More than 5,000 miles from the storied ateliers of Paris and about 25 miles east of the City of Los Angeles, in the suburb of San Dimas, Louis Vuitton is making handbags embossed with a “Made in U.S.A.” label. The facility sits in a well-manicured office park; the kind that might just as easily house a technology or financial services firm. As the 3pm shift comes to a close, employees swing through the Louis Vuitton-labeled doors, some still donning the LV-brown smocks worn as they sit at sewing machines and worktables.
The factory’s output — which, over the years, has included a variety of handbags ranging from the “Delightful” carryall to the popular “Speedy” bandoulière — can be found in Louis Vuitton stores, where “Made in U.S.A.” labels are mixed in with those imprinted with other countries of origin, including France, Spain and Italy. (Luggage is also sent to San Dimas for repairs.)