The world’s largest luxury group LVMH got a bit bigger Tuesday after a $716 million deal to take a majority position in German luggage maker Rimowa. The AFP reports that Cologne-based Rimowa, known for its lightweight aluminum suitcases, will continue to be run by Dieter Morszeck, the grandson of the firm’s founder; Morszeck will also retain an equity stake.
“We share with Dieter Morszeck the same passion for innovation and a common desire to offer very high-quality products derived from a European tradition of craftsmanship,” LVMH’s chief executive Bernard Arnault said in a statement.
Arnault’s son Alexandre will join Rimowa as co-CEO after the deal for the 80 percent stake closes, which is expected to happen by January.
Rimowa employs 3,000 people and distributes its products in 65 countries through nearly 150 stores and partners.
The company has sought to remain a pioneer in the luggage industry, developing a waterproof case and the use of lightweight polycarbonate.
Its latest innovation is including a small screen that displays the luggage tag, facilitating check-in via a special application.
In a move that caught us – and almost everyone else too – by surprise, designer Haider Ackermann has been named the new Artistic Director of the luxury menswear label Berluti. Ackermann’s Wikipedia page not yet been updated with this new. There hasn’t even been any speculation linking him with the LVMH label, even though once a time many people were suggesting him as a possible replacement for John Galliano at Christian Dior. Ackermann was also a contender for the top job at Maison Martin Margiela, when Martin Margiela was himself still involved.
Ackermann, a designer more widely known for the womenswear collections under his eponymous label than for his menswear pieces, will take up the position with immediate effect. He will present his first collection for the LVMH brand during Men’s Fashion Week in January 2017.
The Colombian designer launched his brand in 2003, adding a menswear line in 2013.
“I am sure that his vision will bring a unique opportunity to Berluti,” said CEO Antoine Arnault, son of Bernard Arnault and architect of Berluti’s current success, after he merged it with French suitmaker Arnys.
More rumours abound in the fashion industry. With Berluti’s creative director Alessandro Sartori returning to Ermenegildo Zegna, LVMH is rumoured to be looking to hire Haider Ackermann as Berluti’s new creative director. The news isn’t as simple as a label looking for a new creative director, however; it is hoped that Ackermann could help boost the label’s flailing fortunes.
LVMH certainly needs a boost, if recent happenings are any indication. They sold Marc by Marc Jacobs last year, Donna Karan just recently, and even Berluti has been making constant losses. Unfortunately, nothing has been confirmed yet, although with the estimated €100-150 million that Berluti has burnt (info via Business of Fashion) since LVMH stepped up investments five years ago, LVMH will want to act fast.
More movement abounds in the fashion industry! In the latest episode of business deals moving faster than fashion trends, French luxury group LVMH has completed the sale of ready-to-wear group Donna Karan International to US clothing manufacturer G-III Apparel. While it sounds mildly heartbreaking, rest assured that the American label’s worth has been recognized and valued at $650 million. The label is merely moving house: Donna Karan and the DKNY brands will return to New York, their birthplace in the 1980s.
“Donna Karan International is an iconic global fashion company,” said Morris Goldfarb, CEO of G-III, which owns the Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger labels so it is no stranger to American fashion labels and is, arguably, even better place than LVMH to make a go of this. “Donna Karan brings increased scale and diversification to G-III, which will finance the transaction with debt and issuing $75 million in new stock to LVMH.”
This move isn’t completely out of the blue, however. Despite steps taken towards restructuring Donna Karan in a bid to boost its lackluster growth, results have been less than satisfactory, with the line eventually suspended since last summer when the eponymous founder left. It is thus a no-brainer that the world’s largest luxury group would let Donna Karan go when a suitable suitor such as G-III expressed interest.
Rumors have been rife that Nicolas Ghesquiere, Creative Director of Louis Vuitton, might be following thelead of his industry peers and leaving the label he is currently helming. Amid the ensuing flurry of confusion and “not-again”s, the French label has finally stepped forward to put an end to all that hearsay. Ghesquiere’s contract with Louis Vuitton will only expire in November 2018. This means we’ll still see him with the Maison for at least a good two years more.
All that gossip was not entirely unfounded, however. In a TV interview dated from June, Ghesquire expressed his desire to start his own label, even going as far as to state that he would soon be in a position to work on that – except no one knew soon translated to 2 years in Ghesquiere’s mind. Adding fuel to the fire, LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault himself has even suggested that he’s considering a change of Creative Director at Louis Vuitton, with Jonathan Anderson of Loewe his man of choice. Throw the rampant phenomenon of revolving doors (yet again) plaguing the industry into the formula, and the fashion world is thrown into a state of mild panic. How can we live without Nicolas Ghesquiere at the head of Louis Vuitton?
If recent happenings are any indication, we fashion people will manage, especially since Ghesquiere still has two more years left in his tenure. We’re not going to take our Creative Directors for granted anymore, what with their ephemeral presence.
Shimmering models wearing the latest Fendi creations appeared to walk on water last week at a fairytale show in Rome’s Trevi fountain to mark the luxury fashion house’s 90th anniversary. The show has already taken the Internet by storm and you can see the video at the bottom of this story, if you missed the livestream itself. The action begins at the 9:20 mark.
Above the sparkling waters of the Baroque fountain, models wearing hand-painted dresses in pale pink, blue and cream, adorned with hand-stitched flowers or starlit scenes, glided across a transparent catwalk in the basin. If this sounds familiar to you, it might be because the show was heavily promoted, even though invitations only went out to 200 guests.
The soft, luxurious collection of 46 outfits was inspired by Danish fairytale illustrator Kay Nielsen, who painted color plates for the book Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen in 1924 and also later worked for Disney, including on sequences of the film Fantasia.
Glittering evening gowns with slits up the sides transformed their wearers into modern-day fairy tale characters, the reflection of lights scintillating in the turquoise waters echoing the shine of pebbles glinting in the moonlight (think Hansel and Gretel) or even cobblestones, if one is in a Wizard of Oz frame of mind.
Dresses were nipped in at the waist or featured a bell skirt, the house’s trademark fur coat made an appearance in lynx, but what wowed the 200 exclusive guests was a patterned cape, in grey silk, which opened at both the front and back.
Bags looked like they were made of fur but were actually tiny pieces of silk, sown together to look like snakeskin.
As the models, including Americans Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid, wound up their catwalk, designer Karl Largerfeld, wearing his trademark gloves, came out to take a bow along with the Italian house’s accessories designer Silvia Venturini Fendi.
Coins in the fountain
Reaching the middle of the glass bridge he threw three coins over his shoulder into the fountain with a grin — a tradition that is said to ensure a return to the eternal city.
The fountain, made famous by a scene in Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita in which Anita Ekberg wades through its pristine waters, was restored last year in a clean-up funded by the fashion house, which first opened its doors in the capital in 1926.
Commissioned by Pope Clement XII in 1730, it is the end point of one of the aqueducts that supplied ancient Rome with water.
The tradition of throwing coins into the fountain was made famous by Frank Sinatra’s rendition of “Three Coins in the Fountain” in the 1954 romantic comedy film of the same name.
Fendi, now part of French luxury giant LVMH, said it wanted to capture the romance of the nearly 300-year-old monument, visited by millions of tourists every year, where tradition has it visitors can ensure eternal love by drinking its waters.
For those not lucky enough to bag tickets to the show, the house put on a sumptuous dinner for 600 guests at in the city’s Villa Borghese park, decorated for the occasion with Roman fountains.
As part of its anniversary celebrations, the fashion giant is also hosting an exhibition in the Square Colosseum, its headquarters in Rome, from July 9 to October 23.
Entitled “Fendi Roma: The Artisans of Dreams”, the show explores the creative history of the Italian house through a video installation and drawings by Lagerfeld of his most prized creations.
Anything can happen in the world of fashion and often does. In what seems like a big shake-up in the industry, Dior announces its first ever female artistic director Maria Grazia Chiuri, who was previously from Valentino.
