The Louis Vitton Story
With Fine Craftsmanship and Steep Prices, Louis Vuitton's Leather Goods Are De Rigueur for the Status Conscious
From the Print Edition:
Demi Moore, Autumn 96
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Yet Vuitton executives see plenty of potential left in their original luggage business. Visit the company museum in Asnières, and you'll see a stunning set of polished aluminum suitcases that Vuitton designed last year for a futuristic "concept car" built by France's Renault. Production would be expensive, even by Vuitton standards, so there are no plans to market it yet. But the design is so fetching that it would clearly sell. Museum guides say visitors besiege them with offers to buy the cases.
A ball gown of Empress Eugenie's would barely fit in these aluminum masterpieces. Yet the heirs of Louis Vuitton are designing their travel goods for the times, just like their founder. A century from now, the old monogram design may have finally graced its last attaché case. But there seems a strong chance that this famous brand will still be around, selling style and prestige--at lofty prices--to status-conscious consumers.
Stewart Toy is the Paris bureau chief for Business Week.
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