Louis Vuitton

Last updated

Louis Vuitton
Division
Industry Fashion
Founded1854;165 years ago (1854)
Founder Louis Vuitton
Headquarters,
Key people
Michael Burke
(Chairman & CEO) [1]
Nicolas Ghesquière
Virgil Abloh [2]
(Creative Directors)
Products Luxury goods
RevenueIncrease2.svg US$9.9 billion (2017) [3]
Number of employees
121,289 (2014) [4]
Parent LVMH
Website www.louisvuitton.com
Louis Vuitton at Champs-Elysees Louis Vuitton, Champs-Elysees 2.jpg
Louis Vuitton at Champs-Elysées

Louis Vuitton Malletier, commonly referred to as Louis Vuitton or shortened to LV, is a French fashion house and luxury retail company founded in 1854 by Louis Vuitton. The label's LV monogram appears on most of its products, ranging from luxury trunks and leather goods to ready-to-wear, shoes, watches, jewelry, accessories, sunglasses and books. Louis Vuitton is one of the world's leading international fashion houses; it sells its products through standalone boutiques, lease departments in high-end department stores, and through the e-commerce section of its website. [5] [6] For six consecutive years (2006–2012), Louis Vuitton was named the world's most valuable luxury brand. Its 2012 valuation was US$25.9 billion. [7] The 2013 valuation of the brand was US$28.4 billion with revenue of US$9.4 billion. [8] The company operates in 50 countries with more than 460 stores worldwide. [9]

Louis Vuitton (designer) French fashion designer and businessman

Louis Vuitton was a French fashion designer and businessman. He was the founder of the Louis Vuitton brand of leather goods now owned by LVMH. Prior to this, he had been appointed as trunk-maker to Empress Eugénie de Montijo, wife of Napoleon III.

Monogram motif made by overlapping two or more letters

A monogram is a motif made by overlapping or combining two or more letters or other graphemes to form one symbol. Monograms are often made by combining the initials of an individual or a company, used as recognizable symbols or logos. A series of uncombined initials is properly referred to as a cypher and is not a monogram.

E-commerce is the activity of buying or selling of products on online services or over the Internet. Electronic commerce draws on technologies such as mobile commerce, electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, Internet marketing, online transaction processing, electronic data interchange (EDI), inventory management systems, and automated data collection systems.

Contents

Louis Vuitton's "LV" logo Louis Vuitton or shortened to LV, is a French fashion house founded in 1854 by Louis Vuitton Photography by david adam kess, madrid 2016.jpg
Louis Vuitton's "LV" logo

History

Founding to World War II

The Louis Vuitton label was founded by Vuitton in 1854 on Rue Neuve des Capucines in Paris, France. [10] Louis Vuitton had observed that the HJ Cave Osilite [11] trunk could be easily stacked. In 1858, Vuitton introduced his flat-topped trunks with trianon canvas, making them lightweight and airtight. [10] Before the introduction of Vuitton's trunks, rounded-top trunks were used, generally to promote water runoff, and thus could not be stacked. It was Vuitton's gray Trianon canvas flat trunk that allowed the ability to stack with ease for voyages. Many other luggage makers imitated LV's style and design. [6]

Paris Capital of France

Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, diplomacy, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts.

H.J. Cave & Sons is a London-based leather luxury goods company founded in 1839 and regarded by some as the inventor of the luxury leather handbag.

The company participated in the 1867 Universal Exhibition in Paris. [10] In 1871, Ōyama Iwao became the first recorded Japanese customer, ordering a set of luggage while in Paris as a military observer during the Franco-Prussian War. [12] To protect against the duplication of his look, Vuitton changed the Trianon design to a beige and brown stripes design in 1876. [6] By 1885, the company opened its first store in London on Oxford Street. [10] Soon thereafter, due to the continuing imitation of his look, in 1888, Vuitton created the Damier Canvas pattern, which bore a logo that reads "marque L. Vuitton déposée", which translates into "L. Vuitton registered trademark". In 1892, Louis Vuitton died, and the company's management passed to his son. [6] [10]

Exposition Universelle (1867)

The International Exposition of 1867, was the second world's fair to be held in Paris, from 1 April to 3 November 1867. A number of nations were represented at the fair. Following a decree of Emperor Napoleon III, the exposition was prepared as early as 1864, in the midst of the renovation of Paris, marking the culmination of the Second French Empire. Visitors included Tsar Alexander II of Russia, a brother of the emperor of Japan, King William and Otto von Bismarck of Prussia, Prince Metternich and Franz Josef of Austria, Ottoman Sultan Abdülaziz, and the Khedive of Egypt Isma'il.

