Louis Vuitton designs its own slowdown

Sorry Louis Vuitton, China’s No Longer Into You

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Bag a bargain! Hermès, Chanel and Louis Vuitton among 84 designer handbags up for online-only auction from 2pm TODAY

Top seller: Lot 33, the 2011 35cm amethyst matte crocodile Birkin bag has a whopping final sale estimate of up to £28,000

Sales of luxury goods in Russia expanded 6 percent to $8.8 billion last year, versus 4.6 percent in 2011, helping reverse a 20 percent decline between 2007 and 2009, according to Euromonitor International Plc. While thats slower than Chinas 18 percent luxury growth in 2012, its far better than western Europe, where sales fell 1 percent last year as the debt crisis weighed on domestic spending, the researcher estimates. What were seeing now is a comeback in Russian demand for luxury goods, said Hermes International (RMS) SCA deputy chief executive officer Patrick Albaladejo. God-given Talent European brands such as Vuitton have already started toning down the bling as they contend with homegrown Russian labels such as Vika Gazinskaya, Alexander Terekhov and Uliana Sergeenko, who reckon they know better what shoppers want. Terekhovs latest collection features simple silk floral dresses, while Sergeenkos spring couture covered more flesh than it showed. Sales of Gazinskayas collections of 1,500-euro ($1,980) dresses have doubled in the past year as shoppers seek something different, said the 24-year-old designer. With 25 outlets, including in Paris, New York and Hong Kong, Gazinskaya says shes seeking investors to fund more expansion. There are no limits really, she said by phone from Venice, Italy, where she was hanging out at the Biennale art exhibition.

Welcome To Poland’s First Louis Vuitton Store: “Open Your Bag Please”

In a game ruled by money, it hardly seems surprising that, according to former French skipper Bruno Trouble, it took less than three hours to convince Louis Vuitton to sponsor the challenger series back in 1983. (Trouble is now the companys ambassador for the Americas Cup). When races kick off for the eighth regatta in San Francisco this July, it will be the 30th year the luxury conglomerate has sponsored the challenger series. Louis Vuitton, whose other involvement in sport is sponsoring a vintage car race between Monte Carlo and Venice, has reaped obvious rewards in the past 30years from naming rights and international press coverage to using the event in the 1990s to experiment with live web coverage. It has also developed a lineof products specifically for the Cup, including hats, ties, towels, shoes and bags.As the Cups official timekeeper thisyearLouis Vuitton also uses the racetointroduce consumers to new watchdesigns. As teams battle it out for the 34th Americas Cup trophy, the focus is more likely to be on the design of the boats. For the first time the regatta will feature AC72s multihulls with rigid wing sails instead of soft sails, and hydrofoils that lift the boat out of the water at speeds of up to 45 knots (known as foiling). The Louis Vuitton Cup will serve as a crucial rehearsal for all teams sailing these catamarans. The boats are always with the times, says Louis Vuittons corporate events director, Christine Belanger, who says the relationship with the luxury maison has been good for both parties involved as they share much in common.

Louis Vuitton series sets off as America’s Cup drama begins

Birkin bags were inspired by English actress and singer Jane Birkin in the 1980s. In a chance encounter with the former Hermes CEO on an airplane, the celebrity suggested the design for a weekend bag, which paved the way for the consistently popular Birkin bag. The Kelly bag was named after Grace Kelly, who in 1956 had just become Princess of Monaco and was seen carrying the original leather ‘Sac a depeche’ to hide her pregnancy. Photographs of the young starlet were sent all over the world, leading to the bag being known as the Kelly. Originally designed in 1935 the shape is a classic form which has gained worldwide acclaim. Actress Jane Birkin circa 1967 (left) and Coco Chanel (right) Chanel Chanel, ever practical, introduced a handbag suspended from thin straps in 1929, as an alternative to the clutch – freeing up the busy woman-about-towns hands for other things. When she returned from retirement in 1954, Chanel decided to update her handbag even further and called the bag 2.55 after the date of creation, February 1955. The 2.55 remains the most popular bag today, both vintage and new. In fact, Chanel released an exact copy of the original 2.55 in February 2005 to commemorate the bags 50th birthday. It remains a design classic, with its quilted exterior and double chain straps. Fans will know that the burgundy leather interiors were said to be inspired by Chanels convent school uniform and that when this bag has the Mademoiselle lock, it is known as a Classic Flap. The Double C lock was introduced in the 1980s. This sale includes several variants of the 2.55. Lot 18: An emerald fabric classic flap bag Chanel, 2009-10 with silvertone metal hardware, classic chain, dustbag and box 30.5 cm, estimate: 1,500 – 2,500 Lot 65: An Hermes tan box lather passe-guide bag from 1979, estimated to fetch 2,500 – 3,500 The Vintage Couture: Handbags and Accessories online-only auction features 102 exquisite items. Lot 18: A 30cm 2011 lime bag, estimate 10,000-15,000 (left) and Lot 34: A crocus 2012 with silver palladium hardware, padlock, keyfob and dustbag 35 cm, estimate: 5,000-7,000 (right), both Epsom leather Birkins by Hermes Lot 5: A 2005 45cm limited edition monogram cerise canvas keepall bag Takashi Murakami for Louise Vuitton, goldtone metal hardware with handle fastener and dustbag, estimate:1,000 – 2,000 Prices start at 400 at Christies.com .

Julie de Libran: Louis Vuitton’s secret weapon

‘It had belonged to Stephane’s family and was full of flowery wallpaper and tapestry covers.’ Now with its white walls and parquet floor, it provides a perfect backdrop for fleamarket finds and some serious design pieces, including a pair of 1950s bookcases by Franco Albini that wouldn’t be out of place in a museum. Their shelves are dotted with art books – among them an Elizabeth Peyton monograph, a signed copyof Jeff Koons’ Versailles catalogue and a newly acquired David Bowie book from the V&A show. De Libran with Marc Jacobs ‘I loved it,’ she says of the exhibition, which she travelled to London especially to see. ‘You just put on those headphones, and you remember all your personal experiences that relate to his music. And he was so good-looking and tiny – his waist, his hips. I was fascinated.’ She points out that contemporary Bowie is wearing Louis Vuitton in his latest video: ‘A men’s spring/summer jacket,’ she says proudly.

Vuitton Tones Down Bling in Russia as Wealthy Go Discreet

According to theWorld Luxury Index by the Digital Luxury Group, a global luxury retail consultancy, Chanelovertook Louis Vuitton thanks to rising interest in various product segments, particularly beauty. To be fair, of course, Louis Vuitton is not licked yet. Not by a long shot. Its firmly in the No. 2 spot.

“Demand and potential are also important to us, and the latter is quite big in Poland. About 30% of luxury labels still arent available here.” No discounts, no sales Eggs is not keen on talking about prices, although he reveals that the cheapest thing in the Warsaw shop is a calendar refill 149 zlotys (35 euros). The lowest price for a bag is 2,100 zlotys (492 euros), while the most expensive piece from the exotic series made of python, ostrich or crocodile leather goes for more than 85,000 zlotys (19,920 euros). When I ask how many of those bags they hope to sell, he answers: 2,700 BMW cars were sold last year in Poland. Thats quite a lot considering the price of these cars is 50,000 euros. Fifty thousand euros for a car is not the same as 20,000 for a handbag, I point out. Ask women. Many would prefer the bag, he answers. A buyer often behaves irrationally, so there is no way to tell who will buy what in the Warsaw store, explains Eggs. “I visited our shop in the south of Italy once. There was a young boy, at most 16 years old, who came to buy a leather belt for his mother.

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