Louis Vuitton’s appointment of Virgil Abloh as the house’s new Creative Director has created an anticipatory mood among the fashion set. And further improving the mood is the announcement that the luxury fashion house has planned new factories to produce leather goods in France in order to speed up the manufacturing process and allow your favourite bags to reach stores much sooner.
The first of the new factories will open this July in La Merlatière while another factory is slated for an opening early next year in in Beaulieu-sur-Layon, Maine-et-Loire. These will be Louis Vuitton’s 15th and 16th factories respectively and will create five hundred new jobs. In addition to improving customer care, these new sites plan to reduce production time from two weeks to one which in turn reduces the wait time for customers who make requests in-store.
It’s interesting to see Louis Vuitton push for speed in the creation of luxury handbags since the opposite strategy has worked for Hermes and their coveted Birkins. According to reports only 2-3 Birkins are produced annually, a tactic that has created hype and exclusivity without costing Hermes any marketing fees. In our opinion, it is the time (and high quality materials) invested into luxury items that make them worth the cost, but if luxury bags are mass produced in droves, there’s not much separating them from fast fashion brands. We’ll wait and see how this works out for LV.