Ōyama Iwao Japanese general

Prince Ōyama Iwao, OM was a Japanese field marshal, and one of the founders of the Imperial Japanese Army.

Franco-Prussian War significant conflict pitting the Second French Empire against the Kingdom of Prussia and its allies

The Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War, often referred to in France as the War of 1870, was a conflict between the Second French Empire and later the Third French Republic, and the German states of the North German Confederation led by the Kingdom of Prussia. Lasting from 19 July 1870 to 28 January 1871, the conflict was caused by Prussian ambitions to extend German unification and French fears of the shift in the European balance of power that would result if the Prussians succeeded. Some historians argue that the Prussian chancellor Otto von Bismarck deliberately provoked the French into declaring war on Prussia in order to draw the independent southern German states—Baden, Württemberg, Bavaria and Hesse-Darmstadt—into an alliance with the North German Confederation dominated by Prussia, while others contend that Bismarck did not plan anything and merely exploited the circumstances as they unfolded. None, however, dispute the fact that Bismarck must have recognized the potential for new German alliances, given the situation as a whole.

Ad for Louis Vuitton luggage, 1898

After the death of his father, Georges Vuitton began a campaign to build the company into a worldwide corporation, exhibiting the company's products at the Chicago World's Fair in 1893. In 1896, the company launched the signature Monogram Canvas and made the worldwide patents on it. [6] [10] Its graphic symbols, including quatrefoils and flowers (as well as the LV monogram), were based on the trend of using Japanese Mon designs in the late Victorian era. [13] The patents later proved to be successful in stopping counterfeiting. In this same year, Georges traveled to the United States, where he toured cities such as New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago, selling Vuitton products. In 1901, the Louis Vuitton Company introduced the Steamer Bag, a smaller piece of luggage designed to be kept inside Vuitton luggage trunks.

Worlds Columbian Exposition Worlds Fair held in Chicago in 1893

The World's Columbian Exposition was a world's fair held in Chicago in 1893 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus's arrival in the New World in 1492. The centerpiece of the Fair, the large water pool, represented the long voyage Columbus took to the New World. Chicago bested New York City, Washington, D.C., and St. Louis for the honor of hosting the fair. The Exposition was an influential social and cultural event and had a profound effect on architecture, sanitation, the arts, Chicago's self-image, and American industrial optimism.

<i>Mon</i> (emblem) Japanese emblems

Mon (紋), also monshō (紋章), mondokoro (紋所), and kamon (家紋), are Japanese emblems used to decorate and identify an individual, a family, or an institution or business entity. While mon is an encompassing term that may refer to any such device, kamon and mondokoro refer specifically to emblems used to identify a family. An authoritative mon reference compiles Japan's 241 general categories of mon based on structural resemblance, with 5116 distinct individual mon.

Victorian era period of British history encompassing Queen Victorias reign (1837–1901)

In the history of the United Kingdom, the Victorian era was the period of Queen Victoria's reign, from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. The era followed the Georgian period and preceded the Edwardian period, and its later half overlaps with the first part of the Belle Époque era of Continental Europe. In terms of moral sensibilities and political reforms, this period began with the passage of the Reform Act 1832. There was a strong religious drive for higher moral standards led by the nonconformist churches, such as the Methodist, and the Evangelical wing of the established Church of England. Britain's relations with the other Great Powers were driven by the colonial antagonism of the Great Game with Russia, climaxing during the Crimean War; a Pax Britannica of international free trade was maintained by the country's naval and industrial supremacy. Britain embarked on global imperial expansion, particularly in Asia and Africa, which made the British Empire the largest empire in history. National self-confidence peaked.

