PARIS — No matinee idols for Louis Vuitton. Its latest poster boy, Keith Richards, has deep wrinkles, smudged eyeliner and unruly hair as he sits strumming a guitar in an untidy hotel suite. And Antoine Arnault, Vuitton's head of communications, couldn't be more pleased. "We thought it was important to continue with someone unexpected," Arnault said of the Richards ad, slated to break in a range of general-interest titles in April. "I think when people are flipping through a magazine, this will stop them."
A legendary guitar player and a founding member of The Rolling Stones, Richards is the latest personality to appear in Vuitton's "core values" campaign, designed to underscore the brand's travel heritage and classic monogram leather goods as a balance to its fashion-driven marketing. Launched last fall, the first batch of ads — starring Mikhail Gorbachev, Catherine Deneuve and tennis deities Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf — will continue to appear in tandem with the Richards image. The new spot comes with the tag line, "Some journeys cannot be put into words," and the rocker's haunting, hypnotic expression says it all. Arnault recalled that, when Annie Leibovitz displayed the photograph on a computer monitor after the shoot, Richards exclaimed: "It looks like a Rembrandt." Albeit one with many rock 'n' roll details, including black scarves printed with skulls covering the table lamps — a Richards touch — and a custom-made Vuitton guitar case tossed on the bed.
Thanks in part to his long rapport with Leibovitz, Richards accepted the invitation to pose for the French luxury brand readily, Arnault said. He even went to a Vuitton store the day before and picked out a leather jacket to wear for the shoot. The musician donated a portion of his fee to The Climate Project, an environmental charity.
Arnault said that Vuitton plans to add more surprising faces to its campaign, but declined to identify them. He also would not discuss budgets, but said that Vuitton would spend "significantly" more on communications in 2008 as the company ventures into television and film advertising, and adds more of what he considers "core-values characters."
As for Richards, "We think the image is so strong, we'll try to launch it in some newspapers" as well as some edgy fashion titles like V Magazine, Arnault said. "The good thing about Keith is, he's big just about everywhere. He speaks to the 20-year-old who's into rock 'n' roll and the 65-year-olds who went to [a Rolling Stones] concert when they were 20."The core-values campaign has already bumped up traffic in Vuitton stores, with managers reporting that it "brought back people who might have thought Vuitton was not for them any more," Arnault said. "It reassured the customer."
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
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The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion