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Fashion and Beauty

The most copied luxury brand goes exotic

LIFE AND STYLE - Millet M. Mananquil - The Philippine Star
The most copied luxury brand goes exotic
Louis Vuitton City Steamer, Petite Malle and Capucines bags in Sahara natural crocodile leather
Millet Mananquil

I have such fond memories of Louis Vuitton and how the brand always launches its products in the most creative way.

Shunning the expected five-star frills, there is symbolism, there is depth, there is history in this brand founded in 1854 in Paris, France. There is always a merging of tradition with modernity.

The most copied luxury brand in the world will always strive to be original.

When I attended a launch at the Hong Kong Country Club many years ago, dioramas with miniature LV symbols and products lined the wall of the long walkway.

When LV launched its pens, they did it at the University of Hong Kong with an ambience of the academe. Chinese savants provided literary input, and graphologists analyzed our handwriting.

LV launched its Taiga bags for men in an empty building in Hong Kong, where models crept in and out of elevators in James Bond fashion.

Twist bag in Summer Stardust crocodile leather.

And when LV launched its first global store in Hong Kong after the Asian flu, LV led us through a maze of candles, which lit up a corridor leading to a huge dancehall where we could check on the latest LV designs through peepholes.

To launch its timepieces, we were met by robust men with drums, because the first collection of LV watches was named Tambour (the French word for drum). We were each given unique eyewear installed with a mirror facing the ceiling so that we would be able to see the ceiling without looking up. Then we entered a red room where the LV watches were displayed in transparent cases.

Through the years, my favorite LV products have been those in collaboration with artists such as Yayoi Kusama, Jeff Koons, Stephen Sprouse and Takashi Murakami.

This year, LV launches its line of bags made with exotic skins. “At Louis Vuitton, working with exotics is an adventure in itself, a thrilling exploration of new ways — through colors, treatments and innovations — to excite the imagination.”

LV is fearless “in developing new, radical treatments that rejuvenate exotics for the contemporary landscape. A landmark treatment called ‘fusion’ brushes in lines to color to create a lateral striped effect.”

The crocodile skins are responsibly sourced, coming from certified farms following the Crocodilian Standard. There is respect for the local communities and the preservation of the species, the wellbeing of animals at every stage of their life. “The brand thus favors the most respectful supply chains for the maintenance of local biodiversity, while relying on the strict regulations on the marketing of these precious leathers.” The skins originate from farms in southern Africa, the United States and Australia.

Inside the beautiful Ore Central Building at the BGC, LV made a setting “inspired by the turquoise waters of Madeira, the icy waters of Iceland, the rocks of Lake Tahoe and the lush vegetation of Brazil.” Exquisite, refreshing vignettes that remind us of the beauty of nature in an ecology-oriented building with a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.

Again, I am amazed.

Iconic Capucines bags in varying exotic skins and finishes.

* * *

In the Philippines, Louis Vuitton is located at Greenbelt 3, and The Shoppes at Solaire Resort and Casino.

Follow the author on Instagram and Facebook @milletmartinezmananquil. Email her at [email protected] and [email protected].

LOUIS VUITTON

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