By 1913, the Louis Vuitton Building opened on the Champs-Elysees. It was the largest travel-goods store in the world at the time. Stores also opened in New York, Bombay, Washington, London, Alexandria, and Buenos Aires as World War I began. Afterwards, in 1930, the Keepall bag was introduced. During 1932, LV introduced the Noé bag. This bag was originally made for champagne vintners to transport bottles. Soon thereafter, the Louis Vuitton Speedy bag was introduced (both are still manufactured today). [10] In 1936 Georges Vuitton died, and his son, Gaston-Louis Vuitton, assumed control of the company. [10]

Washington, D.C. Capital of the United States

Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington or D.C., is the capital of the United States. Founded after the American Revolution as the seat of government of the newly independent country, Washington was named after George Washington, the first President of the United States and a Founding Father. As the seat of the United States federal government and several international organizations, Washington is an important world political capital. The city is also one of the most visited cities in the world, with more than 20 million tourists annually.

Alexandria Metropolis in Egypt

Alexandria is the second-largest city in Egypt and a major economic centre, extending about 32 km (20 mi) along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the north central part of the country. Its low elevation on the Nile delta makes it highly vulnerable to rising sea levels. Alexandria is an important industrial center because of its natural gas and oil pipelines from Suez. Alexandria is also a popular tourist destination.

Buenos Aires Place in Argentina

Buenos Aires is the capital and largest city of Argentina. The city is located on the western shore of the estuary of the Río de la Plata, on the South American continent's southeastern coast. "Buenos Aires" can be translated as "fair winds" or "good airs", but the former was the meaning intended by the founders in the 16th century, by the use of the original name "Real de Nuestra Señora Santa María del Buen Ayre". The Greater Buenos Aires conurbation, which also includes several Buenos Aires Province districts, constitutes the fourth-most populous metropolitan area in the Americas, with a population of around 15.6 million.

Collaboration

During World War II, Louis Vuitton collaborated with the Nazis during the German occupation of France. The French book Louis Vuitton, A French Saga, authored by French journalist Stephanie Bonvicini and published by Paris-based Editions Fayard [14] tells how members of the Vuitton family actively aided the puppet government led by Marshal Philippe Pétain and increased their wealth from their business affairs with the Germans. The family set up a factory dedicated to producing artifacts glorifying Pétain, including more than 2,500 busts.

Collaborationism is cooperation with the enemy against one's country of citizenship in wartime. The term is most often used to describe the cooperation of civilians with the occupying Axis Powers, especially Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, during World War II. Motivations for collaboration by citizens and organizations included nationalism, ethnic hatred, anti-communism, antisemitism, opportunism, self-defense, or often a combination of these factors. Some collaborators in World War II committed war crimes, crimes against humanity, or atrocities such as the Holocaust. More often collaborators simply "went along to get along," attempting to benefit from the occupation or simply survive. The definition of collaborationism is imprecise and subject to interpretation.

German military administration in occupied France during World War II Interim occupation authority established by Nazi Germany during World War II

The Military Administration in France was an interim occupation authority established by Nazi Germany during World War II to administer the occupied zone in areas of northern and western France. This so-called zone occupée was renamed zone nord in November 1942, when the previously unoccupied zone in the south known as zone libre was also occupied and renamed zone sud.

Philippe Pétain French military and political leader

Henri Philippe Benoni Omer Joseph Pétain, generally known as Philippe Pétain, Marshal Pétain and The Old Marshal, was a French general officer who attained the position of Marshal of France at the end of World War I, during which he became known as The Lion of Verdun, and in World War II served as the Chief of State of Vichy France from 1940 to 1944. Pétain, who was 84 years old in 1940, ranks as France's oldest head of state.

