Louis Vuitton Flexes Its Fashion Muscle from Sea to Shiny Sea

It’s big business all across the board for one of the world’s most beloved luxury brands.

20 years ago, Louis Vuitton brought its line of high-end fashion to the Chinese mainland. While the company remains a favorite among China’s lovers of upscale clothing and accessories, it is now competing with brands such as Hermes and Chanel to maintain dominance in the world’s third-largest luxury market.

“Luxury has become a universal language … there was no media and no magazines in China in 1992. Now we have the media of the world coming here”

Behind Audi and BMW, Louis Vuitton is the third most-searched for luxury brand in China, according to a 2011 report by Digital Luxury Group. French fashion house Chanel ranks in at 5th and Christian Dior 8th, with popular brands Hermes and Gucci falling within the top 20.

“Luxury has become a universal language,” Louis Vuitton chief executive Yves Carcelle said in a recent interview. Notorious for strict censorship laws, China has loosened its grip on the flow of information, allowing citizens stay current on global fashion trends through a wealth of content available in print and online media.

“There was no media and no magazines in China in 1992. Now we have the media of the world coming here,” Carcelle added.

It is not only Louis Vuitton, who held a fashion show last Wednesday in Shanghai to commemorate their latest store opening, that has taken notice of China’s newfound fashion presence. According to Huang Hung, fashion contributor at WWD, Chanel and Christian Dior recently paid for “A-list [Chinese] stars” to come to their shows. Furthermore, she recently reported that more Chinese models will be featured in advertisements: “As brands become more focused on the China market, this would be a natural development.”

BACKTALK: AS LOUIS V. CONTINUES TO EXPAND ITS EMPIRE, DO YOU SEE THE BRAND BECOMING LESS POPULAR BECAUSE IT’S NO LONGER AS EXCLUSIVE?

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