Louis Vuitton (Louis Vuitton Malletier) or shortened to LV, is the world’s 29th most valuable brand known for its iconic LV monogram and logo, Louis Vuitton. It is one of the most recognizable brands in the world — an international French fashion house specializing in trunks, leather goods, ready-to-wear, shoes, watches, jewellery, accessories, sunglasses, and books. The brand is literally identified with the lifestyles of the rich and famous. Also known to command it’s pricing as one of the most expensive in the global fashion market.
Other fashionable products use supermodels and celebrities. The Louis Vuitton Company is endorsed by carefully chosen non-traditional celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez and most recently Madonna. On August 2, 2007, the company announced that it will also use former USSR leader Mikhail Gorbachev along with Steffi Graf, Andre Agassi, and Catherine Deneuve. The company commonly uses print ads in magazines and billboards in cosmopolitan cities. Louis Vuitton competes directly with such luxury brands as Versace, Hermès, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Burberry, Dior, Chanel, Ferndi, Armani, and Prada.
Historically, Louis Vuitton started it all on 1854. On 19th century, it became a knowned trunks and luggage retailer. And on the 20th century, the company entered the fashion world by integrating its signature Monogram Canvas into purses and bags. The founder Louis Vuitton was born on 1821 in Jura, France but later moved to Paris to where he initially establishes the business. He died on February 27, 1892. It was his son who expanded to international scenario and his son’s son expanded more till it reached its full potential to this day.
Since the 19th century, Louis Vuitton syle of manufacturing did not change and its Luggage is still made by hand. The company established its own stores on selected countries across the world to where the marketing is being done. The company distributes its products exclusively through LouisVuitton.com.
Counterfeiting of Louis Vuitton’s products is a grave offense. The company actively pursues offenders through the courts worldwide, and allocating about half of its budget of communications to counteract piracy of its goods. On November 19, 2007 Britney Spears was successfully sued in violation of counterfeiting laws, in relation to her music video for the song “Do Somethin’.” Britney Spears herself was not found guilty, but a civil court in Paris has ordered Sony BMG and MTV Online to stop showing the video. They were also fined €80,000 to each group.
Louis Vuitton has its share of controversies. Let me quote from Wikipedia’s…
…The French book Louis Vuitton, une saga française (Louis Vuitton: A French Saga)) tells how members of the Vuitton family actively aided the puppet government led by Marshal Philippe Pétain, increasing their wealth from their business affairs with the Nazis. The family set up a factory dedicated to producing artifacts glorifying Pétain, including more than 2,500 busts. Pétain’s Vichy regime was responsible for the deportation of French Jews to German concentration camps.
Caroline Babulle, a spokeswoman for the publisher (Fayard) said, “They [Louis Vuitton Co.] have not contested anything in the book, but they are trying to bury it by pretending it doesn’t exist.” Responding to the book’s release in 2004, a spokesman for LVMH stated that “this is ancient history…The book covers a period when it was family-run and long before it became part of LVMH. We are diverse, tolerant and all the things a modern company should be.” Another LVMH spokesman told the satirical magazine, Le Canard enchaîné, that “We don’t deny the facts, but regrettably the author has exaggerated the Vichy episode.” In an article published by L’express, France first weekly news magazine, Jacques Attali, then advisor to President François Mitterrand, described the book as a “remarkable enquiry” and a “must read”…