Caroline Babulle, a spokeswoman for the publisher, Fayard, said: "They have not contested anything in the book, but they are trying to bury it by pretending it doesn't exist." [15] Responding to the book's release in 2004, a spokesman for LVMH said: "This is ancient history. The book covers a period when it was family-run and long before it became part of LVMH. We are diverse, tolerant and all the things a modern company should be." [15] An LVMH spokesman told the satirical magazine Le Canard Enchaîné : "We don't deny the facts, but regrettably the author has exaggerated the Vichy episode. We haven't put any pressure on anyone. If the journalists want to censor themselves, then that suits us fine." That publication was the only French periodical to mention the book, LVMH is the country's biggest advertiser in the press. [15]

1945 through 2000

Louis Vuitton store in Nicosia, Cyprus Louis Vuitton official store in Stasikratous street in Nicosia Republic of Cyprus.jpg
Louis Vuitton store in Nicosia, Cyprus
Louis Vuitton store in Lugano, Switzerland. Via Nassa 31 Lugano 2.JPG
Louis Vuitton store in Lugano, Switzerland.
Louis Vuitton store in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. LouisVuittonYorkdale.JPG
Louis Vuitton store in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

During this period, Louis Vuitton began to incorporate leather into most of its products, which ranged from small purses and wallets to larger pieces of luggage. In order to broaden its line, the company revamped its signature Monogram Canvas in 1959 [10] to make it more supple, allowing it to be used for purses, bags, and wallets. It is believed that in the 1920s, counterfeiting returned as a greater issue to continue on into the 21st century. [6] In 1966, the Papillon was launched (a cylindrical bag that is still popular today). By 1977 with annual revenue up to 70 million Francs ($14.27 million US$). [16] A year later, the label opened its first stores in Japan: in Tokyo and Osaka. In 1983, the company joined with America's Cup to form the Louis Vuitton Cup, a preliminary competition (known as an eliminatory regatta) for the yacht race. Louis Vuitton later expanded its presence in Asia with the opening of a store in Taipei, Taiwan in 1983 and Seoul, South Korea in 1984. In the following year, 1985, the Epi leather line was introduced. [10]

1987 saw the creation of LVMH. [10] Moët et Chandon and Hennessy, leading manufacturers of champagne and cognac, merged respectively with Louis Vuitton to form the luxury goods conglomerate. Profits for 1988 were reported to have been up by 49% more than in 1987. By 1989, Louis Vuitton came to operate 130 stores worldwide. [10] Entering the 1990s, Yves Carcelle was named president of LV, and in 1992, his brand opened its first Chinese location at the Palace Hotel in Beijing. Further products became introduced such as the Taiga leather line in 1993, and the literature collection of Voyager Avec... in 1994. In 1996, the celebration of the Centennial of the Monogram Canvas was held in seven cities worldwide. [10]

In 1997, Louis Vuitton made Marc Jacobs its Artistic Director. [17] In March of the following year, he designed and introduced the company's first "prêt-à-porter" line of clothing for men and women. Also in this year products introduced included the Monogram Vernis line, the LV scrapbooks, and the Louis Vuitton City Guide. [10]

The last events in the 20th century were the release of the mini monogram line in 1999, the opening of the first store in Africa in Marrakech, Morocco, in 2000, and finally, the auction at the International Film Festival in Venice, Italy, where the vanity case "amfAR" designed by Sharon Stone was sold, with the proceeds going to the Foundation for AIDS Research (also in 2000). [10]

2001 to 2011

The store on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue. Louis Vuitton Fifth Avenue New York City.jpg
The store on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue.
A Louis Vuitton boutique in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, in Milan, Italy. Louis Vuitton, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.jpg
A Louis Vuitton boutique in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, in Milan, Italy.
5th Avenue, NYC, 2013 USA-NYC-5th Avenue Louis Vuitton0.jpg
5th Avenue, NYC, 2013
A Louis Vuitton store in Central, Hong Kong. Louis Vuitton The Landmark Hong Kong.jpg
A Louis Vuitton store in Central, Hong Kong.
Louis Vuitton store in Singapore. Lighted polyhedral building Louis Vuitton in Singapore.jpg
Louis Vuitton store in Singapore.
A Louis Vuitton store in Las Vegas. Crystals - Exterior East - 2010-03-06.JPG
A Louis Vuitton store in Las Vegas.
Louis Vuitton VIP room in Vienna for ordering custom designed goods. Louis Vuitton VIP room in Vienna.JPG
Louis Vuitton VIP room in Vienna for ordering custom designed goods.

