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It all started in 1837 when 16 years old Louis Vuitton decided that he wanted to be an artisan and left his family in Asnières to try his luck in Paris as a trunk maker. In 1854 the brand was officially born with a store at Rue Neuve des Capucines. The classic monogram appeared in 1896, inspired by the oriental trend that dominated the late part of 19th century. Over 160 years have gone by and the company is one of the most valued brands in the world, a synonym of luxury and prestige.
Since Marc Jacobs hiring as creative director in 1996, great changes happened. Besides expanding the lines to womenswear, menswear, accessories, jewellery and watches, the relationship with the arts was narrowed with museum exhibitions, sponsorships and collaborations with artists invited to recreate the iconic monogram (Richard Prince, Takashi Murakami, Stephen Sprouse to name a few). Now, Nicholas Ghesquière keeps reinterpreting it and bringing a more futuristic aesthetic for fashion products. Nevertheless, Louis Vuitton doesn’t have a clear defined style of its clothes as Chanel, for example, (the images above are a proof). The whole identity of the brand is based on the monogram and its status.
If we go back in history, the brand supplied trunks and suitcases to a prestigious clientele, which included French royals. The quality of the products and the fact that they could be customised turned them into special artefacts. Besides that, the LV symbol is instantaneously recognized all over the world. So, we can conclude that Louis Vuitton represents prestige, status and social distinction. In other words, it’s the Ruler archetype.
Even with the ‘journey’ theme as background for marketing actions, including the city guides and the settings chosen to ‘Core Values’ campaigns (which had Angeline Jolie in a boat in a Cambodian tropical forest, the astronauts who went to the Moon and Bono and Ali Hewson landing in Africa), what Louis Vuitton really wants is clients as VIP travellers, always in control of their journeys and the status it grants!