Chiuri, known for her romantic, intricate designs at Valentino, will leave the Italian House and her longtime creative partner Pierpaolo Picciolo, whom she’s worked with since 2008. She will not only fill the vacancy left by Raf Simons since his departure last October, but will also join an esteemed league of designers the likes of Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferre and John Galliano, who previously helmed the label.
Meanwhile, Swiss design duo Lucie Meier and Serge Ruffieux, who have been holding the fort, will likely move to Dior’s haute couture department, with their debut couture collection showing in Paris on July 4.
The LVMH-owned couture house has reportedly seen a four percent drop in growth in the last quarter, while its turnover is also down by one percent to (EURO)1.39 billion, and the brand is hopeful Chiuri can improve the situation. To be fair though, the overall macro-economic situation is likely to blame and the ripples from Brexit (still a possibility at the time of this announcement) will certainly not help.
Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH), the world’s largest luxury group has just named its latest ‘Young Designer 2016’, and it is 25-year-old Briton Grace Wales Bonner who helms the label Wales Bonner. LVMH is the parent group of fashion giants Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior and Fendi, among others.
Currently in her fourth season, Wales Bonner was awarded the prestigious title, together with €300,000 that will aid the advancement of her label and support from the luxury conglomerate for a year.
“I feel quite emotional,” the former Saint Martin’s student said after the ceremony. “I’m just going to work towards building out the show, I’m not going to let it change things too much, because I have a very specific vision of how I want things to work. I think the mentoring is going to be really helpful to me, and understanding how I can scale the business up and how I can bring people into the team.”
It wasn’t an easy win either – she was chosen by a panel that included established designers J.W. Anderson, Nicolas Ghesquire, Marc Jacobs Karl Lagerfeld, Ricardo Tisci and Pierre-Yves Roussel, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of LVMH. Wales Bonner’s contemporary approach to African and European influences earned her the title.
Young Canadian designer Vejas Kruszewski’s Vejas label also earned him €150,000 in prize money and a mentoring program. “We’re going to invest in developing footwear, and of course what really drives most brands financially is accessories,” he said of his plans for the label. Actress Lea Seydoux handed the prize to Wales Bonner at the third edition of the LVMH Young Fashion Designer Prize, succeeding Marques Almeida, who won the award in 2015.
Deloitte’s reveals, for the third year running, the best performing companies in global luxury. Now, we usually argue against paying heed to how well luxury companies are doing, earnings wise, because this doesn’t tell you anything about the products or the experience. Also, some firms, such as Rolex, are not particularly transparent as they are not public. Anyway, for those who care, Deloitte’s annual Global Powers of Luxury Goods ranking sees the parent companies behind Louis Vuitton, Cartier and Estée Lauder retain their places at the top of the list. The AFP has the following details on it.
French-based LVMH, full name LVMH Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy SE, also owns Bulgari, Chrisitian Dior, Emilio Pucci, Donna Karan, Marc Jacobs, Hublot, TAG Heuer, Moët Chandon, Dom Perignon and Benefit Cosmetics. Based on figures from 2014 (the most recent data available, apparently), it is also the world’s biggest luxury conglomerate.
Swiss company Richemont (Cartier, Dunhill, Lancel, Montblanc, Jaeger-LeCoutre, Piaget) comes in second, with the US’s Estée Lauder group (MAC, Clinique, Jo Malone) in third. The top three retain their places from 2015’s equivalent Global Powers of Luxury Goods report.
Italy’s Luxottica manufactures eyewear under the its own Ray-Ban, Persol and Oakley brands as well as for Chanel, Armani, Versace, Prada and more, and moved up one place to fourth.
Also moving up one were Switzerland’s Swatch (Breguet, Longines, Omega) and France’s Kering (Gucci, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga), with Hong Kong jewelry group Chow Tai Fook moving from fourth to seventh.
L’Oreal Luxe (Lancôme, Biotherm, Kiehl’s), Ralph Lauren, and PVH (Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger) completed Deloitte’s top ten, which is cam out June 7.
Following in the wake of fellow designers Alber Elbaz, Raf Simmons and most recently Stefano Pilati, Alessandro Sartori is the next big name to relinquish his role as Artistic Director at Berluti. The designer had joined the brand after leaving Ermenegildo Zegna’s Z Zegna label.
[UPDATE: Business of Fashion reports that Sartori is taking up the newly created Artistic Director role at Zegna. He starts work June this year, making the Autumn/Winter 2017 collection his first full collection for Zegna.]
The LVMH-owned Berlutti had been in the hands of Sartori since 2011. In his time at the label, he brought the legendary shoemaker to the world of luxury menswear, gaining notice from fashion editors. Like his counterpart Stefano Pilati, the designer showcased his last collection during Paris Fashion Week last month.
Of his departure, Antoine Arnault whose father Bernard Arnault is the CEO and Chairman of LVMH said: “It’s the end of a chapter for us, and it was a beautiful one”.
Rumored to be taking over the role, is Alexandre Mattiussi. The former menswear designer at Givenchy currently heads his own label AMI. For more on Alessandro Sartori’s departure, find out what our friends atMen’s Folio had to say.
It has been a great year for movies – from Ex Machina and Carol to Mad Max and Force Awakens – and as the year wraps, French champagne house Moët & Chandon is reminding the world that it wants in on the action. The LVMH-owned firm is making final calls for the next generation of filmmakers to enter its “Moët Moment Film Festival Competition”, before it’s too late.
Submissions for the festival are set to close on January 4, 2016, after which 25 finalists will be selected by an expert industry panel and featured in a 25-hour-long online film festival, where people around the world will be encouraged to watch and vote for their favorite film.
The inaugural event — announced this month — ties in with the brand’s 25th anniversary as the official champagne of the Golden Globe Awards, and asks aspiring filmmakers to submit 30-60 second films focused on the theme ‘Capture The Now’.
The selected films will be viewed by a panel of notable members of the film community, including Golden Globe-winning actress Gina Rodriguez, producer David Guillod, Brio Entertainment Partner Rachel Sheedy, CAA agent Ryan Tarpley and We Are From LA – the award winning directors of Pharrell Williams’s interactive 24-hour music video for “Happy”.
Luxury icon Louis Vuitton is making its mark as a leading light of heritage, craftsmanship and innovation via the “Volez, Voguez, Voyagez – Louis Vuitton” exhibition at the Grand Palais in Paris. While we have previously covered this exhibition and another one in Singapore, it is appropriate to take stock and revisit just what makes Louis Vuitton such a powerful force and indeed, a force for good. Celebrities, influencers and such aside, Louis Vuitton is something to aspire to, a name that makes people feel good about themselves and their success, however those people define success. Coming on the heels of terror attacks in both France and the USA, this exhibition is nothing less than an expression of the triumph of freedom, of joie de vivre as it were. To go even further – because it is important at this moment in time – the exhibition is a reminder that life is not only to be savored but that celebrating life is the right message to send to the world, especially from Paris.
Opening night of “Volez, Voguez, Voyagez – Louis Vuitton” saw plenty of star power, assembled we think not only to push the brand but also to push this positive message. Of course the top brass of LVMH were present – CEO of LVMH Bernard Arnault and CEO of Louis Vuitton Michael Burke – and so was the French Minister for Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs Emmanuel Macron. They were joined by Daniel Buren, Bertrand Lavier, Christian de Portzamparc, Xavier Veilhan, Olafur Eliasson, Jean-Michel Othoniel, Gaultier Capucon, Laurent Grasso, Fabrice Hyber, Laurent Korcia and Kader Attia. In the official press release, Louis Vuitton calls this “a statement to support freedom of creation and the French art-de-vivre.” It is also worth noting that travel expands one’s horizons and reminds us of what a diverse world we live in. This diversity is also worth celebrating in Louis Vuitton’s past, present and future in the spirit of world travel – and potentially travel to other worlds in this or the next century.
Curated by Olivier Saillard, “Volez, Voguez, Voyagez – Louis Vuitton” (literally Fly, Sail, Travel) traces the history of Louis Vuitton from its foundation in 1854 right up to present times, and then projects into the future. There are nine chapters to this tale, conceived and brought to life by Robert Carsen. Of particular note here are elements from private institutions and collections, the most notable of which is Gustave Courbet’s Chene de Flagey, on public display for the first time since 2013. The exhibition is open to the public of course and is ongoing till February 21, 2016.
Bernard Arnault, Delphine Arnault and Karl Lagerfeld
Catherine Deneuve and Nicholas Ghesquire
Karl Lagerfeld, Antoine Arnault, Natalia Vodianova
Leila Bekhti, Adele Exarchopoulos
Detailed view of the The Trunk of 1906, the first chapter
Detailed view of The Invention of Travel (Chapter 4)
Why is jeweler and watchmaker Bulgari opening the largest jewelry production facility in Europe? The AFP carried the announcement and, doubtless, so did most of the other wire services. Those familiar with the current situation will indeed be encouraged by this news and reminded that the scenario is likely to be positive for jewelry in general and for the big names in particular. We expect to see much more activity in jewelry, particularly in mergers and acquisitions and growth in production capacity. In fact, Bulgari is perhaps the most famous of recent high profile acquisitions, after LVMH picked it up in 2011.
The new Bulgari premises in Valenza, Italy, are due to open in the second half of 2016 and will increase the LVMH luxury label’s production capacity. It is indeed excellent to learn that this expansion will be taking place in Italy, the home of the Bulgari legacy.
The structure, which is being designed by architectural firm Open Project, will be constructed using materials with a low environmental impact, and will aim to achieve LEED certification. It will consist of two buildings with markedly different architectural styles straddling innovation and tradition.
The plant will blend the rehabilitation of an existing building, an early 19th century farmstead, with a new three-level building designed to provide the entire structure with natural light and ventilation. You can just make out how this will look in the image above, and in the other pictures here.
The development will be used for the production process from the prototype to the creation of increasingly complex pieces and collection. It will also house the first Bulgari Academy, which will be created to provide permanent support and training activities for interns and new employees.
“With the building of the new Jewellery Manufacture, which will increase the Brand’s production capacity supplying the volumes we need to sustain the market’s growth, the Bulgari Group will have at its disposal the biggest Jewellery Manufacture in Europe,” said CEO Jean-Christophe Babin. “For Bulgari this project means investing in the inestimable value of Italian manufacturing art, which combined with creativity and style, is the distinguishing feature of the excellence of its products.”
The world’s leading luxury conglomerate LVMH has taken a minority position in Italian jeweler Repossi to help it expand its distribution network, the two parties said November 30.
“Given the reality of the market and competition today, I have decided to open up the company’s capital and LVMH has taken a minority stake,” said the brand’s creative director, Gaia Repossi, in an interview with the French newspaper Le Figaro.
This “consequential” participation in the company will allow the Italian brand, which has two of its own stores in Monaco and Paris, to develop “some locations,” she added.
The Repossi collection is sold at 90 locations in the world. Its turnover is estimated at around 15 million euros (US$15.8 million), according to several analysts cited by the newspaper.
Delphine Arnault, deputy managing director at Louis Vuitton, said in the interview that “Gaia’s work points to a promising future” for the brand.
The great-granddaughter of the company’s founder, Gaia Repossi, took over as director from her father Alberto Repossi at the age of 21.
The LVMH group is involved in six luxury sectors including in its jewelry portfolio Bulgari, Chaumet, De Beers and Fred.
LVMH has unveiled the eight finalsts shortlisted for the second annual LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers.
The finalists, selected from 26 semi-finalists by 45 international fashion experts, are: Arthur Arbesser, Coperni, Craig Green, Faustine Steinmetz, Jacquemus, Marques’ Almeida, Off-White c/o Virgil Abloh and Vetements.
The winner will be selected by a star-studded jury — including Marc Jacobs, Karl Lagerfeld, Raf Simons, Riccardo Tisci, Phoebe Philo, JW Anderson and Nicolas Ghesquière — and announced in May.
The award, launched in 2014, will see the winning fashion designer receive €300,000 in prize money, in addition to 12-months personalized assistance from LVMH teams to help build their buisness.
Areas of focus throughout the mentorship will include: intellectual property, marketing, production and distribution.
Paris’s brand-new Fondation Louis Vuitton is almost ready for its public debut. Designed by FRANK GEHRY, the striking glass building has been designed for the exploration of “artistic creation in all its forms.”
Located at the Jardin d’Acclimatation in the city’s picturesque Bois de Boulogne area, the building will house a permanent collection made up of works belonging to the collection of Bernard Arnault, CEO of LVMH.
It will also host two temporary exhibitions per month, in addition to musical events.
Set to open to the public at the end of this month with an “Inaugural Weekend Event,” the Fondation will host an artistic program to unfold in three stages between October 2014 and July 2015, with each stage including a temporary exhibition and a presentation of the collection.
The first stage will run through December 2014, featuring an exhibition on the architecture of Frank Gehry for the Fondation Louis Vuitton and the presentation of certain works from the permanent collection, in addition to musical events from Lang Lang and Kraftwerk.
The Fondation Louis Vuitton will open to the public on October 27 following an Inaugural Weekend from Friday, October 24 to Sunday, October 26. Free tickets for the inaugural weekend are available upon reservation.
“This watch has no sex appeal. It’s too feminine and looks too much like the smartwatches already on the market,” Biver said in an interview with daily Die Welt.
“To be totally honest, it looks like it was designed by a student in their first trimester,” added Biver who heads up TAG HEUER, ZENITH and HUBLOT
Biver predicted the much-anticipated device, with its square face and curved edges, would soon be outdated.
“Luxury always has something timeless, it’s rare and conveys prestige,” he was quoted as saying, adding that the same could not be said for Apple Watch, which is expected to be bought by millions of customers and will likely be beyond repair in a few years’ time.
Biver is not the first watch chief to be dismissive of Apple’s efforts. Swatch CEO Nick Hayek earlier told Swiss media that the world’s biggest watch group was “not nervous” about Apple’s foray into the market.
Apple Watch, which comes in several colours and links to the iPhone, will start at $349 when it is released early next year.
In 2010, the European Court of Justice gave a judgement in favour of Google, holding that the search engine did not itself undermine protected brands and trademarks when it allowed them to be used as keywords to trigger the presentation on screen of advertisements.
However, Google could be held responsible once it realised that an advertiser was involved in illicit activities, and if it did not act immediately to withdraw or block the advertiser’s content, the court ruled.
The case was then sent to the Court of Appeal in Paris, but has now been settled by the agreement announced on Thursday.
LVMH Hotel Management has announced the reopening on October 15 of Hôtel Saint-Barth Isle de France. Fully renovated, the legendary property will carry a new name: Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France.
The newly renovated hotel, now under the ownership of the prestigious luxury hotel group, will feature 40 suites, bungalows and villas, as well as the Case de l’Isle, a must-visit dining spot for visitors to Saint Barthelemy.
Located in the Baie des Flamands, the re-opened hotel will feature a spa providing exclusive Guerlain treatments with four treatment rooms.
In the course of 2015-2016, a double treatment room will open for duo treatments. A brand new fitness center will also be available to guests
When it comes to luxury services on offer, clients will be able to spend the day at sea on board a 21-meter long luxury yacht with their personal butler, who can serve as sailor for the duration of the boat ride.
Meanwhile a host of details will ensure the experience is unforgettable (lobsters for lunch on the beach, Guerlain treatments on the boat, etc.).
Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France will be Cheval Blanc’s third hotel and will be joining Cheval Blanc Courchevel, which opened in French ski destination Courchevel 1850 in 2006, and Cheval Blanc Randheli, unveiled in the in the Maldives in the fall of 2013.