By 2001, Stephen Sprouse, in collaboration with Marc Jacobs, designed a limited-edition line of Vuitton bags [10] that featured graffiti written over the monogram pattern. The graffiti read Louis Vuitton and, on certain bags, the name of the bag (such as Keepall and Speedy). Certain pieces, which featured the graffiti without the Monogram Canvas background, were only available on Louis Vuitton's V.I.P. customer list. Jacobs also created the charm bracelet, the first ever piece of jewelry from LV, within the same year. [10]

In 2002, the Tambour watch collection was introduced. [10] During this year, the LV building in Tokyo's Ginza district was opened, and the brand collaborated with Bob Wilson for its Christmas windows scenography. In 2003, Takashi Murakami, [10] in collaboration with Marc Jacobs, masterminded the new Monogram Multicolore canvas range of handbags and accessories. This range included the monograms of the standard Monogram Canvas but in 33 different colors on either a white or black background. (The classic canvas features gold monograms on a brown background.) Murakami also created the Cherry Blossom pattern, in which smiling cartoon faces in the middle of pink and yellow flowers were sporadically placed atop the Monogram Canvas. This pattern appeared on a limited number of pieces. The production of this limited-edition run was discontinued in June 2003. Within 2003, the stores in Moscow, Russia and in New Delhi, India were opened, the Utah and Suhali leather lines were released, and the 20th anniversary of the LV Cup was held. [10]

Louis Vuitton situated on the famous Champs-Elysees. Louis-Vuitton-Paris.jpg
Louis Vuitton situated on the famous Champs-Elysées.
The store in Yekaterinburg (Russia) Night Ekaterinburg Louis Vuitton.jpg
The store in Yekaterinburg (Russia)
Louis Vuitton on Briggate, Leeds. Louis Vuitton, Briggate (20th February 2013).JPG
Louis Vuitton on Briggate, Leeds.

In 2004, Louis Vuitton celebrated its 150th anniversary. The brand also inaugurated stores in New York City (on Fifth Avenue), São Paulo, Mexico City, Cancun and Johannesburg. It also opened its first global store in Shanghai. By 2005, Louis Vuitton reopened its Champs-Élysées store in Paris designed by the American Architect Eric Carlson and released the Speedy watch collection. In 2006, LV held the inauguration of the Espace Louis Vuitton on its 7th floor. [10] In 2008, Louis Vuitton released the Damier Graphite canvas. The canvas features the classic Damier pattern but in black and grey, giving it a masculine look and urban feel. Also in 2008, Pharrell Williams co-designed a series of jewelry ("Blason") and glasses for Louis Vuitton. [18]

In 2010, Louis Vuitton opened what it described as their most luxurious store in London. [19]

In early 2011, Louis Vuitton hired Kim Jones as its "Men Ready-to-Wear Studio and Style Director". He became the lead designer of menswear while working under the company-wide artistic directorship of Marc Jacobs. [20]

On 17 September 2011, the company opened its Louis Vuitton Island Maison at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. [21]

2012 to present

As of September 2013, the company hired Darren Spaziani to lead its accessory collection. [22]

On 4 November 2013, the company confirmed that Nicolas Ghesquière had been hired to replace Marc Jacobs as artistic director of women's collections. Ghesquière's first line for the company was shown in Paris in March 2014. [23]

On 7 April 2014, Edouard Schneider became the head of press and public relations at Louis Vuitton under Frédéric Winckler, who is Vuitton's communications and events director. [24]

On 26 March 2018, Virgil Abloh was named artistic director of men's wear—he is the label's first African-American artistic director and one of few black designers of a major European fashion house. [25] His debut show was held at the 2018 Paris Men's Fashion Week and staged in the historical Palais-Royal gardens' courtyard. [26] [27]

