For most women, LV may be the first brand name they know about luxury brands when they were girls. Celebrities constantly show up on televisions with LV’s products, and the advertisements of it can be seen nearly in every big city in the world and LV is almost an inevitable world if you want to have a conversation about luxury goods with your friends. I don’t know whether Mr. Louis Vuitton foresee that the store he started in 1854 on Rue Neuve des Capucines in Paris could worth over USD $24 billion in 2014 (Forbes, 2014). According to a Millward Brown 2010 study, Louis Vuitton is the world’s 29th most valuable brand, right after Gillette and before Wells Fargo.
Then, what make this French company so special and critical in the world of luxury brands? I think there are two points: the history of LV leaves lots of classic design, which puts LV in the first in this field; the continuously creating of new classics makes LV stay where it is.
For the last 160 years, LV and its monogram had been unquestioning classics in the world of luxury goods, and they still are. But a brand like LV does not gain its place by sitting there and benefiting from ancestors’ designs. Classic designs stay in the stores every year, like Neverful series of totes. New designs come to the store every year, which often lead the trend in luxury fashion industry. For now, take handbags for an example, LV offers 317 kinds of different designs for women handbags only, and that was just one part of its business. Starting from making trunks, LV now offers leather goods, handbags, trunks, shoes, watches, jewelry and accessories.
Among all the products, there are ones that are extremely expensive. A price of a bag may be a entire year’s tuition of a college student, may be even bigger than the price of a well-functioning second-handed car, may be able to keep a family running for a whole month. But there are some products that may just cost you the money you buy several books. LV offers not only to ones who can afford ten-second cars, but also to ones who like pretty things but won’t go too fat for them.
Despites its strategies, LV also benefits from its powerful parent company. LV’s parent company is LVMH Moët Hennessy • Louis Vuitton S.A., better known as LVMH. This group controls lots of luxury brands on the market, not just in luxury fashion industry, but also in wine, jewelry, beauty and luxury brands retailing, all together 46 brands. Most of them are quite famous. You can hear the names of these brands every year in fashion weeks, like Celine, Dior, Fendi, Kenzo, Marc Jacobs.