Louis Vuitton wants attention – designer or not


It’s no secret that Louis Vuitton is the largest and most profitable luxury brand. But just how big and profitable the company is may surprise some: While owner LVMH doesn’t break out sales for individual brands, analysts estimate Louis Vuitton’s revenue was more than 20 billion euros last year, with an operating margin of more than 50 percent.

That’s 4 years after the brand became the first brand worth €10 billion a year in 2018.

The rapid expansion is partly due to a surge in demand for luxury since the pandemic, drawing more customers from timeless blue-chip names.

Vuitton’s growth is also the result of investment: the brand has consistently stolen market share from competitors by spending heavily on stores and marketing – not only during the industry’s boom years, but also during times of uncertainty. In the year During the 2020 and 2021 coronavirus lockdowns, the brand has launched major advertising campaigns at a time when many other companies are occupying it with store renovations and expansions – setting up new stores for 2022 in Tokyo and Miami. Their firepower for the better.

Since the shocking death of 41-year-old menswear creative director Virgil Abloh in November 2021, Vuitton has continued to celebrate the late designer’s vision with big-budget tribute shows, featuring star-studded collections and shows including Kendrick Lamar and conductor Gustavo Dudamel.

Abloh’s successor has yet to be announced, but three seasons after his death, the brand shows no signs of backing down.

At Thursday’s show in Paris – before current CEO Michael Burke and executive vice president Delphine Arnault hand over the reins of the brand to Dior’s Pietro Beccari – Spanish pop star Rosalia sang and danced throughout the show. Models spread around a sophisticated suite, including a customized El Camino (rebuilt into a giant speaker) and teenage bedrooms in a built-in retro home.

Signed by Vuitton’s menswear studio but conceived with the help of guest creative director Colm Dillane (known for his own line, Kid Super), the collection sent a more ambiguous fashion message than previous seasons. A mix of elegant tailoring with utility-inspired boots and accessories, and casual pieces like jean jackets elevated with couture-level detailing were synonymous with Abloh’s menswear look. Dylan’s Technicolor signatures — bright colors, swirly patchwork motifs and slogans in funky comic-book font — add a welcome dash of novelty, but sometimes clash with pieces that evoke Abloh’s strict, architectural approach.

Despite the transitional nature of the collection, the show brought a lot of energy and attention to Vuitton’s menswear offering. In addition to Rosalia’s performance, buzzy guests like K-pop star J-Hope, rapper Tyga and “Emily in Paris” actor Lucien Laviscount were on hand to make sure the event went live online.

Vuitton is estimated to have spent more than one billion euros on marketing and promotion last year. That figure could rise as the brand undergoes an unprecedented turnaround and a new CEO hired from Dior prepares to make his mark on the company. The menswear show has come under weeks of high-profile promotions for Vuitton’s blockbuster collaboration with artist Yayoi Kusama — and it’s only January.


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