts through its iconic designs. The brand has made a slew of trunks for artists and visionaries (including French gallery owner René Gimpel, who used the trunks to transport artwork to clients around the globe, and explorer Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza). More recently, the powerhouse was tapped to envision a bespoke trunk that transported the World Cup home with the winning French team.