Louis Vuitton

Harrods Proves Itself With Annual Financial Results

Harrods Proves Itself With Annual Financial Results

LONDON — Hurrahs are in order for Harrods as the luxury department store has recorded a 131.3 million pound increase in pretax profit, according to records from Companies House for the 52-week period ending January 2023.
The company also had a 52 percent increase in turnover to 994.1 million pounds, a 339.9 million pound boost from the previous year.

Tim Parker, chief financial officer at Harrods, said: “2022 was a year of recovery and growth as we, like many others, continued to emerge from the impact of the COVID[-19] pandemic. At the beginning of 2022, with many international travel restrictions still in place, there was a subdued return of the global tourism trade that is so important to the U.K.”

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As restrictions lifted, the store saw its gross transaction value exceed those of 2019 figures with a 51.1 percent increase and a growth of 714.1 million pounds. Heavy investments were made in their “physical and digital estate.” 

“We remain focused on driving future growth via the curation of exclusive products and experiences that can only be found in Harrods, further enhancements in 2023 including new womenswear and furniture rooms as well as the ongoing development of our dining offerings and expansion of our private shopping services,” said Parker.

Harrods is owned by Qatar Investment Authority, which has a portfolio that includes the Shard building in central London and a stake in London’s central business district, Canary Wharf.

The department store was determined to outdo its competitors such as Selfridges and Harvey Nichols with larger-than-life installations.

Thailand’s Central Group and the Austrian property company Signa, which bought Selfridges in 2021 for 4 billion pounds from the Weston family, have since loaded up the business with more than 1.7 billion pounds in debt as a result of rising interest rates.

At Harvey Nichols, chief executive officer Manju Malhotra is stepping down at the end of the year as the business takes a new route.

The Yayoi Kusama x Louis Vuitton display at Harrods.

Kasia Bobula/WWD

In November last year, Harrods highlighted Dior by erecting gingerbread world across its store on its Brompton Road entrance, featuring white icing and clouds of sugar as well as a megastar measuring 17 meters. Forty-four windows were dedicated to the brand along with a café and two pop-up shops.

According to industry sources, “The Fabulous World of Dior” takeover generated more than 25 million pounds in sales, and transformed Dior into the number-one bestselling brand at Harrods. The store declined to confirm any figures, but said Dior was a “top performer” throughout the 2022 festive season.

The extravagance at the department store didn’t stop there, for Louis Vuitton’s global collaboration with Yayoi Kusama, a 15-meter robot statue of the artist was installed outside on Hans Crescent, where she’s peering into the third floor of the store.

The French luxury brand took over 27 Harrods windows adorned with giant colored dots and alive with anamorphic displays, all of which had been designed and made in London.

Dior returned this summer with another take over to showcase the fall 2023 women’s collections by Maria Grazia.

The first shop recreates a library decorated with the brand’s Plan de Paris print, which was inspired by a scarf designed by Monsieur Dior in the 1950s. The streets and monuments of the French capital are traced on the floor and walls. 

Dior has also dressed the Harrods facade with Plan de Paris images, including Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré and 30 Avenue Montaigne, Dior’s Paris headquarters. The facade facing Brompton Road features a large central panel while the windows are filled with bookshelves.

The second space is a gift shop adorned with Dior’s Florilegio print. Items on offer include D-Bobby bob hats, silk twill shirts, Mizza scarves and the Dior Book tote. 

The third space recreates a cabinet of curiosities and stocks leather goods, and variations of the Lady Dior and Lady D-Joy bags in a kaleidoscope of color.

Men’s Bags Mean Money for Spring 2024

Men’s Bags Mean Money for Spring 2024

Clutches, crossbodies and totes — oh my!
The variety of handbag styles for men have widened in variety on the runways and the spring 2024 season reinforced the category as an increasingly important revenue stream.

For his first outing as creative director of menswear at Louis Vuitton, Pharrell Williams was keen to “put my feet and make tracks” with his handbags, he told WWD’s Paris Bureau Chief Joelle Diderich. 

