Tag Archives: Louis Vuitton

Play On The Wild Side For The World Cup

Soccer mania is raging in the fashion industry this FIFA World Cup season. Roberto Cavalli joins the list of brands offering their own haute takes on the sport and its accessories.

Roberto Cavalli’s one-of-a-kind pieces are crafted with boldand camouflage prints, representing the powerful language of graphics in sport.

Paul Surridge, who is the Creative Director at Cavalli, designed these 11 footballs for the Pitti Immagine Uomo 94 project “Fanatic Feelings- Fashion Plays Football”, curated by Marcus Ebner and Francesco Bonami.

These 11 soccer balls are are made in Italy with genuine leather and exotic python skins, each hand-crafted by Italian artisans within the Roberto Cavalli house. While they are more aspirational luxury design objects rather than casual sport gear kicked on the field, they will sure complement your Cavalli SS19 wardrobe.

In fact, the prints found on the soccer balls are reflected in the brand’s SS19 men’s collection.

An undisclosed number of footballs from the set of 11 will be showcased and retailed Roberto Cavalli flagship stores such as Milan, Rome, Paris, London and Berlin to celebrate the Soccer World Cup- 2018. The rest will be sold in a dedicated “Market” pop-up store.

 

This is a good chance to give back while you’re at the peak of your soccer fever, as all proceeds will be donated to “Together To Go ONLUS”. The Milan foundation supports children with a free of charge rehabilitation program to recover from Central Nervous System lesions in Milan.

If you’re looking for a suitable place to showcase your gorgeous new collection of soccer balls, there is no better fit than the FIFA World Cup Official Match Ball Collection Trunk.

French house Louis Vuitton has joined forces with Adidas to create a FIFA World Cup trophy travel case and Match Ball Collection Trunk. The latter houses a Louis Vuitton soccer ball plus re-editions of the 13 official Adidas match balls used since the 1970s. More affordable are versions of its Keepall and Apollo bags, which, with their special-edition hexagon design, have been made to resemble actual soccer balls.

Louis Vuitton Unveils Les Parfums Louis Vuitton for Men

Men have become more invested in fashion due to the streetwear culture and Jacque Cavallier Belletrud finds that similarly, they want to be equally sophisticated in their fragrances. Conventional wisdom shows that most men currently tend to go for the sporty (Ralph Lauren Polo Sport) and commercial scents (Boss Black), but there’s a new breed of worldly men are not afraid to try new things. The launch of Louis Vuitton Les Parfums Louis Vuitton for Men, a new men’s Fragrance Collection comes as a big shift into an uncharted territory in men’s business following the appointment of Off-White’s Virgil Abloh as the brand’s creative director.

Louis Vuitton Unveils Les Parfums Louis Vuitton for Men: A Transportive New Line Of Men’s Fragrances

Given parent company LVMH’s successful portfolio of other luxury fragrances and master perfumer Jacque Cavallier Belletrud’s keen sense of smell, the new line of Louis Vuitton Men Fragrances expects nothing less of a successful debut. Belletrud travelled the world for four years before perfecting the first men’s fragrance collection for Les Parfums Louis Vuitton. While the brand has since been steadily crafting women’s fragrances for the past couple of years, this May, Louis Vuitton presents theLouis Vuitton Les Parfums Louis Vuitton for Men, the expectation is that these globetrotters will be as widely travelled as the muses used in production of this new men’s fragrance line for Louis Vuitton. The fashion house’s first fragrance for men will be a collectivity of five scents reflecting Belltrud’s adventurous spirit. Each scent is a unique composition of earthly notes and masculine nuances bottled in sophisticated glass containers that finds power in simplicity.

According to Belletrud, LVMH has recently found its footing around the market in East Asia, where fragrances haven’t always serve a major part of the market share. With men’s business becoming a major frontier in fashion, the new Louis Vuitton Men’s Fragrance Collection hopes that these fragrances will resonate with the East Asian consumers.

Louis Vuitton Men Fragrance Collection will launch globally on May 31.

Louis Vuitton is striking for Men’s Pre-fall Collection 2018

Get ready for Louis Vuitton’s upcoming pre-fall collection, geared up with a social media campaign #FindVivienne. Merci. Have a Vuitton Day.

Inspired by travel, Louis Vuitton’s Fall/Winter 18 pre-collection is the answer to the versatility demanded on both urban and outdoor grounds.

Louis Vuitton Men’s Pre-fall Collection 2018: Visually striking

A Monogram palette runs throughout collection is reconsidered in various new images and conventions – from a more subtle form on Japanese seersucker silk shirts to more playful discharge print denim. The season also introduces a new Louis Vuitton Upside-Down, featuring an inverted monogram.

Introducing the new Louis Vuitton Upside-Down, where the iconic Monogram is inverted with a pop of colour amidst the general monochrome tone.

The Icônescollection recieves an update, as its new collection with a Monogram makeover, furnished with Monogram Eclipse. The recurrent playing card motif and dice print on the shirts and accessories preserves the ethos of the gifts and gaming collection.

Everyday wear echoing an ode to the routine life.

One of the highlights in the collection is a zip-through waterproof hoodie and everyday wear t-shirt that reads ‘Merci. Have A Vuitton Day’ – ephemeral signage to ode the routine life.

Light-hearted tones are interwoven in the classic, as the navy palette is animated with neon and autumnal hues. Outerwear featuring removable Monogram blanket linings caters to the layering demanded by cold and outdoor travels. Patch-worked pieces showcase diverse textures and skins while knitwears feature the signature seam taping –rounding up the theme of eclecticism with a clean finish.

Travel-friendly functional bagpacks and studded ankle boots are the new in for this collection

The Monogram Shadow is a new line marked by the use of embossed, soft, matte Monogram leather. The Louis Vuitton Upside-Down appears on Monogram Ink, with flashes of neon. Designed for the modern traveller, the new backpack was designed for athletic activities, with a drawstring opening and multiple internal and external pockets.

Shoes are dressed up most notably by a new ankle boot, with piping tracing the soles and derbies, complimented by namesake studs. Informal styles include a Monogram desert boot and a hiking sneaker for a wider mood of adventure.

On this upcoming pre-fall collection, Kim Jones, the previous Men’s Artistic Director before Virgil Abloh commented that keeping in mind “a truly global traveller,” Louis Vuitton “looked to the city lights of Hong Kong and New York and the big skies of the Himalayas and the Wild West to consider the way men dress today.”

 

Anticipate the upcoming Pre-fall collection with the #FindVivienne campaign on social media with the iconic Louis Vuitton mascot.

Best way to travel, being ferried around in a bag

Follow Vivienne as it pops in to different corners of the city – from the breakwaters of East Coast, the graffitied alleys of Haji Lane, to the city lights of the Central Business District.

The vibrant streets of Haji Lane

All roads eventually lead to ION Orchard, where it will be unveiled on exclusive merchandise at the Men’s Pre-fall collection 2018 pop-up.

See you at ION Orchard!

#FindVivienne photo series shot by Anton Lim, @mellowedhigh

Louis Vuitton x Off-White x Air Jordan 1 Customs debuts to celebrate Vigil Abloh’s appointment

In lieu of Virgil Abloh‘s recent appointment as Louis Vuitton’s menswear designer, New York-based artist CeezeRelevantCustoms and richierange collaboration to create a special-edition Air Jordan 1 sneaker. The “Off-Louis” custom features Louis Vuitton’s signature monogram across its upper, with a complementary tonal brown colorway.

Some details are reminiscent of Abloh’s previous Air Jordan 1 collaboration with Nike, such as the medial side inspired by the signature Off-White™ branding and exposed stitching on the Swoosh. “LOUIS” and “VUITTON” adorn the left and right midsole, features the designer’s hallmark quotation marks.

Only 10 pairs of this Ceeze Creative Studios x Relevant Customs ‘Off-Louis’ Air Jordan 1s are up for sale. They will be available from Ceeze’s website for $4,000 USD on April 14.

Yoon joins Dior Homme: Proving Streetwear has overtaken Luxury

Ambush Designer Yoon Ahn Is Dior Homme’s New Jewelry Designer, tapped upon by Kim Jones after Kris Van Assche took a Creative role at Berluti.

Ambush Designer Yoon Ahn Is Dior Homme’s New Jewelry Designer, tapped upon by Kim Jones after Kris Van Assche took a Creative role at Berluti.

Founded by designer Yoon Ahn and her husband, AMBUSH began as hip hop inspired streetwear jewellery label known for its youthful vibrancy and rawness; Now, Yoon has been tapped by LVMH Group to head Dior Homme jewellery as the brand’s latest hautebeast designer, an announcement which follows hot on the heels of LVMH group sister brand’s appointment of Virgil Abloh as new Artistic Director for Louis Vuitton menswear.

Yoon joins Dior Homme: Proving Streetwear has overtaken Luxury

Like Abloh, the founder and designer haute streetwear label AMBUSH, beginning only with streetwear accessories and jewellery before later becoming a unisex ready-to-wear brand, yet another case-in-point for LVMH group’s embrace for hypebeast, a genre which has been a major source of disruption for the luxury industry.

1st day of work as a jewelry designer. Team @mrkimjones @Diorhomme 💪🏽‼️

A post shared by YOON (@yoon_ambush) on

Ambush Designer Yoon Ahn Is Dior Homme’s New Jewelry Designer, tapped upon by Kim Jones after Kris Van Assche took a Creative role at Berluti. Ahn, a street style icon, naturally togged in mixed up AMBUSH ensembles, in her own right, will utilise her core skills as Dior Homme’s new jewellery designer. It’s no surprise that Kim Jones sought Yoon Ahn for the role, the two had collaborated back in 2012 when Jones was lead Creative at Louis Vuitton, working with AMBUSH to create “playbutton” essentially a wearable MP3 accessory.

Presently, up to 85% of the luxury market’s new growth is driven by a generation of Ys, Zs and millennials with Bain consulting predicting that by 2025, this generation of youthful shoppers will account for 45% of global luxury spend. This may not represent the majority  but it is an influential segment given how rapidly the millennial generation is influencing consumer purchase decision making in generations beyond their own. Not only are brands specifically catering marketing communications and campaigns for them but they are also shaping consumer perceptions on what brands are cool and en vogue. 

Dapper Dan front row at Gucci RTW Spring 2018 show. Streetwear is now mainstream and the hautebeast phenomena is best exemplified by the commercial alliance between former frenemies - Gucci and Dapper Dan.

Dapper Dan front row at Gucci RTW Spring 2018 show. Streetwear is now mainstream and the hautebeast phenomena is best exemplified by the commercial alliance between former frenemies – Gucci and Dapper Dan.

As it stands, millennials consider traditional luxury brands to be “establishment” and stuffy and it has been a trans-generational perception shift which has seen brands like Louis Vuitton – Supreme make big wins and competitor brand’s like Kering Group’s Balenciaga and Gucci take market leader positions in the nascent (if not already peak) hautebeast genre of luxury designer goods.

Business of Luxury: The mainstreaming of Hype and LVMH’s response to market disruption

Streetwear is now mainstream and the hautebeast phenomena is best exemplified by the commercial alliance between former frenemies – Gucci and Dapper Dan. Once litigants in a lawsuit over Dapper Dan’s flagrant co-option of Gucci motifs into modified windbreakers and trackpants, 2017 was the year that Gucci made tacit endorsement of Dapper Dan’s preternatural zeitgeist cool and as of early 2018, Alessandro Michele made the endorsement real with the re-opening of Dapper Dan’s Harlem atelier, the tailoring shop which initially closed due to legal action, 25 years later.

Meanwhile Kering Group sister brand Balenciaga has been paving the way into the hearts of hypebaes with their early break from traditional luxury design – first with products of cultural snark – the appropriation of the East Asian “Wholesale Market Shopping bag” and then later with a high fashion interpretation of the ubiquitous IKEA shopping bag. Reflecting a streetwear-hautebeast approach, it is little wonder that Balenciaga’s top-selling products are its Triple S and Speed sneakers.

Balenciaga introduces snark on the level of Abloh's "Little Black Dress" with a high fashion interpretation of the ubiquitous IKEA shopping bag.

Balenciaga introduces snark on the level of Abloh’s “Little Black Dress” with a high fashion interpretation of the ubiquitous IKEA shopping bag.

Balenciaga’s top-selling Triple S sneakers - total hautebeast and "aged" like one.

Balenciaga’s top-selling Triple S sneakers – total hautebeast and “aged” like one.

Kim Jones has lots of street cred and with his bet of putting Louis Vuitton and Supreme together paying off big time, it is easy to see why arch-rival LVMH is looking to cued-in, street credible designers like Abloh and now, Yoon Ahn to deliver street-smart drops and fashionably relevant productions.

That said, fashion appeal isn’t the only thing encouraging streetwear’s takeover of luxury. The marketing cycle is vastly different today than it was 10 years ago. Attention is fleeting with the wide array of social media platforms and rather than conform to the traditional spring-summer, autmn-winter fashion cycles, streetwear has dominated attention with the highly viral “blink and you’ll miss me” concept of fashion “drops” – targeted releases of new products that spawn all year around, delivering timed intervals of “hype”, like a drug, disseminated by What’s App screenshots, instagram and facebook. The speed of digital media is not only changing how we shop but how the more clued-in brands are dominating the news and attention cycle with well-timed releases and hype-worthy product collaborations.

Yoon Ahn as Dior Homme jewellery designer hints to a large overhaul of LVMH Group's strategy towards menswear

Yoon Ahn as Dior Homme jewellery designer hints to a large overhaul of LVMH Group’s strategy towards menswear

 

That said, while hypebeast is in full-swing as LVMH, the world’s largest luxury conglomerate populates ranks of designers and creative heads with street-savvy streetwear designers, there’s the inevitable over-correction where hautebeast eventually becomes yet another fashion establishment trend and millennials depart in droves for the next “authentic expression” of self.

As it stands, Abloh as Louis Vuitton men’s Artistic Director, Jones as Dior Homme creative head and now Yoon Ahn as Dior Homme jewellery designer hints to a large overhaul of LVMH Group’s strategy towards menswear, it remains to be seen if the women’s side will be equally impacted. Considering the success of rival Gucci’s embroidered bee sneakers (a revival motif), it will not be surprising if LVMH already has plans in motion for women’s wear in its stable of brands.

Yoon Ahn’s jewellery for Dior Homme will accompany Jones’s debut collection at the Spring 2019 menswear shows in Paris in June.

Luxury Fashion Brands to Showcase 2019 Cruise Collection

This year the major fashion brands have organised to stage their 2019 Cruise shows in breathtaking scenes all over the globe. From Arles to the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and Saint-Paul-de-Vence, the month of May will be a whirlwind of spectacular activities to present traditional mid-season collections from Prada, Gucci and Louis Vuitton to name a few. Here’s a quick rundown of the venues and the dates chosen for the 2019 Cruise shows.

Major Fashion Brands on Transatlantic Tour to Showcase 2019 Cruise Collection

1| Gucci in Arles

Helmed by Gucci Creative director, Alessandro Michele who is apt in translating fashion in a playground that is more about the contemporary population, the past years saw the Italian fashion house staging its fashion shows at Westminster Abbey (2016) and the Palatine Gallery of the Palazzo Pitti in Florence (2017). This year, the show is most likely to be once again dominated by historic references, as Gucci has chosen the Alyscamps in Arles, a Roman era necropolis as the venue to present its 2019 Cruise collection. Held on May 30, the show will no doubt be spectacular, spectacular!

www.gucci.com

2| Louis Vuitton in Saint-Paul-de-Vence

The Maison Louis Vuitton has made a few big moves this quarter one of the year, including the recent appointment of Virgil Abloh as its new men’s Artistic Director and also launched the latest advertising campaign “The Spirit of Travel”, descending into the Californian desert with actress Emma Stone and photographed by Craig McDean. Last year, the brand presented a collection that blended nature and art with an urban spirit in Miho Museum, near Kyoto, Japan. For the 2019 Cruise collection, Louis Vuitton has chosen the charming medieval town of Saint-Paul-de-Vence in southern France to stage the show, which will take place on May 28 at the Maeght Foundation, a modern art gallery on a hill overlooking the town. Another exciting journey for the French fashion label.

https://eu.louisvuitton.com

3| Prada in New York

Headed to the Big Apple for its 2019 Cruise Collection, the Italian fashion house will reveal the precise location at a later date. Meantime, Prada is the only major brand to take the presentation of its mid-season collection outside of France. The show, being in the pipeline for May 4, will most likely be held in a spectacular venue. Last year, Prada chose the Osservatorio exhibition space in the historic setting of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan.

www.prada.com

4| The House of Dior

Last year, the French fashion label Dior put up a magnificent showcase in the Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve located in California. To prep for the brand’s 2019 Cruise collection, the Maison has yet to reveal the location to conduct its next photo shoot. Currently helmed by Artistic Director Maria Grazia Chiuri, will Dior opt for a location in France, or will it take its Cruise collection to a far-fetch destination? We will find out soon!

www.dior.com

Louis Vuitton New Artistic Director Virgil Abloh could Out-Supreme Supreme

 

Virgil Abloh is not just founder of hypebeast label Off-White, he's also Kanye West's creative director and Louis Vuitton's new Artistic Director.

Virgil Abloh is not just founder of hypebeast label Off-White, he’s also Kanye West’s creative director and Louis Vuitton’s new Artistic Director.

Virgil Abloh is not just founder of hypebeast label Off-White, he’s also Kanye West’s creative director and Louis Vuitton’s new Artistic Director. But the implications are further than what most articles have explored. Abloh’s appointment as Louis Vuitton Artistic Director is not just emblematic of the hautebeast genre of streetwear going mainstream, it’s also a commercial masterstroke for one of Europe’s oldest and most powerful luxury maisons – with Virgil Abloh spearheading menswear, Louis Vuitton has a shot at absolutely dominating China.

The Hautebeast has landed: Louis Vuitton New Artistic Director Virgil Abloh could Out-Supreme Supreme and Win Big in China

Though popular in West Europe and the United States, hip hop fashion and streetwear has traditionally never done well in China, but all that began to change when an online reality rap competition called The Rap of China began to draw a massive following. Featuring four celebrity producers, aspiring hip hop and rap contestants vye for the mentorship of these producers who than train and guide these lyrical gangsters. 

Kris Wu wearing Supreme on the first online episode of The Rap of China

Kris Wu wearing Supreme on the first online episode of The Rap of China

Produced by China’s largest online video platform iQiyi, the first episode launched on June 24 to a viewership of over 100 million viewers. By August, each episode drew 200 million pairs of eyeballs – no small potatoes for a previously niche genre of music. The side effect, high-end streetwear brands, including Virgil Abloh’s own Off-White, Vetements, Supreme and Raf Simons, have all become household names amongst China’s millennials overnight. According to Jing Daily, celebrity producers like Kris Wu have added to the effect when he wore an iconic Supreme tee to the first ever episode of The Rap of China. Already popular among Hong Kong IT celebrities like Shawn Yue and Edison Chen, Wu’s rabid female base and the collaboration with luxury staple Louis Vuitton, further accelerated the growth of popularity beyond Chinese hip hop circles. Furthermore, popular contestants often choose to don Off-White’s signature black and white striped hoodies, pants and hats while performing, adding to the fervour. When Victoria’s Secret supermodel Liu Wen was spotted wearing a denim Off-White gown to the 2017 edition of the Met Gala, the internet blazed into a frenzy in the Chinese market.

That said, hip hop, an anti-establishment subculture, is not favored by authoritarian CCP government, thus the allowance of such a show where over 100 hip hop songs have been outright banned, telegraphs a grudging capitulation to popular culture – in that sense, hautebeast streetwear only has the potential upside to burgeon and grow at a much greater pace!

Victoria’s Secret supermodel Liu Wen was spotted wearing a denim Off-White gown to the 2017 edition of the Met Gala

Victoria’s Secret supermodel Liu Wen was spotted wearing a denim Off-White gown to the 2017 edition of the Met Gala

Business of Luxury: What can Virgil Abloh do as new Louis Vuitton menswear Artistic Director

American designer, DJ and stylist Virgil Abloh came to prominence as Kanye West’s creative director. While his first fashion brand, Pyrex Vision, identified often through his signature screen-printed logos on Ralph Lauren rugby shirts was shuttered ignominiously, he soon returned (barely a year later) with another personal label – Off-White.

OFF-WHITE c/o VIRGIL ABLOH™ is a fashion label rooted in current culture with seasonal menswear and women’s collections inspired by the 37 year old Ghanaian-American’s perspectives on trends. Beyond streetwear, Abloh’s brand also offers a complete lifestyle symbolic of his vision – furniture and ready made goods, all made in Milan with products which differ from season to season.

Virgil Abloh's Off-White collection

Virgil Abloh’s Off-White collection

Considered by his peers as a visionary for cool, pop cultural references which contextualise the moment into garments of zeitgeist. Abloh not only became a finalist of the LVMH Young Designer Awards in 2015 through Off-White, he is also the first LVMH Young Designer finalist to take a major design role at an LVMH brand.

Impressively, the multi-hyphenate is not a formally trained designer, Virgil Abloh was an architectural and civil engineer by training taught the basics only by his mother, a seamstress. Incidentally, Abloh is also among a handful of black designers. He joins Olivier Rousteing, creative director of Balmain and Ozwald Boateng, a tailor turned designer for Givenchy menswear from 2003 to 2007.

Virgil Abloh's first label was not a success but barely a year later, Off-White became his calling card, sending his street cred into the stratosphere

Virgil Abloh’s first label was not a success but barely a year later, Off-White became his calling card, sending his street cred into the stratosphere

Speaking to NYT, Abloh said, “This opportunity to think through what the next chapter of design and luxury will mean at a brand that represents the pinnacle of luxury was always a goal in my wildest dreams. And to show a younger generation that there is no one way anyone in this kind of position has to look is a fantastically modern spirit in which to start.”

Louis Vuitton’s new artistic director met Louis Vuitton’s Chief Executive Michael Burke 12 years ago during a six month internship with Kanye West at Fendi where Burke was then Fendi Chief, impressing Burke enough to keep track of his nascent career.

Virgil Abloh’s appointment was widely rumoured following a shakeup in the Louis Vuitton menswear department when Kim Jones, his predecessor artistic director left in January. Abloh’s appointment is also a reflection of the increasing consumer driven intermingling of luxury and streetwear like the Louis Vuitton Supreme and Gucci Dapper Dan collaborations which helped rocket global sales of luxury goods by US4325 billion according to Bain & Company.

“Virgil creates hype and no brand can argue in this current climate that they don’t need hype,” says Ellie Pithers, British Vogue fashion features editor to The Guardian

A new direction for Virgil Abloh’s Louis Vuitton: Relatable Luxury

Abloh’s experience has spanned multiple brands including Nike, Jimmy Choo, Moncler and even an upcoming collaboration with IKEA. Given the commercial success of Louis Vuitton Supreme, it is almost a given that the new Artistic Director is there to inject a millennial flavour to Louis Vuitton menswear. Where Jones developed an air of classicism with Louis Vuitton menswear, the brand’s latest Artistic Director is sure to take Louis Vuittons savoir faire as a classical luggage expert and give it a refreshing new urban feel. More importantly, Abloh’s brand of relatable luxury, so deftly tapping on zeitgeist, is bound to further entrench the Louis Vuitton brand in China (including Hong Kong) where competition with Kering Group’s Gucci is especially fierce.

Michael Burke, Louis Vuitton CEO

Michael Burke, Louis Vuitton CEO

In 2016, Burke talked to the South China Morning Post about the slowing growth in sales of the brand, in the wake of a Chinese government crackdown on excessive gift giving and corruption. It was a slowdown which also affected Hong Kong, where a loss of confidence on the part of local shoppers and a fall in the number of high-spending visitors from China hit the French luxury house hardest. By August 2017, after closing 8 stores and streamlining operations, the brand made an explosive recovery and has not looked back since.

On 25 January 2018, CNBC reported Louis Vuitton holding company LVMH posted 18% operating profit growth and higher than expected Q4 like-for-like sales on the backs of rising Chinese demand and increased online sales; boosted largely by Louis Vuitton brand which accounts for more than half of group profits.

In many ways, beginning with its first treated canvas luggage trunks, Louis Vuitton has always been counter-culture, designed to serve the new affluent rather than the traditional aristocrat. Louis Vuitton menswear is currently carried in only 150 of the brand’s 450 boutiques. Expectation is that with Abloh as new Louis Vuitton Artistic Director, the maison will expand that number to 180 with close to 20 standalone Louis Vuitton menswear stores exemplifying the growing importance of the segment to the brand.

Once considered for lead designer positions at Burberry and Versace, Abloh is notable for making political statements in an industry that rarely takes a stand for commercial reasons. Abloh has conceived fashion commentary on the immigrant crisis with artist Jenny Holzer.

