“Louis Vuitton has become too common!” LVMH’s Bernard Arnault didn’t quite say last week. But the sentiment was there. Speaking at LVMH’s annual results presentation, he revealed that Louis Vuitton is scaling back on global expansion and focusing more on its high end products and superior customer service to avoid cheapening the brand.
This is a trend, not just at Louis Vuitton, but other luxury houses, who have stripped away the obvious logos and boosted product that shows off house ‘codes’. Dior recently reignited its ‘bar’ jacket and ‘comma’ heels, Gucci, the horsebit loafer (which is 60 years old this year), Chanel flagged up its pearls and Saint Laurent, its tie-neck blouses and iconic tuxedos. At Vuitton, the overexposed monogram has been sidelined for SS13 by the Damier check.
At Louis Vuitton’s pre-fall 13 preview on Thursday, my main highlight was the collection of Noe bags, a heritage Vuitton bag refreshed in new colours and sizes. Originally a carrying case for champagne bottles (what else?), the design celebrates its 80th anniversary this year.
My other highlight was the Icons collection, a capsule collection that updates pieces from the archive. I love this sheepskin balmacaan, a collarless coat that can be worn reversed with the leather on the outside. Delicious, no?