“His versions of the monogram Speedy bag in primary colors were inspired by the counterfeit versions sold on New York City’s Canal Street, but he made them in calf leather instead of canvas,” Diderich reported. Models also carried updated versions of the metallic Monogram Miroir bags introduced by Marc Jacobs in the mid-2000s.

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At Dior, Kim Jones mined the house archives as well, using the cannage motif from Christian Dior’s beloved Louis XVI chairs to dress up clutches in the shape of rolled up lunch bags. 

Elsewhere in Paris, Hermès showed supersized versions of its iconic Birkin named for the French actress Jane Birkin, who passed away last month at age 76. The structured top-handle was meant as an alternative to the wicker basket Birkin favored, a version of which — ironically — also made an appearance this season.   

And in Milan, WWD correspondent Martino Carrera observed almost every look in the Fendi collection was accompanied by a bag, like the Peekaboo design crafted from waranshi paper as part of a collaboration between the house, architect Kengo Kuma and a Japanese craftswoman.

Etro, Gucci and Giorgio Armani were equally intent on pushing handbags for men.

Spring 2024 also saw some newer entries to the market with cult brands investing more into their accessories lines to go head-to-head with the luxury bigwigs.

After scooping up the British Fashion Council/GQ Designer Fashion Fund award for menswear, Grace Wales Bonner put her cash prize to use by launching leather goods, while 3.Paradis designer Emeric Tchatchoua debuted the brand’s first line of bags, called “Attache,” inspired by his father’s old briefcase.

Louis Vuitton Opens Resort Store and Italy’s First Café in Taormina

Louis Vuitton Opens Resort Store and Italy’s First Café in Taormina

MEDITERRANEAN BLUE: As the blueprint for the modern fashion concept store has evolved to include not just merchandise but also food, entertainment, technology and more, Louis Vuitton is opening a café-flanked resort boutique in the tony seaside destination of Taormina on Sicily.
Dubbed Louis Vuitton Café by Timeo, it marks the first such initiative in Italy of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton’s flagship brand. It is located on the first floor of the new resort-leaning store and is operated in tandem with the Belmond-owned Grand Hotel Timeo on central Corso Umberto.

The café boasts all-day service, spanning breakfast, lunch and aperitivo, with a dedicated menu overseen by chef Roberto Toro that offers signature Sicilian delicacies, such as arancini (fried stuffed rice balls), and drinks, including the “Taormina Spritz.” Belmond is also owned by LVMH.

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Enhancing both the resort and local vibes, the space is furnished with Fernando and Humberto Campana’s Bulbo armchair and features ceramic tiles arranged in white and blue graphic patterns as well as gradient blue tabletops. It has a dedicated entrance and a vista overlooking the sea.

The Louis Vuitton Café by Timeo in Taormina, Italy.

Sabrina Battagliola/Courtesy of Louis Vuitton

The Taormina store marks one of the many resort boutiques the brand has opened this summer in the Hamptons; Saint Tropez, France; Bodrum, Turkey, and Mykonos, Greece spotlighting its LV by The Pool collection.

Decked in bleached and natural oak and replete with vintage furniture and design objects, glass shelves hanging from ropes, raffia wallpaper and majolica-style carpeting in nods to the Sicilian location, the Taormina store offers ready-to-wear, bags, footwear and accessories from the LV by the Pool collection, as well as a special edition of the signature Neverfull tote bag.

Items in the collection are swathed in white and blue shades, with the brand’s monogram reinvented in multiple ways, including for watercolor effects and graphic arrangements. The store also carries the Objets Nomades home décor and furniture collection as well as the boxed set of Summer Resort City Guides and the latest coffee table book, titled “Italian Rivieras” by Slim Aarons, part of the brand’s Fashion Eye book range.

Louis Vuitton’s “Taormina Neverfull” tote bag.

Vuitton’s latest opening is in sync with the number of pop-ups, ephemeral boutiques and seasonal outposts that luxury brands have opened this summer. Most recently, Etro debuted a new store in Monte Carlo, as reported.