As new Artistic Director, Abloh will debut his first Louis Vuitton menswear collection in June 2018 for Paris Men’s Fashion Week. Louis Vuitton is estimated to be LVMH’s top-money maker with annual sales of more than €9bn (£7.9bn), the largest in the luxury industry. 

Dior Homme Appoints New Artistic Director

The 38-year-old British designer Kim Jones has left Louis Vuitton about two months ago to take reins at Dior Homme. He replaces Kris Van Assche, who had helmed the French menswear label for Dior Homme 11 years ago.

Jones left Dunhill in 2011 to join Louis Vuitton, which he had made the business turnaround for the menswear range and transformed it into a modern-luxury collection, mixing a lingering nostalgia for British colonial chic with a streetwise edge to appeal to the high-end market. His passion for wildlife and exotic travel have contributed to his sharp sense and refined taste.

Pietro Beccari, Chairman and CEO of Christian Dior Couture, said: “I am delighted to welcome Kim Jones at Dior Homme. He will benefit from the support of the teams and from the ‘savoir-faire’ of the Ateliers to create an elegant men’s wardrobe both classic and anchored in contemporary culture. I am confident that he will continue to further develop Dior Homme on a global scale.”

Commenting on his new appointment at Dior Homme, the British designer says this in a statement, “I am deeply honoured to join the house of Dior, a symbol of the ultimate elegance.” He adds that he is committed in creating a modern and innovative male silhouette built upon the unique legacy of the house.

British designer Kim Jones (C) holds hands with British models Naomi Campbell (L) and Kate Moss (R) / Image courtesy of AFP

Kim Jones is a highly-respected figure in his field and during his six-year tenure at Louis Vuitton, Jones took things to another level. He was the brain behind a series of collaborations with the streetwear label Supreme, and the conoclastic British artists Jake and Dinos Chapman. Jones had also worked with British models Naomi Campbell as well as Kate Moss.

While his predecessor, the 41-year-old Belgian designer, Van Assche, had brought a punkish street style influence to Dior’s fine tailoring. Van Assche said that it was “with great emotion… that I am leaving this beautiful house to pursue new challenges,” but the Belgian designer would be staying on with the luxury giant LVMH, which owns the label, said Dior in a statement.

An official announcement would be made “subsequently”.

Kim Jones will present his first collection for Dior Homme next June, during the Paris Men’s fashion week.

Emma Stone Fronts Louis Vuitton’s New “Spirit of Travel” Campaign

Louis Vuitton Prefall 2018 featuring Emma Stone

Emma Stone fronts Louis Vuitton’s new “Spirit of Travel” campaign

In the latest advertising campaign, Louis Vuitton goes public with its new “Spirit of Travel” starring Emma stone, which the campaign is a first for the Hollywood star. Despite having teamed up with the French fashion house back in October and opting to wear the label for various red carpet occasions, such as the recent Golden Globes and the Oscars, Emma Stone had not yet been spotted in any ads.

Louis Vuitton Prefall collection showcases Emma Stone as heroine figure – one who exudes a daring, confident and yet always on the move character.

Now that the actress has been chosen as the “face” to front the French luxury campaign, the team took the photo shoot to the Californian desert, with the Louis Vuitton Prefall 2018 playing on the brand’s French heritage.

Shot by Craig, the Travel campaign highlights the Capucines bags: a signature of discreet elegance and Capucines represents the spirit of the House and its expertise in leather craftwork.

This is what the lovely actress has to say as quoted by the fashion label: “I am very happy and proud to be working with a House as passionate as Louis Vuitton, as well as with the unique style and creations of creative director, Nicolas Ghesquière.”

The previous and existing Louis Vuitton muses include Alicia Vikander, Selena Gomez and Jaden Smith, among others.

View the Prefall collection from Louis Vuitton here.

New Louis Vuitton Tambour Moon Mysterieuse Flying Tourbillon

New Louis Vuitton Tambour Moon Mysterieuse Flying Tourbillon

New Louis Vuitton Tambour Moon Mysterieuse Flying Tourbillon

Cartier might have popularised the concept of mysterious timekeeping but it appears that Louis Vuitton is taking a leaf and expressing horological expertise with a new adventure in watchmaking with the Louis Vuitton Tambour Moon Mysterieuse Flying Tourbillon.

New Louis Vuitton Tambour Moon Mysterieuse Flying Tourbillon

Following Louis Vuitton watchmaking grand complications such as Répétition Minutes, Skeleton Tourbillon Poinçon de Genève and Spin Time, the new Louis Vuitton Tambour Moon Mysterieuse Flying Tourbillon further demonstrates the artisanal and technical craftsmanship of the brand.

Tambour Moon Mysterieuse Flying Tourbillon adapts the principle of the mysterious calibre, used with ingeniously disguised sapphire discs and arranged in a line and combined with a flying tourbillon escapement

Tambour Moon Mysterieuse Flying Tourbillon adapts the principle of the mysterious calibre, used with ingeniously disguised sapphire discs and arranged in a line and combined with a flying tourbillon escapement

The adaptation of the principle of the mysterious calibre, used with ingeniously disguised sapphire discs and arranged in a line and combined with a flying tourbillon escapement marks a decisive step forward in the wonderful world of high horlogerie.

Developed in the 19th century, mysterious movements like those used in the new Louis Vuitton Tambour Moon Mysterieuse Flying Tourbillon traditionally make the hands appear to levitate. This Mysterieuse or optical illusion is made possible thanks to a clever mechanism of crystal discs, today replaced by sapphire crystals.

Here in Louis Vuitton’s latest watch, the LV 110 calibre drives the sapphire disc arrangement to great effect – hands appear untethered, leaving nothing to distract from the majesty of the Mysterieuse Flying Tourbillon.

Developed and crafted by La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton, the co-axial double barrel concealed beneath a Monogram Flower situated at 12 o’clock of the 45mm Tambour Moon , perpetuates the brand’s signature motif. Meanwhile, the central wheels dedicated to the hours and minutes, as well as the tourbillon carriage at 6 o’clock, appear to float in mid-air. A lightweight creation reinforced by two stylistic effects: the absence of a connection between the winding crown and the double barrel, and the choice of a flying tourbillon whose carriage, performing a complete rotation in 60 seconds, is adorned with an openwork Monogram Flower.

Adorned with a black alligator strap, the manual winding Tambour Moon Mysterieuse Flying Tourbillon driven by LV 110 calibre with eight-day power reserve offers watch enthusiasts another surprise: the back of the tourbillon carriage may be personalized with the customer’s initials.

Tambour Moon Mysterieuse Flying Tourbillon Price

Tambour Moon Mysterieuse Flying Tourbillon Price

Tambour Moon Mysterieuse Flying Tourbillon Price and Specs

Movement Manual winding  LV 110 calibre with 8 day power reserve
Case 45 m platinum with 50 metres water resistance
Strap Black alligator leather
Price On application

Louis Vuitton to Stage its Cruise 2019 Show on the French Riviera

Louis Vuitton to Stage its Cruise 2019 Show on the French Riviera

Paris-based fashion house Louis Vuitton has selected the French Riviera as the destination to star its Cruise 2019 show. According to the French luxury brand’s creative director, Nicolas Ghesquière, the exact location is yet to be revealed at a later date.

Last year, the French label took the fashion show (pictured above) to the Miho Museum in Japan, bringing a perfect fusion of urban and natural just outside Kyoto.

In 2016, the Niterói Contemporary Art Museum, facing Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was chosen as the location to showcase its Cruise collection.

For the next edition, the French luxury brand will stay closer to home, bringing the Cruise show to home turf in the South of France.

For more information about the latest fashion wear from Louis Vuitton, please visit the official website here.

Louis Vuitton: Tambour Slim Metallic Flower 28

Louis Vuitton’s Tambour Slim Metallic Flower 28 is the latest design offering for women. The subtly, elegant timepiece features a 28 mm case in Tambour Slim stainless steel with silvered metallic dial and is water-resistant to 50 m.

Louis Vuitton: Tambour Slim Metallic Flower 28

Inspired by fluid forms, plays of light and reflections, the dial features 60 Monogram Flowers engraved onto the dial to form a single Monogram Flower, golden hour and minute hands, eight polished cabochons, including four golden indexes bearing Louis Vuitton’s signature motifs; the Monogram flower and the LV logo.

Adding to the perfect combination of watchmaking expertise and elegant design, the eight polished cabochons add an extra layer of sophistication to this contemporary dial. Now, the symbolic Louis Vuitton bloom shines with intense metallic radiance.

