The Louis Vuitton brand has survived over the years, has strengthened and has become today leader in the luxury luggage market. Today, we are dedicating a heading to its artistic
directors who have revamped the brand’s image and have established it as an inevitable brand in the fashion field.
CHAPTER 1: MARC JACOBS, THE AMAZING SKILL
Born in 1963 in New York, Marc Jacobs is brought up by his paternal grandmother. The latter, already convinced of the creative talent of her grandson, initiates him very early into sewing and knitting.
Awakened in the family den, his passion leads him to attend the High School of Art and Design, then to continue and enter the Parsons School of Design, while alternately working as a storekeeper in Charivari, an avant-garde concept store of the Upper West Side.
In 1988, only 25 years old, the young man is appointed Artistic Director of the American brand Perry Ellis where he designs a "grunge" collection. For this first collection, Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington or even Linda Evangelista agree to walk in his show for free. However, the show immediately arouses controversy and leads to his immediate dismissal.
A tormented beginning which earns him a weighty support, the one of Anna Wintour herself, who will publish in his favour a fashion series entitled Grunge & Glory in the US Vogue. The same year, he wins his first Womenswear Designer of the Year award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). The legend was born.
In 1997, Marc Jacobs takes the road to success by joining Louis Vuitton as Artistic Director. Under alternately “grunge” and arty influences, the creator infuses with a touch of madness a firm who is the guardian of a certain French style luxury: bags with graffiti pattern, collaborations that bridge art and fashion (Takashi Murakami, Richard Prince, Yayoi Kusama ...) and fashion shows worthy of spectaculars, the most striking example of which is the autumn-winter 2012 show, staging a railway station, which is said to have broken financing records with 8 million euros.
After 16 years on the throne of the Louis Vuitton Empire, Marc Jacobs’ reign comes to an end in October 2013. At the age of 50, the overexcited creator wishes to devote himself entirely to the development of his own brand, launched in 2001 in the bosom of LVMH. Today, he has created a complete universe: his line Marc Jacobs, two other younger and more accessible lines, Marc by Marc Jacobs and Stinky Rat, and Little Marc Jacobs for children not forgetting his perfumes, his line of makeup, its bookstores.
Books about Marc Jacobs : Louis Vuitton - Marc Jacobs.
CHAPTER 2: NICOLAS GHESQUIERE, THE INNOVATOR
Nicolas Ghesquière was born in Comines (Nord-Pas-de-Calais) in 1971.
At the age of 15, Nicolas Ghesquière makes his debut in the world of fashion thanks to several apprenticeships. After finishing his studies in 1991, he becomes Creative Assistant at Jean Paul Gaultier.
He joins Balenciaga in 1995 and becomes Creative Director in 1997. He quickly stands out with his sculpted, futuristic silhouettes and his embodiment of Parisian chic. During three seasons he creates collections for various brands, including the Italian brand Callaghan.
In October 2001, he is named Best Designer of the Year by the CFDA. He is featured in Times magazine among the 100 Most Influential People of 2006 and is named Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters the following year.
Regarded as one of the most exciting designers in his generation, he is known for starting trends with worldwide impact.
On 5 November 2013, Nicolas Ghesquière joins Louis Vuitton as an Artistic Director of women's collections.
In November 2014, a year after his arrival at Louis Vuitton, he receives the Fashion Innovator of the Year award from the Wall Street Journal, and is cited as the International Designer of the Year in December by the British Fashion Awards.
CHAPTER 3: VIRGIL ABLOH, THE REVOLUTIONARY
Born in Rockford, Illinois in 1980, Virgil Abloh is an artist, architect, engineer, creative director, and designer.
His parents are from Ghana. Trained as an architect (he also graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Civil Engineering), Virgil Abloh greatly benefited at the beginning of his career from the friendship of Kanye West whom he is the artistic adviser, to shine in the spotlight. He plays a capital role with the rapper since he deals as well with the brand merchandising as with set designing or album covers design.
He has been fashion-conscious early on: in 2009, he opens his RSVP Gallery concept store in his hometown of Chicago, before founding his first brand, Pyrex Vision, originally dedicated to the sale of Champion T-shirts and Ralph Lauren shirts bearing the Pyrex logo. Since then, he has been on LVMH group radar screen: as of 2015 indeed, he is among the finalists for the LVMH prize which will finally reward that year the French designer Jacquemus and the tandem Marques'Almeida.
Virgil Abloh has all that is necessary to seduce LVMH in 2018. First, the creative knows the culture of the group well: he had an internship at Fendi in 2008. Next, his taste for collaborations - Off-White has associated with Nike, with Jimmy Choo, with the Kith concept store, with Ikea etc. - is conducive to the formation of strong images, regularly renewable and immediately readable by the Instagram community. An aptitude that had in other times enabled Marc Jacobs to bring Louis Vuitton into the era of modernity and spectacle; or more recently, which enabled Kim Jones "to have internet explode” thanks to the collaboration initiated between Louis Vuitton and Suprême.