LVMH Signs on as Premium Partner of Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games

LVMH Signs on as Premium Partner of Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games

PARIS – Capping months of speculation, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton on Monday signed on to become a premium partner of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, guaranteeing the world’s biggest luxury group prime visibility during the planetary event, including its eagerly awaited opening ceremony.
While LVMH did not disclose the financial terms of the sponsorship deal, sources with knowledge of the matter said it had put 150 million euros on the table. Organizers are billing the Paris Games as “the biggest event in the world,” expected to draw 4 billion TV viewers, 13 million spectators and 20,000 journalists.

Several major LVMH houses will play a special role during the Games, with jeweler Chaumet designing the medals, and Louis Vuitton, Dior, Berluti, Sephora and the Moët Hennessy wines and spirits division also taking part, the group said.

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In addition, LVMH will sponsor athletes including French swimmer Léon Marchand, who this weekend broke Michael Phelps’ last individual world record. Those relationships will pave the way for sports stars to ink brand ambassador contracts with its houses.

“This unprecedented partnership with the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games will contribute to heightening the appeal of France around the world. It was only natural that LVMH and its maisons be part of this exceptional international event,” LVMH chairman and chief executive officer Bernard Arnault said in a statement.

“The values of passion, excellence and inclusion championed by high-level sports are cultivated each day by our teams, motivated by an unwavering desire to surpass limits. Sports is a tremendous source of inspiration for our maisons, which will unite creative excellence and athletic performance by contributing their savoir-faire and bold innovation to this extraordinary celebration,” he added.

The Paris 2024 Olympic Committee was keen to sign LVMH as it inches closer to its target of 1.4 billion euros in sponsorship deals, out of a total budget of 4.4 billion euros.

Antoine Arnault, head of communication, image and environment at LVMH, described the negotiations as a courtship dance that lasted more than a year.

“Such an important and wide-ranging partnership is a first for LVMH, so there were long negotiations, not only with the International Olympic Committee and the Paris 2024 Olympic Committee, but also internally to work out the best way to develop this partnership,” he told WWD in an interview on Monday at the headquarters of Berluti, where he is CEO.

“It was important for us to be a know-how partner, and a partner that really contributes something to these Olympic and Paralympic Games, and not just a sponsor who signs a check and then completely steps back from the event,” he said. “When you think about the amounts that have been committed, it does not seem disproportionate either in terms of time spent.”

Arnault said the thorny issue of international rights had been resolved. Unlike global partners such as Coca-Cola, Omega or P&G, premium partners earn marketing rights for the country where the event is held. LVMH joins a cohort that includes retailer Carrefour and telecommunications operator Orange.

“These games take place in France and the visibility will start from France, but we obviously have international rights. We can’t tell you exactly and in detail everything that has been negotiated, but you will find out as the partnership is unveiled,” Arnault said.

While the LVMH logo will appear on sponsorship materials, another sticking point was defining the precise roles of its various brands as purveyors of specialized know-how, under the tag line “Artisan of All Victories.” Arnault said it was important to respect existing partnerships, which explains why none of its watch brands will be taking an active role.

Chaumet will design the medals, due to be unveiled early next year. “It’s the first time that a jeweler has designed medals, in association with the Paris Mint,” Arnault said.

He hinted that Dior would be in the spotlight during the opening ceremony, due to take place on July 26, 2024. For the first time in the history of the Summer Olympic Games, the event — conceived by artistic director Thomas Jolly — will take place not in a stadium but on the Seine River and in key locations in central Paris.

“We are the craftsmanship partner of these Olympic Games, and craftsmanship and know-how being one of the specificities of France, almost a question of national pride, this ceremony across Paris will have different themes and moments, and we hope that one of those moments will spotlight France’s craftsmanship, know-how and creative outlook,” Arnault said.

Moët Hennessy, home to 25 wines and spirits brands including Moët & Chandon Champagne, Hennessy cognac and Château d’Yquem wine, will provide its wares as part of hospitality programs. While French law prohibits the sale of alcohol in the sports stadiums and other venues where Olympic events will be held next summer, there are exceptions for VIP suites.