Finally, the case of the Tambour Slim Metallic Flower 28 timepiece is secured by an ardillon buckle with an exclusive concept of interchangeable bracelets to give the timepiece an overall warm tone contrasts.

Made through the expertise of La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton watchmakers, the new Tambour Slim Metallic Flower from Louis Vuitton lends itself to all visual interpretations for a playful, enchanting reading of the time. Available in three different case sizes of 28 mm, 33 mm and 39 mm.

Discover the Tambour Slim Metallic Flower timepiece at Louis Vuitton’s website here.

Luxe Jedi: George Dishaw’s latest upcycled Star Wars Sculptures use vintage Louis Vuitton bags

Best known for his use of recycled metal parts and discarded home electronics  as a medium for Star Wars sculptures, American artist Gabriel Dishaw has turned his attention to Louis Vuitton bags as his next artistic canvas. Gabriel Dishaw discovered his passion for this particular art form in 9th Grade when his teacher posted 30 art project ideas on the chalk board for their term project and the young Dishaw was drawn to the item listed was “Junk Art”.

Beginning with an abstract sculpture titled “Mary on a Donkey”, Dishaw used strips of discarded metal wire and components to create the titular Mary (yes, from the Christmas story) for the local DOW Chemical Holiday Art Show in high school where it took the top honors in the 3D art category, kickstarting his career as an upcycler/sculptor.

The Luxe Jedi: George Dishaw’s latest upcycled Star Wars Sculptures use vintage Louis Vuitton bags

The indianapolis-based sculptor eventually started using other found objects like typewriters, keyboards, airplane parts and other assorted pieces of trash and turning them into upcycled art sculptures. Dishaw harbours a passion for sneakers but his famed series of recycled Star Wars sculptures come from his obsession for the beloved pop culture sci-fantasy legend. Dishaw reinterprets famed characters from the saga – Darth Vader, C3PO and even icons from the new trilogy – Kylo Ren.

George Dishaw has made everything including the Ralph MacQuarie interpretation of ‘Samurai Vader’ featuring the head-turning horned metallic headgear. Dishaw’s latest series of upcycled Star Wars sculptures are created with vintage Louis Vuitton canvas bags. The collection of Dishaw’s signature recycled Star Wars sculptures includes three variations of Darth Vader, a bust of C3PO, a Kylo Ren helm and an AT-AT Imperial Walker.

You can catch the George Dishaw Star Wars sculptures currently at the Indiana State Museum Imax Theatre which so happens to be presenting Star Wars: The Last Jedi. These upcycled sculptures will be sold at a venue to be announced.

Bejewelled Timepiece: Louis Vuitton Tambour Moon Tourbillon

Issued this year to celebrate the opening of Louis Vuitton Vendôme in October 2017, The House paid tribute to its flagship timepiece with latest Tambour Moon Tourbillon, with exceptional 80-hour power reserve.

Bejewelled Timepiece: Louis Vuitton Tambour Moon Tourbillon

With reference from the original Tambour, the newest creation of The Tambour Moon Tourbillon with an in-house manual-wind calibre LV 97 movement set has 106 brilliant-cut diamonds, the crown in rose-cut diamond, totalling up to approximately 7.6 carats.

The case and plate are entirely encrusted with diamonds and each of this watch’s components is entirely decorated by hand for a flawless aesthetic. Over 120 hours of meticulous work are spent on cutting the stones on the timepiece to create a puzzle of 296 diamonds that will eventually present a brilliant sparkle. After which, each timepiece is subject to multiple inspections for overall quality and reliability completed with a seal of excellence.

Displayed within the platinum case of the Tambour Moon, the bezel, flange and horns pavé-set with baguette-cut diamonds are arranged on a vertical line at 12 o’clock. Each of the component’s effect is further accentuated by the skeleton flying tourbillon, which appears to be floating weightlessly along with the delicately chiselled barrel bearing the Louis Vuitton signature (left-hand side).

In addition to The House’s incomparable watchmaking expertise, the centre of the case feature the hour- and minute-hand, and the tourbillon carriage features the Monogram Flower, paying tribute to Louis Vuitton’s signature emblem. The tourbillon cage is designed to rotate in one minute and is accentuated by the 160 fine components and 17 jewels.

Finally, the case of The Tambour Moon Tourbillon timepiece is secured by a Platinum PT950 ardillon buckle pavé-set, with baguette-cut diamonds on the top and strapped with a black alligator strap. Towards the completion of one such masterpiece, the central bridge and the back of the case bear the Poinçon de Genève” certification, which is a first for Louis Vuitton’s gem-set movement.

Assembled by the greatest craftsmen in the Canton of Geneva, at La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton, The Tambour Moon Tourbillon timepiece is made to be admired – one whose engraving and gem-set movement truly demonstrated the expertise of The House, whose aesthetics are as remarkable as its mechanism.

Louis Vuitton’s ‘Volez, Voguez, Voyagez’ Exhibition Opens in New York

Opened to the public last week in New York City’s former American Stock Exchange building, ‘Volez, Voguez, Voyagez’ exhibition reviews the history of Louis Vuitton from 1854 until the modern day. The same exhibition first made an entrance at the Grand Palais, Paris in December 2015 and has since enjoyed successful stints in Tokyo and Seoul.

Curated by Olivier Saillard, French’s star fashion curator, historian, and performer, ‘Volez, Voguez, Voyagez’ in New York explores the archives of the House’s founding family members.

And opening up like a book, the exhibition takes visitors on a journey through the various chapters and discover from 1854, through depictions of the Maison’s founding members and how they have brought the brand’s journey to global success.

And continuing from the creators of Louis Vuitton of tomorrow – Nicolas Ghesquière, who is the current creative director, at the helm of the house of Louis Vuitton’s womenswear collections, breathes life into the brand with cutting-edge fashion offering for forward-thinking fashion designers and fashionistas in the world.

The journey continues…

Divided into ten chapters, the first chapter opens to an antique trunk fashioned with contemporary flair, signifying a symbol of the House’s signature luxury luggage options. The final room shares the story of the brand’s history in New York City and the US.

Louis Vuitton also created pop-up boutique to kick-start its exhibition at the city’s Brookfield Place. View a curated assortment of leather accessories to fragrances in the lovely boutique, which will run for a limited time only.

The ‘Volez, Voguez, Voyagez’ exhibition will run till Jan 7, 2018.

For more information, please visit http://eu.louisvuitton.com/eng-e1/heritage-savoir-faire/nycvvv#

Louis Vuittion opens ‘Time Capsule’ exhibition at ION, Singapore

Facade of ‘Time Capsule’ exhibition. Image courtesy Louis Vuitton

In an exhibition traversing the highlights of its 163-year history, luxury fashion house Louis Vuitton presents ‘Time Capsule’, showing in Singapore at ION Orchard until 5 November.

Revisiting landmark innovations in technology and design, ‘Time Capsule’ makes use of a visual timeline featuring interactive digital experiences and rare objects from the Louis Vuitton archive.

‘Magic Malle’ at Time Capsule. Image courtesy Louis Vuittion

Demonstrating how the brand has adapted to the demands of a changing world, the exhibition traces the fashion house’s history back to its roots in 1854. It focuses on key aspects of the brand: from its distinctive design features on Louis Vuitton’s very first trunks, to its forays  into the world of architecture, fashion and art.

‘Journeys around the world’ at Time Capsule. Image courtesy Louis Vuitton

‘Time Capsule’ will open in Dubai on November 7, and Shanghai on November 18.

‘Journeys around the world’ at Time Capsule. Image courtesy Louis Vuitton

From Hatebeast to Hypebeast: Lawsuits and 30 years later, Streetwear has overtaken Louis Vuitton and Gucci

Tailor Daniel Day aka Dapper Dan was a streetwear pioneer when he incorporated luxury brand motifs by creating "bootleg" fur jackets by adapting branded garment bags, sparking a commercially successful trend. He was eventually sued, his store closed and today, we have come full circle with Gucci paying homage to his original 80s creation. He appears in NYT as a result.

Tailor Daniel Day aka Dapper Dan was a streetwear pioneer when he incorporated luxury brand motifs by creating “bootleg” fur jackets by adapting branded garment bags, sparking a commercially successful trend. He was eventually sued, his store closed and today, we have come full circle with Gucci paying homage to his original 80s creation. He appears in NYT as a result.

