Louis Vuitton is laying down some more roots in Texas but not in retail.The French fashion house owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton has signed a purchase agreement for an approximately 300 acre ranch located in Alvarado, Tex., an outer suburb of Dallas with a population of roughly 4,000. A purchase price for the land could not be determined, but a Sotheby’s property listing in the same town is offering 111 acres of land for $832,500. The land Louis Vuitton picked up is set to become the site of its newest leather goods workshop, the third of its kind in the U.S. The first two are in California. Bernard Arnault, LVMH’s chairman and chief executive officer, earlier this year said during a meeting with then President-elect Donald Trump that his company was looking to expand its manufacturing presence in the U.S.While Texas may not be the most obvious choice for a luxury brand so steeped in French culture, Johnson County alone is home to half a dozen cattle farms, and cattle ranching is one of the state’s biggest industries. With so much cattle around, the brand will have easy access to leather and leather craftspeople and the workshop will produce goods for Louis Vuitton’s growing U.S. market.But the new workshop, as with those in California, will be operated in the same manner and under full brand control as the 12 operating in France, mostly in the Drome region, and three in Catalonia, Spain. Construction is set to begin this coming spring with a slated opening of sometime in 2019, when it will start manufacturing Louis Vuitton goods with about 100 employees and build to 500 within five years of opening.Louis Vuitton has been distributing goods in the U.S. since 1898, about 45 years after it was eponymously founded as a maker of travel trunks with a flat top, an innovation at a time when most trunks were rounded and impossible to stack.In the decades since, the brand has become one of the most recognizable and successful luxury houses in history and its growth has continued with Nicolas Ghesquière at the creative helm.For the most recent third quarter, LVMH saw organic sales grow by 13 percent in its fashion and leather goods division, which includes Louis Vuitton, and 12 percent overall, hitting 10.38 billion euros. Sales have grown steadily this year, and the second quarter tallied sales gains of 15 percent.But Arnault has kept a measured response to the sales success of the luxury operation his family controls and has cautioned against lofty expectations during a time of geopolitical uncertainty.Consumers are also increasingly fickle and the luxury and overall retail industries are changing as a result with a focus on shopping that’s accessible and experiential.Louis Vuitton is not immune to these shifts, but it’s a brand with enough power to aid a $1 billion valuation for independent brands and a new factory shows its leather goods are still very much in demand.For More, See:Giovanni Zoppas Appointed CEO of LVMH, Marcolin Joint VentureThink Tank: Unmasking the Next Generation of Luxury ConsumerProenza Schouler Founders Talk Paris Move for Creativity’s Sake
In honor the @CFDA’s announcement of @iamnaomicampbell receiving the Fashion Icon Award at the 2018 #CFDAAwards, which will take place on June 4, here’s a #tbt of the supermodel on @michaelkors’ runway in 1991. #wwdfashion #wwdarchive (📷: George Chinsee)
“I was making the guacamole when my scout saw me,” says model @stuckinteenage on being discovered just six months ago while working at @chipotlemexicangrill. Since then Williams has signed with @dnamodels, walked in her first show at @calvinklein and landed on the cover of @vogueitalia – a high point of any model’s career. To read @lisajlockwood’s full interview with the model on her experiences thus far, head to WWD.com – link in bio. (📷: George Chinsee)
“I love the idea of dialogue, period. It’s where I’ve always gotten my inspiration from: hearing other women speak, their journeys and their paths,” said @hereisgina, who delivered the keynote speech during @sxsw for @createcultivate in partnership with @fossil. For her two panels, Rodriguez chose female empowering, female-led and female entrepreneurs to focus on. Head to WWD.com to read more about her thoughts on Time’s Up, growing up in a family of women and why we “need a girls’ club.” #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
Leading luxury brand are shaking things up to keep up with streetwear. Case in point: the arrival of @mrkimjones as artistic director of @diorhomme. Jones, who succeeds @Kris_Van_Assche, is seen as one of the handful of designers who can actually straddle the luxury and streetwear worlds — which could lead to even more changes at established brands. What could this mean for the rest of the menswear landscape? Head to WWD.com to find out what experts predict #wwdfashion (📷: @franckmura)
“It’s like buying groceries. You’re going to buy the best mango, the best mozzarella, the best things. You have to, or others are going to take it all,” said @gabrielahearst on why she uses only the finest fabrics. Last week, Hearst received her first @cfda nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year, and earlier this month she opened a permanent showroom in Paris. To read @jessiredale’s interview with the designer and find out why this is shaping up to be a big year for her, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @francoisgoize)
“It’s an interesting thing, playing a younger version of your mother. It’s an interesting concept. I adore my mom and love her in every capacity, but it was just something that had never crossed my mind,” says @anniemstarke on playing a young Joan Castleman in “The Wife.” The same role will be played by her mother Glenn Close. Read more about her growing up in the film industry as the daughter of producer John H. Starke and Close and what she has planned for the future #wwdeye (📷: @nataliamantini)
@asics is launching a new streetwear sneaker inspired by its latest ambassador, @steveaoki. The Hyper-Kenzen x Aoki, which will launch at @footlocker stores exclusively tomorrow, is a slip-on style that incorporates the brand’s proprietary Gel technology through beads integrated into the midsole for comfort and endurance. Read the full story on WWD.com.