24 April 2014

Louis Vuitton takes brand ambassadorship to a different level.

A group of intellectual celebrities are the new ambassadors of Louis Vuitton. Atiq Rahimi, a French-Afghan writer and film maker whose book The Patience Stone won France's most prestigious literary prize Prix Goncourt; Tom Reiss, an American author, historian, and journalist, whose biography The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo won the Pulitzer last year; political consultant Felix Marquardt (who has advised the presidents of Colombia, Georgia and Panama); Dr Gino Yu of Hong Kong Polytechnic University; and Lourenço Bustani, CEO of Mandalah, a Brazilian innovation consultancy, who is spearheading the cultural planning of Brazil’s 2016 Olympics.

One word: Impressive.

But who are these personalities? And what have they got to do with fashion?

Nothing. Except the fact that they have something beneficial for the new approach of LV to bring new perspective/marketing strategy to show smart people on their campaign. Every one knows that sex sells. Tom Ford at Gucci did it. Donatella Versace did it. But I think what LV does is more effective, because, men fashion is very tricky in terms of branding establishment. If you put Baptise Giabiconi or Brad Pitt on ads, real men are hardly affected by the imagery (unless they are fashion freaks or tabloid lovers). Or even David Beckham.

This is what I learnt when I asked few people why they got their spouse buying them underwear and not themselves taking it fron H&M racks (It's actually because the material is what matters to them, and not who's printed on the package. Their girls or wives seemed wanting their men to be David by wearing it. Well, who doesn't?). So I suppose, LV is not targeting such market. Well-established men with high dispossable income, and yet fashion conscious, who know what's going on in the trading market and political issues, are the target.

Photographed at the recent World Economic Forum in Switzerland with their PDV briefcase, aka the porte-documents voyage, a Vuitton item created in the 1930s (note: those briefcase were given. FT noted that they received no payment for their appearances, another proof that smart people are different from us), they were also asked to share their thoughts about art, travel and elegance. It is interesting to listen to those high-minded people sharing their opinion about how men should dress.

What tickles me is that this kind of approach could change the game of ambassadorship. When people appreciate a commodity, appreciation of the products is now hardly enough. Knowing who's on stage is also important; it's like testing the future consumers' knowledge and interest, not only in fashion, but also in concern of life, in something bigger like social and humanity issue. After all, Louis Vuitton in the recent years have been trying to develop their positioning and shifting from easy-to-get brand into something more exclusive. The final question will of course be answered on the shops. Will these people help Louis Vuitton to drag us to the store? Time will tell. I think it will. Before, Louis Vuitton appointed former astronauts to be featured on their ads.

And, if you want to be the new face of LV in the future, but you can not be a movie star, maybe you should invest your time reading books and be smart. Oh, and still look good.

Photos from

To find more about these LV Visionaries and the interviews, tab here.

Signorfandi, getting harder to be a fashion face, nowadays,...

ps. Are they wearing Nike shoes? Oh mon dieu,..