Louis Vuitton David Bowie Ad Campaign 2

Not long ago, we took a closer look at why, exactly, designer handbags cost as much as they do. Materials and labor play a part, of course, but a lot of money goes into convincing consumers that the ultra-pricey pieces have the aura of glamour and luxury that makes sky-high price tags seem appropriate. There’s no more direct way to create that image than advertising; brands can perfectly orchestrate a scene around a purse or pair of shoes to give the a product just the right high-end context and then present that image to consumers without the middle-man of a magazine stylist or a department store window dresser. Case in point: Louis Vuitton’s new ad campaign with David Bowie and Arizona Muse.

Vogue UK has a behind-the-scenes look at the campaign, entitled L’Invitation Au Voyage, which includes a hot air balloon ride in Venice, a masked ball a la Marie Antoinette and Arizona Muse on the deck of an antique ship, flanked by all the Louis Vuitton trunks anyone could ever want. Every scene is the picture of perfect French opulence, and despite the stylized look of the finished product, none of it was computer-generated – Muse actually clung to the side of a hot air balloon held by costumed attendants on the ground.

When you consider how expensive it is to rent locations like these and procure props like vintage ships (not to mention how high David Bowie’s fee must have been, on top of all the other models and extras), perhaps Kanye is wrong. Maybe Louis Vuitton’s not overpriced; maybe that’s just the cost of doing business. Check out our favorite campaign shots and behind-the-scenes photos below or see the full feature at Vogue UK.

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  • EC

    There is something behind Kanye’s negative comment about LV. The brand has angered him personally somehow. He doesn’t give a rat’s ass about pricing. He is either upset over MJs departure or his replacement.

  • Guest

    This may not be the post to ask this question, but what is the rationale behind the pricing of Stella McCartney’s bags?

    • http://www.facebook.com/petra.brankovska Petra B.

      I guess the reputation that she’s the only high-end designer to go vegan – which attracts vegan celebrities who think they’re contributing to a good cause. If u ask me, I’d rather go and buy a bunch of beautiful bags at Zara instead (it’s not like no one owns the “Fallabella”)

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Amanda Mull

      I actually wrote a post a while back wondering that same thing. I cannot, for the life of me, understand why anyone pays leather prices for her bags.

      • Sandra

        We are off the subject of LV…but I completely agree.. I am not interested in purchasing a Stella McCartney bag or shoes and to pay leather prices, complete rip off.

      • shueaddict

        I actually bought a pair of …ewww … “pleather” pumps quite a few years back. The design was super cool but they went to pieces pretty fast and they were not very “fresh” during warmer weather. To Stella’s credit she really stands behind her beliefs – when I returned the pumps together with several Adidas by Stella items made in Indonesia due to really poor quality I have received back a really nice apology letter and an invitation to her boutique in London. There I got a lecture on sourcing their silk and organic cotton and ended up spending my refund on a truly simple silk shift that is made in silk heaven.

        I still hate pleather but I love Stella.

  • Amanda

    The hot air balloon pic is really cool.

  • DorianGray

    The ad is set in Venice, Italy!

  • Kim

    I also have a question that isn’t directly related to this post – are you going to be recapping the Beverly Hills Housewives this season?! I’m always more excited to read your commentary than I am to actually watch the episode

    • PurseJunkie


  • Ari

    This add campaign has a hint of “Labyrinth: all grown up” to it. =)

    • Sara

      I thought so too :) Even without his full Jareth get-up. I was kinda hoping the music in this video would be “As the World Falls Down”. Love Labyrinth!

  • TL

    I want to know when Kanye West become a fashion critic.

    Also, in the spirit of being totally off topic, is anyone else distracted by the disconnect between the RTW campaigns and the accessory campaigns? I understand the need to appeal to a wider audience with accessories, however, it makes RTW and accessories seem like two totally different brands; it is incongruent.

    For instance…
    I live in a pretty fashion illiterate town..
    if I walked up to any random woman, she would say, “Oh me, oh my, I just love Chanel.” But If I asked her anything about Chanel’s actually clothing, she would probably get confused and angry at such a distressing question.


    But, does anyone else notice this?

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