It’s official, the luxury industry is at a cross-roads – from big watch conglomerates struggling to find their footing to big fashion brands collaborating with small counter-culture brands for survival and relevance, luxury brand Chief Executives are going to find themselves asking one crucial question – in an industry steeped in heritage, tradition and classicism, how does one look forward without betraying these very values? More importantly, how do brands ensure commercial survival by appealing to a younger generation of shoppers without alienating the old guards?

But first, we need to understand the definition of the phenomenon we’re are about to explore. What is a hypebeast? According to the Urban Dictionary, It is a person who follows a trend to be cool or in style. A person who wears what is hyped up, collecting clothing and accessories for the sole purpose of impressing others.

Born from East-Coast (that is to say Californian) Skate and Surf culture, Streetwear began its roots with basics tees and denims eventually dressed with graphic logos and motifs pioneered by brands like Japanese A Bathing Ape and Supreme. Thus, with the now obvious synergy between prestige branding and prominent (if satirical) labelling, one can start to understand why the blending of cultures between streetwear and high fashion was inevitable.

From Hatebeast to Hypebeast: Lawsuits and 30 years later, Streetwear culture has overtaken Louis Vuitton and Gucci

On 19 January 2017, Guy Trebay opined in the New York Times that “Maybe Louis Vuitton Should Have Stayed Enemies with Supreme” – He recalled a lawsuit in 2000 when Louis Vuitton sued Supreme with a cease-and-desist order when the streetwear label spoofed the Louis Vuitton monogram on their skateboard deck. Little would they know that slightly under 20 years later, Louis Vuitton would be willingly surrendering their precious brand DNA and voluntarily joining prestige wear with devil-may-care streetwear in their latest Louis Vuitton men’s Fall Winter 2017 collection.

Cultural appropriation? Culture War? Or Just plain Culture? A Brief History on Streetwear’s influence on Fashion

In the 1980s, a designer from the streets of Harlem became notorious for his streetwear looks – Daniel Day, better known as Dapper Dan, was a legendary tailor who would make bespoke pieces for his rapper and athlete clientele with logos from many of the big fashion brands. His designs were of such popularity with the likes of Olympic sprinter Diane Dixon (and other notable entertainment celebrities) that his boutique was eventually sued out of existence in 1992.

Gucci Cruise 2018 collection. Image: Gucci instagram

Gucci Cruise 2018 collection. Image: Gucci instagram

26 years later, Gucci dropped a look in their Cruise 2018 collection which appeared to have been ripped off a design by the Harlem tailor and many on the internet were quick to pounce on the fashion house including sprinter Dixon for whom Dapper Dan had famously created the puffy sleeved fur jacket with Louis Vuitton monogram (rather than the interlocking Gucci Gs).

“Give credit to @dapperdanharlem He did it FIRST in 1989!” – Diane Dixon on Instagram

 

In response to the internet ire, Gucci released a statement – “Gucci’s ‘new Renaissance’ cruise 2018 fashion show included references to periods of revitalization spanning many different eras, in particular the European Renaissance, the ’70s and the ’80s. The collection also saw a continuation of Alessandro Michele’s exploration of faux-real culture with a series of pieces playing on the Gucci logo and monogram, including a puff-sleeved bomber jacket from the 1980s in an homage to the work of the renowned Harlem tailor Daniel ‘Dapper Dan’ Day and in celebration of the culture of that era in Harlem.”

Indeed, the Alessandro Michele had tagged him on Instagram after failing to get in touch with Dan in an instagram caption saying: Inside the #GucciCruise18 collection by #AlessandroMichele, a look that celebrates an iconic style of hip-hop fashion culture from the 80s—a plush jacket featuring puffy sleeves monogrammed in GG motif. Legendary tailor Dapper Dan @dapperdanharlem influenced the trend by making such custom pieces for his rapper and athlete clients out of logos from famous fashion houses, including #Gucci. In a homage to Dapper Dan, this jacket worn with jeans and a lurex headpiece is flanked with a striped knit with cross-stitch embroidery, cotton shorts and a georgette gown with trompe l’oeil details.

As THE original “influencer” (today, a derogatory term describing wannabe instagram “bloggers”), so powerful was Dan’s vision that in the 10 years he operated Dapper Dan’s Boutique, he turned a tidy profit upcycling garment bags from Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Fendi which he then cut and tailored into bespoke fur coats and sharp suits. At the height of its popularity, Dan started to offer his custom skills to auto-detailing with services to brand cars with the monograms and logos of upscale fashion brands. It was a look which travelled by word of mouth and walking advertisements (his customers) which caught the attention from rappers to the most unsavory of characters – in an act of true counter-culture, Dapper Dan had appropriated luxurious symbols of wealth for the consumers who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford it (NYT has an excellent profile piece on Daniel Day, do check it out). That said, while it appears that his “pirated” style of art would eventually be adopted by the likes of Balenciaga, Louis Vuitton and Gucci, the truth is, the fashion world has often been finding inspiration in the street.

 

To Gucci’s benefit, the lessons of history are not lost upon them (as befitting a bonafide heritage brand), rather than sue New York Artist Trevor “Trouble” Andrew into oblivion for selling fake GucciGhost items, Alessandro Michele co-opted the artist into the brand, launching GucciGhost as a capsule collection in 2016. For Cruise 2018, Gucci’s Michele also out-pirated the pirates with dodgy-misspellings on their faux Gucci products by adopting the “GUCCY” label on genuine Gucci products – what are the pirates going to do? Sue? It was a move that was incredibly meta and undeniably street; 10 years ago, no one would ever have thought that a fashion brand would ever be capable of winning a street-fight.

And yet, why should it surprise anyone that the fashion world has been finding inspiration and muse in everyday things? Largely cyclical, Louis Vuitton’s take on the “China” shopping Bag (so named for the Chinese immigrants who used them to carry wares around) in 2007 found a new interpretation in Balenciaga this time, trolling the fashion world with their Thai shopping bag (commonly seen in Bangkok were shoppers at the various Thai market would carry their.. you get the point).

Pictured left: Louis Vuitton shopping bag. Right; "Chinatown" shopping bag popularised by Chinese immigrants

Pictured left: Louis Vuitton shopping bag. Right; “Chinatown” shopping bag popularised by Chinese immigrants

2001: A collision course between Louis Vuitton and Streetwear

How does a heritage malletier that  is trunk-maker become a collaborator with a streetwear brand infused with the edgy rebellion of skateboard indie culture? Slowly. In 2001, then Creative Director Marc Jacobs presided over one of the most non-Louis Vuitton eras in the history of the maison. Jacobs started to work with designers like Stephen Sprouse, Murakami and Yayoi Kusama to re-interpret and get creative with the brand’s signature motifs. Right up till that point, any alteration or perceived “denigration” of the logo was a big no no in accordance with branding principles but Jacobs managed to convince his bosses and the result was a Louis Vuitton reborn for a younger audience, no longer the domain of wealthy white ladies of leisure; reportedly, Louis Vuitton made US$300 million from the collaboration and the maison realised: hey, if it ain’t broke, why fix it?

Marc Jacobs with Murakami at the launch of the Cherry World

Marc Jacobs with Murakami at the launch of the Cherry World

The Cherry World of Takashi Murakami, a collaboration with Louis Vuitton

The Cherry World of Takashi Murakami, a collaboration with Louis Vuitton

Kim Jones is likely the most influential designer you’ve never heard of. Handling high street and high fashion with equal panache is not a skillset that many designers are capable of. A streetwear enthusiast and collector, Jones, a MA graduate of Central Saint Martins, first unveiled his namesake label in 2003 with a collection inspired of 90s rave culture – the sort of underground counter-culture adjacent with the skateboarding, underground party attending crowd. The year after, Umbro by Kim Jones was his foray into sportswear where he pioneered the concept of “athleisure” – a major pillar of streetwear philosophy – garments meant for skateboarding and active living – designer sneakers and fashion pump paired with playful prints  added street flair to once unfashionable sporting attire. By 2006, he was awarded Menswear Designer of the Year Award by the British Fashion Council, with his various looks: suits with sneakers, athleisure tracksuits and puffer coats, he was telegraphic his passion for streetwear from high street to high fashion. When Kanye West was launching clothing line Pastelle in 2008, Jones too headed that project – neon colours and flair, signature of Kanye’s sartorial sensitives were capably demonstrated by Jones. Like Dapper Dan, having an A-list hip hop performer wearing you swag is 100 points on the street-cred-meter. Leaving his position as Creative Director at Dunhill, Kim Jones joined Louis Vuitton in 2011. There he parlayed his deft touch with punk, hype and culture by working with Kiro Hirata – adding an artisanal touch to streetwear through the Japanese craft of patching denim or boro. Jones’s international jetset outlook with childhood from Botswana to Tanzania allow him the advantage of a plethora of motifs which African-American cultures would find attractive. After Hirata, Jones worked with Hiroshi Fujiwara, incorporating more streetwear elements into Louis Vuitton.

