On Day 11, we visited the Maison Louis Vuitton on the Champs Elysees. Louis Vuitton is a French fashion house. Founded in 1854, it is one of the world’s leading and most valuable luxury brands today. It was created by Louis Vuitton in 1854. The brand initially focused on designing tough and waterproof stackable trunks suitable for long journeys – an innovation at the time. Some years later, the Damier design (to protect against counterfeit goods) and the iconic monogram were born and grew from strength to strength into the prestigious brand that we know and love today.
Prior to our visit to the Maison Louis Vuitton, we had read a case study on Louis Vuitton. The case described the stellar growth of the iconic French brand along with the group Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH), one of the leading companies in France today.
We had also visited the headquarters of LVMH and attended a presentation by a key executive of the group.
Below are a few insights gleaned from our visits to LVMH headquarters and to the Maison Louis Vuitton (LV).
LV has built its identity on four pillars:
Tradition: The ability to reproduce products that have been manufactured for 160 years.
Expertise: Know-how that has been passed on over 160 years, guaranteeing the quality of LV products over time. It takes up to 14 years of training to become a master craftsman at LV, we were told.
Audacity: A culture of originality and boldness. Innovation has been consistent throughout the entire history of the brand and continues to be a top priority of LV. Currently, LV is about launch a new line of products: perfumes. LV also innovates with materials by incorporating components that are not conventionally used in clothing for example. Innovation is not only prevalent in the LV products, but also in the LV stores. The design of the stores are constantly being renovated to stay relevant and attractive to customers. The brand is also bold in its choice of store locations. LV was the first luxury brand to open a store in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Personalisation: Offering products that meet customer expectations exactly. LV offers the possibility to personalise bags and shoes.
LV has a unique business model. In order to maintain a very high standard of quality, LV keeps everything in house – from design to manufacturing and retail. The brand has 19,000+ employees (49% in stores, 31% in workshops, 20% in support functions) and operates 460+stores in 60+ countries. LV manufactures its wide range of products in known centres of excellence. For example, watches in Switzerland, shoes in Italy, leather goods in Europe and the USA, and jewellery in France.
To retain its exclusivity, LV does not have sales and never sells in other stores. Any unsold item is destroyed.
We ended our visit in a private luxury lounge on the top floor of the Maison Louis Vuitton. The lounge offers a unique view on the Champs Elysees. It is reserved to VIP clients – mainly from China, the Middle East and Southeast Asia where the demand for luxury items is fast increasing.
Marcos, Tabitha, Dana, Mohamed and Nouf