The LVMH Moët Hennessy group are the world’s biggest luxury group, and they have recently taken over the iconic Tiffany&Co. This is possibly the largest deal ever made in the luxury sector, each share being bought for $135 dollars. Tiffany’s is the latest addition made to the group’s existing 75 high end brands or “maisons”. The brand owns some big names in fashion like Marc Jacobs, Dior, Bulgari, Fendi, Givenchy, Louis Vuitton (of course) and Le Bon Marche, which is a high-end department store and possible the world’s first ever department store.
LVMH doesn’t just include luxury brands, but also high street brands like Sephora, Benefit cosmetics, Kat von D and Fresh. They don’t stop at fashion, and also own a newspaper called Le Parisien, Rimowa (luggage), Moët & Chandon and Henessey cognac to name a few. Fenty by R&B artist Rihanna has been one of the group’s other interesting ventures.
The French company own a diverse range of businesses. Wine, leather, fashion, perfumes, jewelry and cosmetics- all iconic and glamourous. But when some think of the LVMH group, they think of them as vultures trying to monopolize a certain aspect of the luxury sector. They often sniff potential at dead ends and renew brands while maintaining their individuality and what they stand for. They are awfully clever at reframing businesses and selling a lifestyle.
The French company wants to restore the old school glitz Tiffany once had, since their revenues have slowed due to lower tourist spending. Founded in 1837 by Charles Lewis Tiffany and made famous by Audrey Hepburn in the dreamy film ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’, the brand is known for its wedding bands and engagement rings. As the lovely Holly Golightly says in the movie: “nothing too bad could ever happen to you at Tiffany’s”.
Who is behind all of this? It is CEO Bernard Arnault, the richest man in Europe and the brains of the company. A $106.6 billion net worth… but is the group only interested in making profits? The LVMH prize is completely sponsored by the group and provides a series of incredible opportunities to its winners. The prize — open to anyone under the age of 40 who has produced at least two collections — offers €300,000 to the winner plus a year of mentorship from LVMH and its network. It also offers a runner-up special prize that includes €150,000 and similar mentorship opportunities. It has been won by two masterminds of fashion, the late Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent, who said that the prize was what gave them the boost they so desperately needed.
Thanks to the prominence of its sponsor company and the eminence of its jurors, which included designers Nicolas Ghesquière and the late Karl Lagerfeld, The Prize has quickly established itself as one of the most prestigious contests for young designers working in fashion around the world today, with more than 3,000 designers representing 102 nationalities applying to take part in the competition.
The world of fashion and design is not very generous to newcomers. The fact that LVMH brings together all these experts who have had their time in the industry to mentor and guide new as well as old designers, while still preserving the creative talents of these designers, is highly respectable. When you look at brands owned by LVMH, they are all so different in what they do, despite operating in the same sector. Apart from being major industrialists, they have also become cultivators of talent and preservers of iconography. The LVMH house conglomerates like no other with their dominance in the luxury sector growing and diversifying continuously. They really are pioneers, risk takers and a force in the world of luxury fashion today.
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