Brand

The Louis Vuitton brand and the LV monogram are among the world's most valuable brands. [28] According to a Millward Brown 2010 study, Louis Vuitton was then the world's 19th most valuable brand, and was estimated to be worth over US$19 billion. [29] For six consecutive years, Louis Vuitton was number one of the 10 most powerful brands list published by the Millward Brown Optimor's 2011 BrandZ study with value of $24.3 billion. It was more than double the value of the second ranking brand. [30]

A Louis Vuitton "Sarah Wallet" Louis Vuitton wallet.jpg
A Louis Vuitton "Sarah Wallet"

Louis Vuitton is one of the most counterfeited brands in the fashion world due to its image as a status symbol. [28] Ironically, the signature Monogram Canvas was created to prevent counterfeiting. [31] In 2004, Louis Vuitton fakes accounted for 18% of counterfeit accessories seized in the European Union. [32]

The company actively seeks to eradicate counterfeiting, and employs a team of lawyers and special investigation agencies to pursue offenders through the courts worldwide. The company allocates approximately half of its communications budget to counteract counterfeiting of its goods. [6] LVMH, Vuitton's parent company, has described "Some 60 people at various levels of responsibility working full-time on anti-counterfeiting in collaboration with a wide network of outside investigators and a team of lawyers." [33] The company closely controls the distribution of its products. [6] Until the 1980s, Vuitton products were widely sold in department stores, such as Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue. Today, Vuitton products are primarily available at company-owned Louis Vuitton boutiques, [6] with a small number of exceptions noted in upscale shopping districts or inside luxury department stores. Company boutiques within department stores operate independently, and are operated by company managers and employees. LV has an official online store, through its main website. [34]

In 2006, the company filed a lawsuit against Colorado-based Manifest Information Services Ltd. (aka Manifest Hostmaster and Manifest.com), through WIPO, in order to compel Manifest transfer the domain name LV.com to Louis Vuitton; the legal action failed and the domain was subsequently acquired by Liverpool Victoria (LV=), England's largest fraternal insurance company. [35]

Several high-profile rap music artists have mentioned the company in song lyrics, most notably: Bohemia, Kanye West, Juicy J, and Wiz Khalifa. [36] [37]

Products

Louis Vuitton products HK CH LV Landmark 60421.jpg
Louis Vuitton products
Louis Vuitton shopwindow (2019) Houston, United States Louis vuitton shop window, Galleria, Houston.jpg
Louis Vuitton shopwindow (2019) Houston, United States

Since the 19th century, Louis Vuitton trunks have been made by hand. [6] Contemporary Fashion gives a preview of the creation of the LV trunks: "The craftsmen line up the leather and canvas, tapping in the tiny nails one by one and securing the five-letter solid pick-proof brass locks with an individual handmade key, designed to allow the traveler to have only one key for all of his or her luggage. The wooden frames of each trunk are made of 30-year-old poplar that has been allowed to dry for at least four years. Each trunk has a serial number and can take up to 60 hours to make, and a suitcase as many as 15 hours." [6]

Iconic bags of Louis Vuitton include the Speedy bag and Neverfull bags. Each season Louis Vuitton produces rare, limited edition bags that are generally only available by reservation through larger Louis Vuitton stores.[ citation needed ]

Many of the company's products utilize the brown Damier and Monogram Canvas materials, both of which were first used in the late 19th century. All of the company's products exhibit the eponymous LV initials. The company markets its product through its own stores located throughout the world, which allows it to control product quality and pricing. It also allows LV to prevent counterfeit products entering its distribution channels. In addition, the company distributes its products through the company's own website, LouisVuitton.com. [6]

Advertising campaigns

The Louis Vuitton company cultivates a celebrity following and has featured famous models, musicians and actors, such as Jennifer Lopez, Keith Richards, Madonna, Sean Connery, Matthias Schoenaerts, Angelina Jolie, Gisele Bündchen, Mikhail Gorbachev, and David Bowie in its marketing campaigns. [38]

