It is official. The new Louis Vuitton factory is now open in Texas, United States. The CEO and chairman of the luxury fashion group LVMH, Bernard Arnault invited President Donald Trump to cut the ribbon as the symbol of the official opening. Not everyone liked the idea and social media went nuts straight away. Let’s take a closer look at this.
On Thursday, 17th of October 2019 President Donald Trump joined the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Louis Vuitton Workshop-Rochambeau in Alvarado, Texas. The connection between Bernard Arnault and Donald Trump is not new. U.S. President invited the LVMH CEO for his first state dinner. Arnault told journalists that he was honored to have the President in the flesh at the opening. They have both known each other since the 80s, during this time Bernard Arnault founded the LVMH company, which now includes 75 luxury, fashion, and beauty brands including Christian Dior, Givenchy, Dom Pérignon, and Sephora. What can we say? It is successful and yes it has been rapidly growing over the past years. CEO Bernard Arnault is currently the third richest person in the world.
The new name of the factory
Rochambeau Ranch, this is the new and official name of the Louis Vuitton factory. It was named after a French general who aided the colonies in the American Revolution.
People present at the opening
Apart from President Donald Trump and Bernard Arnault there were two entourages: on one side, Ivanka Trump, Commerce Secretary Wilbur L. Ross Jr., and Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia(among others); on the other, Mr. Arnault’s second son, Alexandre, chief executive of Rimowa (a German luggage brand owned by LVMH), and an assortment of Louis Vuitton executives, including Michael Burke, the C.E.O.
As the reports say, there was a herd of 14 Red Angus cattle roamed a nearby field, with a Brahman bull, also named Michael, among them
Inside the building, there was an oil portrait of the brand’s founder by Alex Katz hung on a wall, next to a poster of George Washington, overlooking rows of shiny white sewing machines and trays of glinting gold handbag hardware. An American flag was displayed next to a French flag next to a Texas flag.
If you don’t know what the deal is, then the deal is money. Louis Vuitton is the most profitable brand in the LVMH conglomerate but still needed to increase production to meet demand. The new factory is a 100,000-square-foot factory is located in the town of Alvarado, about 40 miles outside of Dallas. The traditional Louis Vuitton production was based in France and employed artisans who are called “petites mains” to handcraft its bags. This time the new production center will employ multiple local residents. President Donald Trump said, “No one can match the precision and perfection of an American artisan” in his speech. The workers will be paid an hourly wage of $13 USD for producing the brand’s signature leather and canvas bags. The release said that the factory would create approximately 1,000 jobs over five years; currently, the workshop has 150 employees.
So from now on, we will be able to buy the “Made in USA” Louis Vuitton bags for upwards of $1,200 USD. The LVMH CEO and chairman Bernard Arnault decided to open the factory not only to increase production but also in order to avoid any potential trade disputes between the U.S. and Europe.
The leather that is used for making the bags is currently sourced in Europe, but it might change. Maybe the leather will come from America as well.
What does the public say about Trump’s visit?
“Looey Vootton is a name I know very well; it’s cost me a lot of money over the years,” the president joked during the press conference. And this is what the public is laughing at, Trump’s mispronunciation of the heritage French fashion house.
Over 80 thousand people saw the latest post that @diet_prada, the fashion watchdog, published on the day of the opening. It shows the exact moment of Donald Trump saying “Louis Vuitton” or rather “Louis VOOTON” matched with a short clip of Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestley in “The Devil Wears Prada” saying “disappointing and, ah, stupid.” And this is how the majority of social media users reacted to that. Laughing, calling it disappointing or surreal.
Do you think it was a good move of LVMH to invite President Donald Trump? Also, how do you like the new way of saying the name of Louis Vuitton?
Written by: Amelia Krzapa • Editor-in-chief • AIM Magazine
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