“There are private hospitality zones across Paris in which Moët Hennessy’s products will be available,” said Arnault, noting these were not limited to competition spaces.  

Beauty retailer Sephora will be a partner for the Olympic Torch Relay, set to kick off in the southern French city of Marseille on May 8, and will offer activations for the public all along the relay route, as well as at group locations along the itinerary and at stops.

While Arnault declined to comment on the role of Vuitton, the world’s biggest luxury brand has a history of sports collaborations, producing trophy cases for partners including the NBA, America’s Cup, the FIFA World Cup and the Rugby World Cup, and extending into esports via a partnership with Riot Games, the maker of the “League of Legends” video game.

The brand is likely to have some involvement with the Olympic medal ceremonies, sources said.

Meanwhile, Arnault said Berluti could dress the French delegation for the opening and closing ceremonies, since these are not covered by French athletic brand Le Coq Sportif’s contract as official supplier of the French Olympic and Paralympic team uniforms, designed by Pigalle Paris founder Stéphane Ashpool.

In addition to Marchand, who set a new record on Saturday in the 400 meters individual medley at the World Aquatics Championships in Japan, LVMH expects to partner with another four or five athletes, Arnault said. They will benefit from financial support and privileged introductions to the group’s houses.  

“They will not wear an LVMH logo,” he said. “It’s the start of a relationship and after that, they will be able to forge links more specifically with the houses they’re interested in. They become LVMH athletes and then, gradually, this will spread across the group through their meetings and interactions with the various houses and their leaders.”

Vuitton has been stepping up its partnerships with sports stars. Last year, its campaign featuring soccer stars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo playing chess went viral, and it recently signed tennis phenomenon Carlos Alcaraz as brand ambassador. Meanwhile, Dior’s current campaign for the Lady 95.22 handbag features champion wheelchair fencer Beatrice “Bebe” Vio.

LVMH is also teaming up with one of its existing partners, French charity Secours populaire français, on an initiative to enable access to sports for 1,000 children and young people aged four to 25 who live in vulnerable situations. The group will provide funding for sports association memberships, training programs and beginner classes.

Tony Estanguet, president of the Paris 2024 Olympic Committee, told a press conference last week that it had recently crossed the threshold of 1 billion euros in sponsorship deals, and expects to end the year with 92 percent of the partnership budget secured.

“From the very outset of our project we have wanted the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games to contribute to promoting the image of our country and France’s many remarkable talents. Today, with the LVMH group, Paris 2024 has taken a decisive step forward,” he said in the statement.

He noted that in 2016, LVMH was one of the official sponsors of the French capital’s bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics.

“With its exceptional know-how, the LVMH group will bring its immensely creative talent to this project and enable us to benefit from its extensive experience. This partnership also sends a powerful signal that France’s leading businesses are behind the Paris 2024 Games, which will let our country shine brightly around the entire world,” Estanguet said.

With revenues of 79.2 billion euros in 2022, LVMH may seem well-placed to support the Games, but Antoine Arnault emphasized it was a first for the luxury group.

LVMH has been stepping up its efforts to be seen as a good corporate citizen amid mounting anti-rich sentiment in France, which was shaken by a series of violent protests this spring against the government’s pension reform, including a demonstration in April that spilled over into its corporate headquarters on Avenue Montaigne.

“I know we’re the biggest French company, but we never do this kind of huge partnership at group level, simply because our group is like a confederation of houses, so it doesn’t really make sense,” he said.

“We’re doing it for the first time out of a sense of responsibility, because we think it’s important that as ambassadors for France, we are present for these Games which promise to be exceptional in Paris. It’s also a source of pride to represent France and to be a partner of this planetary event which will be a showcase for France throughout 2024,” he said.

Arnault minimized the expected disruption caused by the Games, which have prompted the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, French fashion’s governing body, to move forward the dates of the fall 2024 edition of Paris Couture Week.

