After meeting with Chinese retail giant Alibaba's chairman Jack Ma on Monday morning, President Elect Donald Trump hosted another of the richest men in the world, LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault, at Trump Tower. So what did Trump have to discuss with the French owner of Louis Vuitton, Givenchy and Céline? "Great things," of course.
When stopped by reporters in the Trump Tower lobby (which you can watch below), Trump was quick to note that Arnault is "one of the great men." After providing that astute characterization, he went on to confirm that "they all love this country," presumably referring to... all French people? "They're going to do wonderful things in this country, great things," he continued. "Jobs, a lot of jobs."
Arnault then appeared on camera to thankfully add some specificity to Trump's usual sweeping generalizations. "We may expand our factory that we have in California and build one either in Carolina or in Texas," he said before Trump interrupted him to interject, "maybe in the Midwest!" Arnault went on to explain that Louis Vuitton has owned a factory in San Dimas, California for about 25 years and might "expand because of the success of the product" that has been produced there. He repeated that said expansion could take place either in "Carolina or Texas," seemingly unaware that both a North and a South Carolina exist. Trump did not audibly correct him on this. Arnault's son Alexandre was also present in the lobby.
The conversation marks one of Trump's most high-profile fashion-industry meetings yet and comes just three days after his meeting with Anna Wintour at One World Trade. Interestingly, the designers of two LVMH-owned brands — Marc Jacobs and Kenzo — have spoken out against Trump and declined to dress incoming First Lady Melania Trump.
A rep for LVMH said the company has no further comment. You can watch the lobby interaction below.