We’ve thoroughly discussed Louis Vuitton’s plans to target more up-market customers and discourage entry-level luxury shoppers from flocking to the brand like they have in the past, and now that more and more of the brand’s Fall 2013 handbag collection is becoming available via its website, the ways that those plans will shape the brand’s leather goods going forward are coming into stark relief.
Louis Vuitton Handbags and Purses(Page 7)
We’ve been following along with the story of Louis Vuitton’s very publicly shifting accessories strategy very closely, and each time we update you on it, you guys have a lot to say. The story and Vuitton’s attitudes toward its customers bring out a lot of opinions, both for and against the brand’s attempts to shift its focus to a more leather-centric, higher-dollar customer, but we’ve never asked you guys straight-up whether or not the shift has affected your own purchasing behavior.
Much has been made, both by us and by our commenters, over Louis Vuitton’s highly publicized strategy shift toward higher prices in hopes of discouraging entry-level luxury consumers and appealing more to customers in the Hermes income bracket. The strategy includes both price-increases on existing products and the production of more top-tier bags in leather and exotics instead of Vuitton’s signature coated canvas (often with its attendant monogram), and the latest bag to show up as a result of those plans is the Louis Vuitton Alma Bag in Taurillon Leather.
According to the Telegraph, third quarter growth for LVMH weakened to just two percent, an outcome which the conglomerate’s recent shift in strategy probably predicted. Although that’s still growth, it’s certainly a marked shift from what the world’s largest luxury company is used to and the kind of growth its counted on in the past.
Wednesday’s news that Marc Jacobs would make his Louis Vuitton Spring 2014 show his last as the creative leader of the brand was a lot of things, but it wasn’t exactly surprising. Rumors had been swirling for months that talks to extend Jacobs’ 16-year tenure at the brand weren’t going anywhere, and in the days before the show, news outlets like Women’s Wear Daily reported that the decision had been made that Jacobs would leave to focus on expanding his own brand, in which LVMH is a major investor.
All the rumors were true, as they so often are. Yesterday’s Louis Vuitton Spring 2014 show was Marc Jacobs’ last at the helm of the brand that he’s lead for 16 years, drawing to an end one of the most prolific and lucrative partnerships in modern fashion history.
At the time of this writing, we don’t know if Marc Jacobs’ show today for Louis Vuitton will be the last in his 16-year tenure as the creative leader of the incredibly powerful French brand. What we do know, however, is what Jacobs has done for Vuitton so far, which is nothing short of turning the brand into a household name with one of the most iconic logos in fashion history.
With Louis Vuitton’s renewed interest in high-dollar, logo-wary customers has come a bevy of new products that are set to take the brand in a new, more sophisticated direction for Fall 2013. First came the wide-gusseted W Bag, which had commenter reactions seemingly split right down the middle, and now we have the Louis Vuitton Capucines Bag, which borrows the name and a detail or two from a classic Vuitton bag but expands on them to form something ladylike and luxurious.