“We’ll work around it,” he said. “We have made it through COVID-19, we have overcome worse things than the traffic disruption caused by the Olympic Games.”

He said the group’s 75 houses had already requested tickets for their staff and partners to attend events, indicating that despite grousing from Parisians about the cost and impact of the event, there will be strong domestic support for the Games.

“Athletes and craftspeople have a lot of things in common: a passion for perfecting repeated gestures, always wanting to do better, and these important moments which for the athlete is the day of the competition, and for the craftspeople, the launch of a product,” he noted. “The closer we get to the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the more it feels like it was meant to be.”

Emma Stone, Haim Sisters Appear in Louis Vuitton Campaign

Emma Stone, Haim Sisters Appear in Louis Vuitton Campaign

The Haim sisters — Este, Danielle and Alana — have cemented their relationship with Louis Vuitton by appearing in their first campaign for the French luxury house.
The sibling musicians, who perform as Haim, feature in the brand’s fall 2023 ads, which also star Emma Stone, who has been an ambassador of the house since 2017.

Stone appeared in her first Vuitton campaign in 2018 and has since racked up appearances for the brand, including fragrance and handbag ads.

Her next film, “Poor Things,” is set to premiere at the Venice Film Festival, which runs from Aug. 30 to Sept. 9, although it is unclear whether the Screen Actors Guild strike will be resolved in time for Stone to walk the red carpet.

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Emma Stone in Louis Vuitton’s fall 2023 campaign.

David Sims/Courtesy of Louis Vuitton

David Sims photographed the images, which broke in Harper’s Bazaar France on Wednesday, at the National Archives, a historic building in the Marais district of Paris, and the Hôtel Pozzo di Borgo, an 18th century private mansion in the French capital that was formerly home to designer Karl Lagerfeld.

Since attending their first Vuitton show in March 2022, the Haim sisters have developed a strong relationship with Nicolas Ghesquière, the brand’s artistic director of women’s collections. They wore the brand to events including the Oscars, the BAFTAs and Glamour’s Women of the Year Awards.

“We are huge fans of Nicolas — as a great friend and an incredible designer — so we were so excited when he asked us to be part of this campaign. We saw the show in March which is always an amazing experience but then stepping into the looks, it really felt like becoming characters in his ‘French story’ — feeling empowered by the elegant yet strong designs,” they said in a statement.

The trio are portrayed wearing matching embroidered camisole tops, black pants with split knees and black sandals.

On the red carpet, they often wear different outfits, like at the 2022 Oscars, where Alana Haim donned a mermaid-inspired ivory embroidered Vuitton gown to celebrate her star turn in “Licorice Pizza,” while Danielle and Este selected black and blue gowns, respectively.

The sisters have had an upward trajectory since the release of their acclaimed debut album, “Days Are Gone,” in 2013. Their album “Women in Music Pt. III” received a nomination for Album of the Year at the 2021 Grammy Awards.

They have forged strong links with the fashion industry, wearing looks from the likes of Chloé and Dior, and collaborating with Los Angeles-based clothing brand Reformation in 2016 on a New Year’s Eve collection. A dedicated website, @whatwouldhaimwear, tracks their outfit choices.