“I take the DNA of the brand and infuse it with something else to create excitement, some critics say that I’m just jumping on the bandwagon, but actually I’m not, it’s always been part of my DNA.” – Kim Jones to South China Morning Post

mrkimjones instagram: Louis Vuitton X Fragment coming soon @fujiwarahiroshi photographed by #pieterhugo

mrkimjones instagram: Louis Vuitton X Fragment coming soon @fujiwarahiroshi photographed by #pieterhugo

The critical debate on the joining of streetwear label and luxury brand is heated; thus LUXUO decided to speak to Mark Sabotage, a prominent Singaporean sneaker artist and streetwear aficionado about the debate surrounding the blurring of lines between street and high fashion.

“There used to be a clear line between luxury and street which then became blur and now it’s almost non existent. With this collaboration, it’s now evident. To me, this is a real mark in the history books when street culture rose to power, much like how hip hop became the soundtrack of white america slowly in the early 2000s and especially when Eminem was created.” – Mark Sabotage aka SBTG

So you don’t think it’s selling out? Isn’t this culture about individuality and independence (if not rebellion)?

Supreme runs 20+ years deep and the people who where in the start of such cultures all grew up to be some one of power in whatever industry they are in. And i would think Kim Jones is part of this culture. So to me, its a natural progression.

The world is changing, batons are passed , and young people are more in power now vs 20 years back. So many ‘old’ brands wanna project a younger image now.

Gone is the brown Louis Vuitton signature colourway and in comes the distinct red Supreme colour scheme.

Gone is the brown Louis Vuitton signature colourway and in comes the distinct red Supreme colour scheme.

Doesn’t this benefit LV commercially and hurt Supreme in terms of street cred?

I personally don’t feel so. There used to be a clear line between luxury and street which then became blur and now it’s almost non existent. With this collaboration, it’s now evident. To me, this is a real mark in the history books when street culture rose to power, much like how hip hop became the soundtrack of white america slowly in the early 2000s and especially when Eminem was created.

So this isn’t about rich people branded labels vs. non-conformist street skateboarders – this is more like the natural evolution of two cultures joining together, there never was a “culture war” to begin with?

Yes, it’s my observation since I became a part of the culture since day 1. Some consumers may take it personally and feel betrayed but truly, history happens anyway with or without your consent. Kim Jones has deep street culture background and now he has risen to power and with it, the right to call the shots. Skateboarding has contributed to fashion more than everyone thinks. Streetwear mocked luxury in many ways in the 90s, made spoofs. Skateboarding is the genesis of so many things, Vans shoes has skate roots and now the world is wearing them.

Mr. Sabotage's own 'Charlie 101' cargo tote adapted from a vintage postal and a Birkin bag.

Mr. Sabotage’s own ‘Charlie 101’ cargo tote adapted from a vintage postal and a Birkin bag.

To get the perspective on the fashion side of things, LUXUO spoke to Jasmine Tuan, Creative Director at Brandmama Pte Ltd and Co-founder at FrüFrü & Tigerlily to hear what she thinks of the Louis Vuitton x Supreme collaboration.

Brands are playing strong to keep themselves relevant. – Jasmine Tuan, Brandmama Pte Ltd

Who do you feel it benefits more? Louis Vuitton or Supreme?

It is similar to H&M x Margiela, Marni, Balmain; Collaboration is another way to create hype, media buzz which in turn converts to hype and profit.

Jasmine Tuan, Creative Director at Brandmama Pte Ltd and Co-founder at FrüFrü & Tigerlily; She was also Managing Director of the now defunct but critically successful Blackmarket

Jasmine Tuan, Creative Director at Brandmama Pte Ltd and Co-founder at FrüFrü & Tigerlily; She was also Managing Director of the now defunct but critically successful Blackmarket

But if profit is the objective, what happens to street cred?

In order to sustain any brand, you need money and cash flow. When is the last time a Supreme fan bought a Supreme item? When is the last time an LV fan bought an LV item?

Although both brands have strong following, people might stop going in to a Supreme or LV boutique to shop for their usual range or follow their new collection, but would go visit the brands again for such collaboration since there is a new reason to buy something new and limited.

Some even see it as investment as they know prices will go up and they can fetch profit and returns. It’s a clever move to stir media buzz and sales. Limited editions have been proven to work – H&M collaborations Balmain, Marni, Margiela, Valentino are all snapped by Day one. Today, people are still selling them at a higher price whether it’s worn once or new., simply because you can’t get it in the market anymore.

So the whole point of “counter culture” street wear is irrelevant? There’s no more rebellion? The brands have won?

It still exists and is very much relevant. Just that a few of them who still have minds of their own and are not affected by social media hype. Brands are playing strong to keep themselves relevant.

Louis Vuitton sued Supreme to stop production and sale of the LV skateboard deck. It is noteworthy that instead of the brown colour palette, Louis Vuitton has now adopted Supreme's red colourway instead. Also, an original 2000 Supreme LV deck just sold on eBay for $10,000. Beat that with a stick.

Louis Vuitton sued Supreme to stop production and sale of the LV skateboard deck. It is noteworthy that instead of the brown colour palette, Louis Vuitton has now adopted Supreme’s red colourway instead. Also, an original 2000 Supreme LV deck just sold on eBay for $10,000. Beat that with a stick.

The need to Appeal to the Younger Generation is not Unique to Fashion, the Watch Industry is also undergoing upheaval and renewal

Indeed, targeting the next generation (if not a younger generation) of well-financed consumers is not a phenomenon unique to the fashion industry. The watch industry is also just finding its way out of one of the longest periods of market contraction in recent history.

In 2016, Patek Philippe set tongues wagging when they released the most “unlikely Patek Philippe watch” ever – the Calatrava Pilot Travel Time Ref. 5524. According to CEO Thierry Stern, the new novelty was meant to draw attention from a generation of new watch consumers who were “not interested in their father’s watch”, though the brand drew some flak for its close similarity to another manufacture’s offering, the Calatrava Pilot Travel Time was a commercial success, so much so that this year, Patek Philippe launched the US only limited edition 5522A Pilot’s Calatrava as part of the celebrations for the Art of Watchmaking Grand Exhibition. And it’s not just Patek Philippe, brands like Corum are also starting to appeal to a younger audience with fun Bubble watches and collaborations with designers.

Truth is, whatever the commercial realities are in whichever industry, there will always be a clarion call for “honesty” and a rootedness in the brand. For now, in a highly cynical marketplace, there is no doubt that collaborations are commercial successes. But it remains to be seen if collaborations are the way forward, after all, there’s still a demand for authenticity. Sure, there will be demand for Supreme for Louis Vuitton items but there’s a good chance your purist streetwear aficionados who typically queue outside Supreme’s flagship in New York are not the same people who are in line at Vuitton stores. These rebels make an unhyped product “hype” by virtue of their power as trendsetters rather than trend-followers, they alone stand as templars to the concept of street credibility.

That said, we live in a very unique age where the big brands have stopped hating the hypebeast and embraced them; Yet, the hypebeast stands separate from a new creature – the Hautebeast; this Hautebeast is in all of us (at least lovers of luxury goods and prestige products).

 

 

Business of Luxury: Vertu is Dead and It was Never the “Rolex of Phones” and this casts doubt on Luxury Smartwatches

It’s official. Vertu is dead. According to BBC, the British-based luxury phone maker with Hampshire factory and headquarters and an army of craftsmen hand assembling each smartphone, each costing thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars will go into liquidation after plans to save the luxury phone maker from bankruptcy failed. In 2015, it was reported that Vertu sold 425,000 (more on that in a moment) luxury smartphones and in recent years, Vertu had fallen on hard times with the recent liquidation resulting in the loss of 200 jobs, no word yet on what would happen with its boutiques worldwide.

That said, it is somewhat miraculous that high-end, jewel-encrusted handsets have been a trend that has lasted close to 10 years. During the early 2000s, luxury phones or fashion phones with precious material trimmings were produced by everyone from Nokia to Tag Heuer. But the handsets never quite lived up to the promise of Vertu’s objective of being the “Rolex of phones”.

