Image via Vogue.com

Did you look through the show shots from Louis Vuitton Spring 2012 and think to yourself, “Self, there’s a whole boatload of crocodile in this collection, and I’m not just talking about bags?” If you did, Women’s Wear Daily‘s report that LVMH has invested heavily in a family-owned Singaporean crocodile tannery makes so much sense that it’s almost silly.

Indeed, the exotics in Vuitton’s show didn’t stop at bags; it seemed like every other model was wearing a powdery pastel coat or jacket made of yards of the exceptionally pricey skin, the MSRPs of which will surely boggle the mind once they come to retail. If Vuitton (and LVMH’s other leather goods brands, including Celine and Givenchy) intends to continue this uptick in crocodile design, then this investment could be the start of many beautiful accessories to come. Are you a croc customer?

Accessories companies like Louis Vuitton that have an enormous range of price points and enough cultural clout to pull people in who might not otherwise be luxury accessories customers usually make the bulk of their profit in the lower end of their price point, but the acquisition of the controlling share in the Singaporean Heng Long International tannery indicates that the company feels that it has opportunities at the higher end of the price spectrum as well. And they’re probably right; LV’s profits keep expanding, and several of the aforementioned brands that the company owns are having accessories heydays as well.

Perhaps unexpectedly, LVMH’s move toward exotics is particularly savvy in a faltering global economy. While the low-end customers may be feeling the pinch, those who might buy a $30,000 crocodile Speedy are raking in money at pre-crash rates. That’s why Hermes keeps expanding rapidly every quarter; it’s a company whose customers are generally in an economic class that doesn’t feel much of a pinch because of fiscal fluctuations. If I was a gambler, I’d bet that this acquisition is an indication that LVMH is trying to ensure that its brands move into a similar spot, if they aren’t there already.

Not to mention, of course, that vertical integration is good for business when you’re a company the size of LVMH. The more steps in the production process that it can control, the more affect that its decisions and policies can have on not only how much LVMH spends on raw materials, but also on global prices for exotic leathers. The rich just keep getting richer, and Louis Vuitton intends to get richer by supplying them with incredibly expensive leather goods.

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  • Bir

    Oooo for sure I just love croc ……not that I loved any of the bags vuitton showed as much as to buy one in croc.but I most certainly do adore the look and have a thing for this skin the scales and almost two tone effect are magic !!!!!!!

  • lintmag

    I love croc, but not the LV ones – I prefer darker shades, though does it really matter with prohibitive prices like that? Even non-croc designer bags have gotten amazingly expensive.

  • J Umm

    I agree with the above two omments about the bag being too light, I would jump on board the reptile train but it’s too expensive, and if i could afford a bag, i would want one which isn’t prone to looking dirty/old
    http://www.styledecorum.com/

  • rose60610

    Part of my understanding why Hermes croc/gator bags were so expensive was due to trying to find wild hides that weren’t so beat up. The nature of the beasts involve lots of fighting with other crocs/gatorsand getting beat up from their prey when they snare some terrified hoofed or clawed animal that scars their hides. Finding a scar free gator skin is saying something for the gator–king of the mountain, so to speak. Then Hermes uses only the perfect pattern parts of the hide. Fine.

    Now if bag manufacturers are using commercially raise croc/gators, then I fully expect prices to decrease. Hermes and others don’t have to give us the sob story of finding perfect wild gators and slaying them with bare hands to keep them scar free. They can raise them not unlike chickens so the beasts can keep their pearly whites to themselves and not chomp on their fellow gators. But prices will only continue to go up I’m sure.

  • Sandra Rowley

    I am not a fan of the croc/gator bags/shoes. I usually love the cow/lamb product just as much (or more), so why spend the money??

  • annabelle

    loved it! can’t hate exotic leather! <3

  • Gatsby

    i think the pale yellow is pretty and very spring-like. But that’s assuming I were buying with no concern for longevity. Otherwise, when winter is over and the flowers are coming out, I would jump at that pale yellow bag.

  • mochababe73

    I am not a fan of the gator/croco skins-real or faux. I prefer leather that I can break in myself.

  • jrl

    Fake no, but real and dark brown and after it has been waxed (which I do to preserve the skin on a regular basis) is truly beautiful.

  • jrl

    P.S. I use a special oil made for croc skin.

  • Midnight Blue

    I’m a big croc fan…especially ones from Bottega Veneta

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