What Makes Louis Vuitton So Expensive?
Updated: Jul 30, 2020
It’s one of the biggest luxury brands in the world, and its logo is more than just a logo.
The overlapping ‘L’ and ‘V’ are a symbol - a symbol of luxury, status, and wealth.
But how did it reach this point?
The founding of Louis Vuitton goes back over a century and half, by a man of the same name, in Paris. Prior to his design of a flat-topped trunk, trunks were generally rounded on top, making them difficult to stack. Therefore, his Trianon canvas flat trunk became a revolutionary piece of luggage. Soon after his death, his son introduced its monogram canvas with the logo and geometric shape - introducing the iconic print of the brand -
a pattern that continues to be one of the most seeked out in the world.
As the brand continued to rise in prominence and fame, it caught the eye of Coco Chanel - one of the most famous style icons of the era. The famous dome-shaped Louis Vuitton bag was then created for her personal use and only became available for mass production almost a decade later. Even today though, it remains an extremely popular bag!
Since the early 20th century, the brand has been seen as a symbol - worn by many celebrities as a mark of their success. Currently valued at around $40 Billion USD, it’s been one of the most expensive and sought-after luxury brands for over a decade, and their prices can soar above $50,000.
High Manufacturing Cost Louis Vuitton manufactures its products only in France and the United States, which means that for the rest of the world, the steep cost of imported products comes into play. Their bags are handmade by expert craftsmen, who go through a full year of training before they’re eligible to actually create the product! Almost the entire process is carried out by hand, with minimal machine intervention, using expensive materials like high-quality canvas and leather.
They Last - For Very Very Long It’s a given that high-quality products will be expensive, and Louis Vuitton’s products are the epitome of just that. Not only are they made with high quality, extremely expensive materials, but they undergo rigorous quality control after being made. This includes zipping and unzipping them about 5,000 times, filling them with weights and dropping them, and even bombarding the material with ultraviolet rays to make sure it doesn’t fade. All in all, these tests prove that their bags could last decades with minimal wear and tear.
There Aren’t Too Many Of Them! The brand is extremely careful to avoid overproducing - in fact, it ceases the production of a product once its sales targets have been achieved. By allowing only a small number of their goods into a high-demand market, they keep the prices high, which would be far harder to maintain if they were mass-produced. In fact, some of the handbags are limited to the extreme - only 85 of the Royal Wedding Petite Malle hard bags exist in the world. Because of this, Louis Vuitton is one of the only brands in the world which never holds sales (even though we’re still keeping our fingers crossed). This is also why their products are some of the most counterfeited in the world. A controversial move of the brand in this respect is the burning or shredding of the bags that don’t sell, to maintain brand value. Controversial why? Since many of its products are made of animal fur or skin, burning these bags, which are a result of some form of animal cruelty and death, renders the life of the animal - crocodiles, snakes, calves, alligators - valueless.
Large Following Around the World Not only is the company popular in the United States and Europe, but in several other countries around the world.
Through effective marketing strategies, they’ve been able to successfully grasp markets in several countries, most notably, China - one of Louis Vuitton’s biggest markets worldwide. Here, the company has adapted to a Chinese ecosystem, setting up a website for its audience, providing free delivery, and designing an app for its customers to have a more seamless experience. In fact, they’re so popular in China that the price of their products within China is an astronomical 21% more expensive than the global average!
Adapting to Modern Trends to Appeal to the Youth While Louis Vuitton’s older designs will always remain iconic, the brand sure knows how to appeal to more modern audiences without losing its luxury appeal. The best way they do this is by partnering with or dressing some of the most prominent celebrities today - Rihanna, Kanye West, Angelina Jolie - the list goes on. Since it’s often influencers who govern trends, Louis Vuitton makes sure to endorse the right people. The rise of streetwear in luxury fashion has become increasingly popular over the past few years - just look at celebrities like Billie Eillish or Timothee Chalamet, and brands like Supreme. This hasn’t gone unnoticed by Louis Vuitton, which introduced its own streetwear line, now worn by several modern icons.
Well… It’s Louis Vuitton
There’s no denying it, Louis Vuitton has a brand image as a luxury giant, a producer of high-fashion, great quality, almost symbolic products. 150 years in the industry, and a century of being as iconic as it is means that demand doesn’t seem like it’ll reduce anytime soon. So, the next time you visit an LV store, remember that you’re not just buying a great bag but you’re also bringing home 150 years of excellence and the legacy of one of the world's biggest fashion brands
It’s a rare case of a company lasting - and remaining on top of the market - for as long as it has. But since most of us are probably slightly short of the money required to pay for a single bag (we don’t want to sell our houses just yet), we’ll probably just stick to something cheaper - Gucci?
Check out the latest collection of Louis Vuitton Bags HERE
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Written by Tishya Doraiswamy
Content Writer @ Skyshot Media