France's largest luxury conglomerate wants to get even more luxurious--and they're taking inspiration from a luxury brand they've been admiring for a while now: Hermès. LVMH has been buying shares in Hermès since 2010 and their unyielding interest in the heritage brand has prompted speculation that LVMH intends to one day add Hermes to their own portfolio.
For now, though, they'll settle for using Hermès as a business model in an effort to ensure that Vuitton retains its image as "exclusive" and its "high-end mystique," says a report from Reuters. The challenge Louis Vuitton faces, along with many widely recognizable name brands who feature heavily in rap songs and knock-off operations, is expanding and increasing profits without seeming too mass or attainable, especially given the ubiquity of their signature monogram. Their solution is to just keep providing even more expensive products and services that even fewer people can afford--like artisanal made to order handbags (that won't look like Canal St. knock-offs)--and a more exclusive shopping experience.
Recently, both brands have won battles in the war against knock-off handbags--though fake Birkins don't seem to have had the same tarnishing effect as fake LV monogram bags. Perhaps some of Hermès' longstanding appeal comes from the fact that they've remained a heritage brand and do not want to be a part of the luxury conglomerate LVMH is. They also don't mass produce and most products are made by hand from start to finish, which is why they command such absurdly high price points.
Compared to Hermès, Louis Vuitton, the brand that put an $8 million train in their last runway show, will always be bigger, but it remains to be seen who will be "better." One thing's for sure--don't expect an H&M or Target collab from either of these brands anytime soon.