Those damn millennials: They're causing sales slumps in everything from casual chain restaurants to the fine jewelry market. So what's a luxury company to do to try and recapture the imagination (and money) of the youths? It could go the expected route, like Ippolita, and hire Kendall Jenner to shill its stuff — or it could think to the future and enter the wearable tech realm.
Louis Vuitton is going the second route, revealing in a release that it is launching a smartwatch. Dubbed the "Tambour Horizon," the watch fits in with the existing Tambour line of timepieces, but with several customizable options: There will be three different case styles (black, graphite and monogram), 60 interchangeable straps (30 for men and 30 for women) and a whole bevy of digital faces with Louis Vuitton's signature patterns (and yes, like the bags, you can customize with your initials). Per Business of Fashion, prices start at £1,950 ($2,511) for the case and £235 ($303), making this a downright affordable option for fans of Louis Vuitton.
The Horizon works with the Google Android operating system, making Louis Vuitton the latest in a string of luxury companies trying to compete with Apple in the smartwatch arena. LVMH-owned Tag Heuer released its own $1,500 smartwatch in 2015, and Michael Kors debuted its smartwatch in September 2016. But Louis Vuitton is tailoring its watch to its jet-setting customer, coming complete with the brand's "City Guides" that can notify the wearer of nearby attractions, and "My Flight," an exclusive app to keep travelers abreast of their flight information. The watch also features complete flexibility between Chinese and Western apps, a first for the market.
Louis Vuitton tapped a handful of its favorite celebs to launch the watch with "Connected Journeys," including Jaden Smith, Miranda Kerr and perma-Nicolas Ghesquière muse Jennifer Connelly. Wearable tech is a competitive market in which Apple still reigns supreme, so only time will tell whether this will move the dial for Louis Vuitton's business — all puns intended.
See images of Louis Vuitton's new Tambour Horizon: