LV, anyone?

April 01, 2004

I just read an interesting article about Louis Vuitton – the world’s biggest, most profitable luxury brand- in Businessweek magazine yesterday, and I think I’m now understand why people feel it’s such a prestige to carry an LV handbag, I mean I knew it’s vuitton..but it just didn’t seem like a big deal to me and I didn’t see it as a symbol of elitism or whatsoever..but now that I’ve got the sense of what’s going on behind the scene..I think now I know what makes it unique and beginning to appreciate it more.. Oh by the way, one of the Vuitton’s addict who was interviewed is an Indonesian who was walked off the Paris boutique where she purchased a cylinder-shaped Papillon monogrammed toile bag..(hmm..lissaa..was that you?..hihi)..naah..hehe..she’s a 35 years old woman yang lagi liburan disana..pasti deh tante2 yang rambutnya panjang bawahnya melingker2 keluaran salon LuVaze..hee hee…

So what happens behind a locked door in the basement of LV’s elegant Paris headquarters?? Here’s a quote from the magazine..

“A mechanical arm hoists a brown-and-tan handbag a half-meter off the floor—then drops it. The bag, loaded with a 3 ½ kilogram weight, will be lifted and dropped, over and over again…for four days. Another piece of lab equipment bombards handbags with ultraviolet rays to test resistance to fading. Another tests zipper by tugging them open and shutting them 5000 times. There's even a mechanized mannequin hand, with a Vuitton charm bracelet around its wrist, being shaken vigorously to make sure none of the charms falls off.”

They are really focusing on giving the best quality, especially since they have the lifetime repair guarantee policy…rugi di mereka soalnya kalo quality nya jelek..rugi di both explicit and implicit costnya, that’s why they still manufacture in France despite its expensive labor markets, cause it gives them easier quality control. (They have 11 factories in france and 2 are across the border in Spain). Louis Vuitton is also very exclusive..the network distribution is rigidly controlled (Gucci sama prada masih ada di saks, neiman marcus, etc) and now expansion is underway for them..baru buka their first boutique in India…di new delhi nya and plan to open one in Bombay. Di China ada 9 butik LV and another 4 will be opened in the near future. Di new york juga lagi di bangun (atau udah jadi?) butiknya yang besarnya bakalan ngelebihin butik terbesarnya di Tokyo. Selain retail distributionnya yang exclusive, vuitton juga nggak pernah ada vuitton bag is ever marked down, ever. Yang ada juga harganya malah tambah mahal. Right now, they have $3.8 billion in annual sales, thanks to those Japanese customers who account for an estimated 55% of sales. They say almost every grown up Japanese woman already owns at least one Louis Vuitton item. Trus sekarang nih, LV lagi giat giatnya memerangi LV Knock off products, satu pabriknya di Guangzhou udah di tutup.

Sepertinya, one of the factors why Vuitton is growing is because the arrival of one of the greatest designers around, Mr. Marc Jacobs, who has brought a different color to its rather conservative vuitton design, jadi koleksi louis vuitton nggak hanya berwarna coklat aja. Contohnya those grafitti-monogrammed Vuitton bags in which he collaborated with the late Stephen Sprouse (he just passed away early last month) dan juga kolaborasi nya dia with a Japanese artist, Takashi Murakami who is known for his iconic works of art. Jacob's design attracts a new set of markets for Louis Vuitton.

although I'm beginning to appreciate it more.. i still don't see it as a status symbol and also still don't see it as a trully work of art because it's still a result of mechanization and mass production afterall...hmm..jadi kalo art itu harus selalu hand made and limited kah?..

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