LVMH wants to be like Hermes
Posted by on May 21, 2012 | 3:38 pm EST

Louis Vuitton Taipei 101 Maison

LVMH truly belongs to one of the higher echelons of the fashion society—if such thing exists—which is why it was a surprise to know that the French luxury company is “struggling to retain its image,” Reuters reports. Adding to this difficulty is the company’s effort to open enough stores in order to prop up profits, without losing the exclusivity of the LVMH brands. Reuters detailed however, that LVMH has been managing the hurdles quite well by offering “increasingly expensive” products and services to avoid becoming just another brand that can be had by every consumer. Such effort is true for LVMH’s most important arm, Louis Vuitton, which accounts for 45 percent of their profits.

With the worldwide recognition the Louis Vuitton emblem, LVMH is careful not to push their bags to the masses, which could lose its value as a luxury brand. As such, LVMH is taking cue from Hermes, known worldwide for its long waiting lists of prominent personalities eager to get their hands on one of its products.

While designers are collaborating up with mass retailers to reach out to the everyday consumer, Louis Vuitton is headed the other direction, holding its designer head way up high to be as unattainable as possible. Seemingly inspired by the exclusivity of the Hermes label, Reuters reports that “the company is trying to counter the image that the Louis Vuitton monogram is both too common and easily copied by offering certain customers bespoke leather bags that cost two or three times more than the standard €800 (a little over $1,000) Louis Vuitton bag.” Twenty-six patterns and eight animal skin colors are available for Louis Vuitton customers to choose from as they order bespoke leather goods, which will then take four to six weeks to produce. The cost for custom-made pieces can go as pricey as €5,000 (roughly $6,400) or more.

LVMH has also realized that the brand’s global presence —461 stores in 50 countries—is already too visible for their exquisitely high-end aspirations, which is why they did not open a store last year. Plans to set up more shops are still in place, though the company is setting their sights on stores that boast of larger floor spaces. While the Louis Vuitton still carry a distinction that spurs a string of envy among ordinary consumers, it may take a while for them to truly become another Hermes.

With reports from Reuters

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