It would be an understatement to say that I like a handbag. I always have done and because of my hoarding gene have quite a number of original models stashed in wardrobes, cupboards and indeed the attic.
Daughter No.1 applauds my thrifty nature while purloining many of my treasured carry-alls. She sees herself as avant-retro and cool. Her friends envy her luck in having access to so many vintage accessories and I, from time to time, think she’s a little greedy and wish I too could enjoy, for example, my Mulberry (MADE IN ENGLAND) that I bought when she was three. NB: Said handbag has reappeared recently but only because the handle needs a repair.
Of course I do have other handbags. Or at least I think I do. Daughter No.1 popped in this weekend. It was lovely to see her but she was upstairs for quite some time, now I think about it.
And is she instilling magpie tendencies in my remaining offspring? She should tread carefully with this one or we’ll both be the loser. I must get Mr Carmichael to pull the attic steps down so I can do a full audit.
While the world’s economy goes to hell in a handcart handbag consumption has reached feverish heights boosted by 1) celebrity endorsement, 2) sensurround advertising and 3) some people having TOO MUCH MONEY.
Which brings me to Louis Vuitton. The very first designer handbag I bought was a Louis Vuitton. In its second life with Daughter No.1 the traditional design belies its vintageness. In the heady Eighties I went on to own a LV suitcase, suit carrier and weekend bag. Actually why wouldn’t they still be here, somewhere?
“Ladder, Mr Carmichael, NOW!”
‘Nobody,’ Carley Simon croons, ‘does it better’ and I don’t think even James Bond would be a match for this mega-brand. Under Marc Jacobs’ creative directorship it has taken points one and two to celestial realms by tapping into the craven desires of three, people with way more money than sense.
Take a look at the current campaign. Dotty or what? Here come some quotations…….’Louis Vuitton has been spotified’ and the inspiration, ‘obsession and seriality’. Interesting use of the English language, Marc. But what does it mean?
It means THIS…….
And THIS too…….
New York, Tokyo, Singapore, London and Paris have been strafed by dots and it’s thanks to eighty-two year old artist, Yayoi Kusama who is, MJ reports, ‘dot obsessed’. No argument from me on that one, Marc.
Kusama’s worldwide exhibitions lay testament to her orb mania.
Her window displays at Selfridges, where I found myself yesterday camera in hand, are magnificent and she along side the handbags takes centre stage. Oh but Louis V’s name crops with regurgitated regularity, naturally.
Do I like the translation to product? Not so much.
Will I buy a spotty shoe? No. A handbag or scarf from this range? I don’t think so. Am I the target market? I doubt it but will this splatter campaign be a success? My bet is it will.
This is not the first time Jacobs has looked east for inspiration. In the early 2000’s Takashi Murakami collaborated with Louis Vuitton and his new age Pop Art Rendition of the classic logo and parallel advertising campaign herded buyers to the stores in droves.
Time Magazine aptly dubbed his work, ‘Hello-Kitty-on-ketamine’. Again, the shops looked like psychedelic caverns of fun and the video stories Murakami created to back up the fairytale were Alice in Wonderlandesque. Young girl falls down, not a rabbit hole but a giant and somewhat garish panda’s throat. Is she looking for love in the avatar of a fourteen year old Louis Vuitton, safety inside a massive (and I have to say traditional) LV chest or indeed just a handbag? Who knows but the mini movies are still viewed regularly on utube.
Apparently Japan accounts for more than a third of Vuitton’s international sales so this latest collaborative effort should be the perfect storm.
While I can assure you that none of my daughters will inherit a ‘spotified’ handbag from their mother ask me if have I enjoyed the marketing campaign and I will, without reservation, reply,