Louis Vuitton Chronavilator

When approached by LV to create the future of their window displays, we looked to the past for inspiration. Way into the past. With their only specification that the display showed an interaction that played between physical and digital, we didn't actually have far too look.

An early example of a wireless communication tool. Messages were limited to 140 characters, similar to today's Twitter.

Beginning in the early 19th century, Louis Vuitton, who founded the company, was known as a bit of a 'Tinkerer'. He not only designed and built trunks for traveling, but also imagined his boxes carrying all the conveniences of modern life along with the passangers. Sometimes, he imagined not only the conveniences of modern life, but the conveniences of what he imagined life would be like in the future.

From portable showers and portable bar sets, to weather predicting machines and early forms of wireless communication, Louis set the bar for bringing the comforts of home to the far reaches of the French Empire.

Unfortunately, many of these designs remained exactly that; designs. Without advances in electrical sciences, many of the inventions, such as the 'Weather Writer' or 'Travel Configurator' remained unbuilt. Features of an overactive imagination in a time that simply wasn't ready for them.

Using early projectors, this wardrobe trunk assisted users in picking out their outfit for the day.

We, at Ogilvy, felt that the time had come to dust off these designs and build them for the flagship Louis Vuitton store in Hong Kong's anniversary. The designs long abandoned in the LV vault were finally coming to life.

Here is where the truth comes out. There were no trunks invented by Louis Vuitton that predicted weather, communicated wirelessly, or did any of the other wild abilities claimed earlier. Even the name 'Chronavilator' was a fake.

They were a ruse. Designed by myself in-house at Ogilvy, these contraptions were designed to use open-source electronics to show how modern technology might have been built in the 19th century. Ultimately we were unable to build them due to a shift in management at LV, and these trunks and contraptions remain unbuilt today.

The 'original' logo for Louis Vuitton's futuristic concepts.
The concept was to create electronics embedded in the exact trunks used by LV in the 19th century, with as many components available to engineers at the time.