Pharrell Williams’ Louis Vuitton Show References Love but Also War

Pharrell Williams’ Louis Vuitton Show References Love but Also War

Photo: Vogue Runway
In a paper box, placed on each guest seat, on the gold-painted Pont-Neuf in Paris, was a paper featuring the expressions and embodiments of the debut collection of Pharrell Williams for Louis Vuitton. At the bottom of the page, in fine print, read, “This moment is dedicated to the giant before me. To our brother in spirit.” If Williams honored his predecessor, the late Virgil Abloh, the show was a new departure; his debut a powerful symphony of celebrity, music, and fashion that had Parisians climbing to their rooftops to witness the Spring-Summer 2024 collection also seen by Beyoncé, Rihanna, Zendaya, Kim Kardashian, Maluma, Offset, LeBron James, Lewis Hamilton, Jaden and Willow Smith, and more.
The sun, with its promise of a new day, was the focal point for the “set,” and saw the bridge gleaming with a damier print. The bridge embodied a metaphorical one between Paris, the home of Louis Vuitton, and Virginia, USA where the designer was born fifty years ago to a teacher mother and handyman father. References to Princess Anne, his former high school were featured in LV varsity jackets in a show that embodied the warmth of a global community connected by an appreciation for the core values of the maison.
The jackets were one of many personal touches that Williams poured into his first collection. The dandy silhouette was a nod to his own dressing approach, with tailored suiting encrusted with pearls and crystals. The contemporary longing for comfort also appeared in shearling slippers in Monogram intarsia—the outsole embossed with a bear’s footprint—for those unafraid to leave an impression. Williams, who is often spotted wearing jewel-embellished lenses, featured sunglasses on the runway. These had caps crafted in the image of camera lenses for its wearer to see the world in primary colors.
Camo and outerwear with gentle military references featured throughout the collection. At one point, an army-like truck rolled down the runway, driven by a blond-haired model; a reference to Ukraine seemed obvious, with the word “Liberty” featured on the back of the truck. It rolled down again at the end of the show, this time carrying a mammoth LV monogram trunk in copper, a healing element known to transform in the sun.
Considering Louis Vuitton’s new men’s designer is a musical legend, guests at the show and tuning in to the livestream from around the world were keen to see what soundtrack he would produce. Guests arrived to bridge to the hum of nostalgic French music. The show then opened to the strains of an orchestra tuning—and indeed there was one at the end of the bridge, including world famous pianist Lang Lang sitting at a black baby grand ready to play the original composition Peace Be Still by Pharrell Williams with gladiator-like force. It then transitioned to Chains & Whips by Clipse while Williams’ friends Pusha T and No Malice walked the runway in statement coats. Also walking the runway were former Yves Saint Laurent designer Stefano Pilati and model Liya Kebede, one of the few women featured. The finale, Joy by Voices of Fire featuring Pharrell Williams saw a choir from his hometown storm the runway in a celebratory performance. Another show would follow the fashion show, with Jay-Z taking the stage to sing several hits and even a couple with Williams himself. “Remember where you at tonight,” said Jay-Z. “Everyone here tonight is blessed.”
Photo: Vogue Runway
Photo: Vogue Runway
Photo: Vogue Runway
Photo: Vogue Runway
Photo: Vogue Runway
Photo: Vogue Runway
Photo: Vogue Runway
Photo: Vogue Runway
Photo: Vogue Runway
Photo: Vogue Runway
Photo: Vogue Runway
Photo: Vogue Runway

Kim Kardashian Chose a Polarizing Bag for Pharrell’s First Louis Vuitton Show

Kim Kardashian Chose a Polarizing Bag for Pharrell’s First Louis Vuitton Show

Photo: Getty
Last evening, Pharrell Williams presented his first collection as the creative director of Louis Vuitton menswear during Paris Fashion Week, and the spring 2024 offering didn’t disappoint. Among the 74 looks, there were some great short suits, checkered bags, and dramatic chapeaus. Taking in the new styles from the front row were celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, Jay-Z and Beyoncé, Rihanna and A$AP Rocky, Jared Leto, and Zendaya—all dressed to impress. Who took the biggest fashion risk? Kardashian, for sure.
Photo: Getty
For the affair, Kardashian wore the new digitized camo print introduced in the spring 2024 collection. She paired an athletic-style bra top with leggings—she’s the queen of athleisure, after all—but it was her big, fuzzy camo fanny pack that truly stole the show. The accessory serves as a more fashion-forward take on the retro bag that all of the dads loved wearing in the ’80s. (It’s also a smart choice for the setting, given it’s completely hands-free. Perfect for capturing content during the show!). Completing the outfit were her sky-high PVC heels, because she’s just always gotta make the look glam—even when rocking a ginormous bum bag.

Originally published in Vogue.com

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