LVMH is one of the biggest luxury goods powerhouses of all time. The initials stand for Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy. The company formed in 1987 as a result of the merger between Louis Vuitton and Moët Hennessy, which was itself a merger of the Moët and Chandon champagne producer with the Hennessy cognac company.
As for the fashion end of the business, LVMH manages big name brands like Nicholas Kirkwood, Marc Jacobs, Dior, and Céline, just to list a few. Dior is in fact the main holding company of LVMH owning 40.9% of its shares and 59.01% of its voting rights. Basically, Dior has a lot of say in how LVMH runs things. LVMH is based in Paris and lead by CEO Bernard Arnault.
You may have come across mention of LVMH in articles in Women's Wear Daily (WWD) or in some of your favorite fashion books. Any book that discusses the history of fashion is sure to mention LVMH and the influence this company has had over the industry. But the company is much more than just a luxury brand conglomerate. Arnault makes sure to dip LVMH's hand into many charities and is a patron to the arts, not just in France, but globally.
Just one year ago in November 2013, LVMH created the LVMH Young Fashion Designer Prize, which some see as the French equivalent of the Vogue/CFDA Fashion Fund. The winner is awarded a grant of 300,000 Euros and a one year mentorship with a designer of fashion mogul of their choice. This past February, 20 finalists presented to the panel of judges in London, with Thomas Tait being announced the winner in May.
a selection from the Louis Vuitton Spring 2015 RTW show (images via Style.com)
LVMH has a far reaching influence on the fashion world and will likely only continue to grow. If you're interested in being a part of the international luxury goods market, you better have them on your radar. Even better if you have them on your resume.
It all began with a trip to Buffalo Exchange. My mother and I were taking a bunch of old clothes there to see if we could make a little cash, when she started asking if BE was a vintage or a thrift shop. I thought I was confident in my reply that it definitely wasn't vintage, but that got me thinking - what exactly does vintage mean? How is it different from antique, second hand, or just plain old? And that's what brought me here.
Vintage generally refers to clothing of a previous era. Antique clothing is any piece that is at least 100 years old, while vintage encompasses fashion from that time up until 20 years before present day. So right now, antique means dating from 1914 or earlier and vintage means anything from 1915 to 1995.
Many people and stores will emphasize a certain level of quality when talking about vintage clothing, although the word doesn't inherently have any meaning associated with quality. It's likely that the words 'vintage' and 'designer' automatically go together in your head, but unknown names and brands are also vintage and can have just as high quality.
images via HarpersBazaar.com