Louis Vuitton may have lost prime advertising space in China when its giant suitcase was torn down in Shanghai, but it is now wooing customers in the hallowed halls of the national museum in Beijing. The Louis Vuitton Voyages exhibition, marking the French fashion house’s 20th year in China — the world’s fastest growing market for luxury goods — features hundreds of canvas trunks and leather handbags dating back to the 1860s.
Louis Vuitton is already the brand of choice for many of China’s increasingly wealthy middle class and analysts said the show in the heart of the capital would help cement its dominance of the country’s high-end market. The display also reflects a growing trend in China for luxury products to use museums, art galleries and film festivals to promote their brands in the hope of appealing to more sophisticated and well-educated consumers, they said.
The Louis Vuitton show “is quite a clever thing to do because it is a very premium and prestigious setting”, Sam Mulligan, director of Data Driven Marketing Asia in Shanghai, told AFP. “It suggests history and longevity and being in the business for a long time — all of these things are important in this market.” Shaun Rein, managing director of China Market Research Group, agreed. “Louis Vuitton consumers are very interested in buying a brand with long-term heritage… and I think that’s why Louis Vuitton is very smart to partner with the museum,” Rein told AFP.