The company commonly uses print ads in magazines and billboards in cosmopolitan cities. Louis Vuitton Posters by Razzia were popular in the 1980s. It previously relied on selected press for its advertising campaigns (frequently involving prestigious stars like Steffi Graf, Andre Agassi and Catherine Deneuve) shot by Annie Leibovitz. However, Antoine Arnault, director of the communication department, has recently decided to enter the world of television and cinema: The commercial (90 seconds) is exploring the theme "Where will life take you?" and is translated into 13 different languages. This is the first Vuitton commercial ad ever and was directed by renowned French ad director Bruno Aveillan. [39]

In 2002, president and CEO of LVMH Watches Daniel Lalonde (later, global CEO for LVMH brands Moët and Dom Pérignon) recruited celebrities, such as Maria Sharapova, Brad Pitt, Tiger Woods, and Uma Thurman, for advertising campaigns photographed by Patrick Demarchelier. Ads featuring Woods reportedly led to a 30% boost in sales, resulting in TAG Heuer being rated as the No. 2 luxury watch brand in America by 2005. [40]

Special collaborations

Louis Vuitton has had many collaborations with prominent artists and designers. Takashi Murakami created special edition collections, such as the Monogramouflage Collection, which debuted in 2008, and a previous collection, released in 2002, which featured some of his artwork. The creations were "painted" over the traditional monogram canvas, which brought a radical new twist to the timeless design. Marc Jacobs also commemorated a previous collaboration, designed by Stephen Sprouse. This collection, originally released in 2001, featured bold print that looked like graffiti, over the traditional canvas. The recreation of the collab used the same idea, but gave it a new twist using bold colors, like hot pink, neon green, and orange, that also glow in the dark. This recreated version of the graffiti collection was finally released in 2009 to much fanfare. Louis Vuitton also collaborated with Kanye West in 2009, designing his own limited run of shoes. Most recently, Jacobs teamed up with Yayoi Kusama to create the "Infinitely Kusama" Collection, which features bold colors of dots over the vernis leather or the monogram canvas. These pieces come in black with white dots, red with white dots, and yellow with black dots. It was released in July 2012. Louis Vuitton Collaborated in their Spring-Summer 2016 collection advertising campaign. with the highly popular japanese Video game Franchise Final Fantasy and their Games Main Heroin called Lighting from Final Fantasy 13. In 2017 Louis Vuitton collaborated with American streetwear brand Supreme (brand), releasing products in various pop-up stores in major cities around the world. Items feature the Louis Vuitton monogram canvas mixed with the Supreme box-logo design. Also in 2017, Louis Vuitton collaborated with artist Jeff Koons for two collections in an effort to "further [explore] the intersection of fashion and art." [41]

Controversy and disputes

Britney Spears video

On 19 November 2007 Louis Vuitton, in further efforts to prevent counterfeiting, successfully sued Britney Spears for violating anti-counterfeiting laws. A part of the music video for the song "Do Somethin'" shows fingers tapping on the dashboard of a hot pink Hummer with what looks like Louis Vuitton's "Cherry Blossom" design bearing the LV logo. Britney Spears herself was not found liable, but a civil court in Paris ordered Sony BMG and MTV Online to stop showing the video. They were also fined €80,000 to each group. An anonymous spokesperson for LVMH stated that the video constituted an "attack" on Louis Vuitton's brands and its luxury image. [42]

"Simple Living"

"Simple Living" image (left) and Vuitton's Audra bag, created by Takashi Murakami (right) Simpleliving lg.jpg
"Simple Living" image (left) and Vuitton's Audra bag, created by Takashi Murakami (right)

On 13 February 2007, Louis Vuitton sent a cease-and-desist order to Danish art student Nadia Plesner for using an image of a bag that allegedly infringed Louis Vuitton's intellectual property rights. Plesner had created a satirical illustration, "Simple Living", depicting a malnourished child holding a designer dog and a designer bag, and used it on T-shirts and posters to raise funds for the charity "Divest for Darfur". [43] On 25 March, the court ruled in favour of LV that the image was a clear infringement of copyright. [44] Despite the ruling, Plesner continued to use the image, arguing artistic freedom, and posted copies of the cease-and-desist order on her website. On 15 April 2008, Louis Vuitton notified Plesner of the lawsuit being brought against her. Louis Vuitton demanded $7,500 (€5,000) for each day Plesner continues to sell the "Simple Living" products, $7,500 for each day the original cease-and-desist letter is published on her website and $7,500 a day for using the name "Louis Vuitton" on her website, plus legal and enforcement costs. [45]