Business of Luxury: Vertu is Dead and It was Never (Nor could it be) the “Rolex of Phones”

In 2014, then Vertu CEO Massimiliano Pogliani told IBTimes UK, “No one needs one of these phones. [They buy our phones] because they like the object, it’s not about showing you are a wealthy person. It’s an emotional purchase, we don’t want to be the phone of everybody, we want to be the phone for people who appreciate details.”

For all the gold, ruby, diamond and exotic leather details, a Vertu never really became an emotional purchase (unless you count “the wank” factor as an emotion). For emotionality to develop, the seed of genesis is entirely different. A Rolex, or any other handcrafted mechanical watch is built on the foundation that the technology is by nature – everlasting. Hand finished springs, gears, wheels and pinions do not go out of date because they have already transcended that linearity of functionality and obsolescence. Where once it was (almost) obsolete thanks to quartz, they live on today beyond practical time-keeping. This is where emotionality lies, a fine watch exists on your wrist in a state of permanence whereas your smartphone is ever changing by the virtues of its quickly obsolete printed circuit boards and rapidly outdated microchips.

To wit, a $20,000 Rolex does not tell time better than a $20 Casio but dressing a Casio up with precious metals, gems and hand finished pushers does not make it a Rolex anymore than wearing a Ferrari leather jacket makes you an owner of a Ferrari.

 

A spin off from Nokia since 1998, the first Vertu phone made news for being the world’s most expensive cellphone in 2002. 10 years later, private equity firm EQT VI acquired the company. until 2015 when the business was sold to Hong Kong based Godin Holdings. While over 400,000 units of the ultra-luxurious smartphones averaging £5,000 have been sold, the company operated annually with losses of over £15 million in 2013. By 2014, the British company recorded a loss of £53 million on sales on £110 million. Earlier this year, the ailing luxury smartphone maker was sold the company to exiled Turk, Hakan Uzan, for £50 million. His offer of  £1.9 million to consolidate over  £100 million worth of debt fell through. While Vertu did not have any rivals in the space in recent years, there was a spate of close releases in 2008 meant to compete with Vertu in the sphere of well-constructed luxury oriented phones, chiefly, TAG Heuer, Prada and Armani. Even parent company Nokia attempted a more upmarket version of their symbian phone with the 7900 Crystal Prism phone, complete with a Sapphire crystal and engraved design by French graphic designer Frederique Daubal.

The biggest conundrum of operating a luxury smartphone maker with the objective of ‘selling on emotions is that the Vertu was making a big ask for consumers to get attached to a phone which would become outdated each year tech companies release a new iteration of hardware and software platforms. At time of publication, financial woes and liquidation notwithstanding, Vertu sold the Signature, Signature Touch, Aster and Constellation – with one glaring flaw – they were 2014 hardware specs operating 2014 Android OS in the year 2017. All the trappings of precious metals, diamonds and rubies were not going to engender the kind of deep set emotions art, a classic car or a fine mechanical watch was capable of.

Yet, despite its failings, Vertu did have a unique proposition – access to a concierge service which is open to all legal requests. In offering this “money can’t buy” service, Vertu set itself apart from its tech trappings with the minimum £2,000 per year service, upgraded for more bespoke service, but somehow was never able to leave behind its tech failings.

 

Vertu’s demise casts doubts on the genre of Luxury Smartwatches

Last October 2016, Louis Vuitton’s Spring 2017 presentation showed that this luxury maison was going to avoid what Prada and Armani had previously unleashed to lacklustre performance. Instead of focusing on tech, they focused on what Louis Vuitton does best – They made an accessory. Just as you dressed in their couture or toted their latest bag, Louis Vuitton unveiled the Eye-Trunk iPhone Case. While it is not this author’s cup of tea, the Eye-Trunk iPhone Case was an authentic emblem of the brand, Vuitton was neither entering an arena it was not familiar with, nor setting itself up for chasing an endless technology product cycle. If your iPhone became outdated, you merely slipped out the old version (and given Apple’s propensity to keeping the design fairly similar to older iterations), and placed the latest version with the Eye-Trunk iPhone Case – so named one assumes because Apple has registered all lowercase “i” prefixes as trademarks.

But then, recently, Louis Vuitton chose to enter the genre of the luxury smartwatch. While it is an undeniably beautiful piece of wrist instrumentation equipped with the maison’s own City Guides with proximity alerts, the Louis Vuitton Tambour Horizon with airport concierge (in that never again will you have to look up terminal and gate details on Google, they’re all accessible from the watch the minute you email your flight booking to a Louis Vuitton address) is actually a polished (or brushed) piece of hardware. Queries to Louis Vuitton Singapore have confirmed that unlike the other LVMH smartwatch offering from TAG Heuer, there is no upgrade or trade in path for the Louis Vuitton Tambour Horizon to be turned into a mechanical watch by ponying up a few thousand dollars more.

In essence, the permanence and raison d’etre of luxury (ironically, how Louis Vuitton became reputed for in the first place – their water resistant trunks were designed to endure repeated journeys about steamships while their competitor’s suitcases often deformed with water damage) runs contrary to the consistent obsolescence of technology. Recently failure of Jawbone, maker of bluetooth fitness devices and Fitbit, also bear out the idea that wearable tech is still largely experimental at best and to endow such “throwaway” gadgets with the eternity of diamonds and assorted gemstones, is to only fight against the natural product cycle. To sum up, a corded rotary phone has better luck becoming a permanent artistic/design fixture amongst your personal belongings than a smartphone which gets replaced at a fraction of the cost with the next slimmer model at double the processing power and twice the megapixel capture ability.

Luxury fashion house Louis Vuitton debuts Tambour Horizon smartwatch

Image courtesy Louis Vuitton

On Tuesday, luxury fashion house Louis Vuitton debuted its first-ever smartwatch, the Tambour Horizon.

Jumping onto the bandwagon of luxury fashion brands creating designer smartwatches, the Tambour Horizon is Louis Vuitton’s take on the increasingly popular connected watch. Developed in partnership with Google and Qualcomm, the Horizon uses the Android Wear 2.0 platform, as well as a number of other features that are distinctively Louis Vuitton.

True to its origins, the Tambour Horizon is marketed as a traveller’s watch right off the bat. Borrowing its sleek, elegant design from the Tambour — the iconic piece that launched Louis Vuitton into the world of watchmaking 15 years ago — the smartwatch blends timeless design with cutting-edge tech. Combining an interchangeable strap system and customisable watch faces with exclusive flight-tracking and city-mapping functions, it’s made for the dedicated and style-conscious traveller.

Image courtesy Louis Vuitton

The Tambour Horizon features a 42mm stainless steel case and a 1.2” AMOLED touchscreen, as well as a sapphire glass case back, printed with the Louis Vuitton logo. It uses the Qualcomm® Snapdragon Wear 2100 platform, and it’s compatible with smartphones running Android 4.3/iOS 9 or higher.

The Tambour Horizon retails both online and in Louis Vuitton stores. It’s available in three different designs: Black, Graphite, and Monogram.

For further information, visit Louis Vuitton.

ilyda chua

“Cabinet of Wonders: The Gaston-Louis Vuitton Collection” by Louis Vuitton

Image courtesy Louis Vuitton

Comprising over a thousand objects from far and wide, the personal collection of Gaston-Louis Vuitton, grandson of the founder of the House, will soon be made available to the public with the release of the new book by Louis Vuitton, ‘Cabinet of Wonders: The Gaston-Louis Vuitton Collection’.

Over the years of his travels, Gaston-Louis Vuitton — the ‘unrepentant collector’ — amassed hundreds of curiosities in his collection, including vintage trunks, antique travel articles and other typographical rarities. From rare antiques to exotic eccentricities, this collection of paraphernalia is a mélange of the strange and the wonderful.

Image courtesy Louis Vuitton

Featuring an assortment of items related to travel, invention, craftsmanship and bibliophilia, this fascinating assemblage offers an unprecedented insight into four key aspects in Gaston-Louis’s life as a traveller, an inventor, a craftsman and an erudite.

A testament to his extraordinary curiosity and imagination, Gaston-Louis’s cabinet of wonders is a must-have for anyone inspired by bizarre and eclectic curiosities, the quest for exceptional objects and the decorative arts.

Image courtesy Louis Vuitton

‘Cabinet of Wonders: The Gaston-Louis Vuitton Collection’ will be available from July 1 in Louis Vuitton stores, and in bookstores worldwide from September 21.

ilyda chua