An LVMH spokeswoman interviewed by New York Magazine said that Louis Vuitton were forced to take legal action when Plesner did not respond to their original request to remove the contested image, nor to the subsequent cease-and-desist order. [44] In October 2008, Louis Vuitton declared that the company had dropped its lawsuit [46] but have since reopened it along with a new €205,000 claim due to a painting by the same artist. [47] In May 2011, the court in The Hague found in favour of Plesner's right to freedom of expression. [48]

Craftsmen advertisements

In May 2010, the British Advertising Standards Authority banned two of the company's advertising spots, depicting craftsmen at work on its products, for being in breach of its 'Truthfulness clause'. The ASA said that the evidence supplied by Louis Vuitton fell short of what was needed to prove the products were made by hand. The ASA said that the two adverts would lead consumers to interpret that Louis Vuitton bags and wallets were almost entirely hand-crafted when they were predominantly created by machine. [49]

The ASA stated: 'We noted that we had not seen documentation that detailed the entire production process for Louis Vuitton products or that showed the proportion of their manufacture that was carried out by hand or by machine. Vuitton denied that their production was automated, arguing that over 100 stages were involved in the making of each bag; they, however, admitted that sewing machines had been used in production process.' [49]

Checker-pattern chair in Hong Kong barber shop

In February 2013, Louis Vuitton issued a complaint against the owner of a barber shop in Hong Kong for allegedly violating its intellectual property rights in relation to a stool using fabric coating that is similar to the checker pattern in Louis Vuitton's handbags. According to the Hong Kong-based Apple Daily newspaper, the company was seeking a compensation of HK$25,000 (around US$3,200) and the publication of an apology in the form of newspaper advertisement. The owner had sourced basic furniture and equipment from the PRC for starting his shop. Facing this accusation, the barbershop owner said he had no means to tackle Louis Vuitton and may have to close down his shop which has been operating for one year in a remote local district on Hong Kong Island. The controversy had caused tremendous concern on Hong Kong news forums and viral protest on Facebook pages. [50]

In another legal warning dated back to September 2012, Louis Vuitton had filed complaints against two small retail shops in Hong Kong for allegedly violating its intellectual property rights in relation to the "S-Lock" design for Louis Vuitton's handbags. According to the Hong Kong-based Apple Daily newspaper, the company was seeking compensation of HK$40,000 (around $US 5,000) and a public apology in the newspaper. The shopkeeper refused to pay, and Louis Vuitton demanded further damages up to HK$150,000 in February 2013. The shop claimed to have sourced two such handbags from Japan at around HK$120, which it retailed at HK$220. In the case of the other small shop selling two handbags, they argued with Louis Vuitton that the designs were different, and got LV's demand reduced to HK$5,000 (around US$640). The owner refused to pay and said they were ready to face LV in court. [51]

Alleged mistreatment of models

In May 2017, media reported on alleged mistreatment of Louis Vuitton exclusive model Ulrikke Høyer who was to appear on a Louis Vuitton cruise show in Kyoto. The 20-year-old model, who, on arrival, measured 91.5 cm (36 in) around her hips, was told she was "too bloated" and "too big" for her ensemble and instructed to drink only water for 24 hours. The model alleged that she was only informed via her agent in France, who received an email including the text "[she] came yesterday in Tokyo to do her final fitting, and she doesn't fit the exact same dress anymore. She has a belly, her face is more puffy [sic] and the back of her dress is open and you can see it is tight." Despite following the instructions, she was eventually excluded from the show. The model stated that she has "received hundreds of messages from models" who have experienced similar mistreatment from the same Louis Vuitton casting director. The casting director denied the allegations and explained the instructions regarding intake of water as a misunderstanding, that the model was instructed that her intake of liquids was to be limited to water. [52] [53]

See also

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