PARIS — It looks like Uma Thurman’s relationship with Louis Vuitton is getting even more serious.
While shooting the forthcoming fall-winter campaign in March, her second for the French luxury brand, talk on the set turned to the possibility of reuniting for a third time, for the spring-summer 2006 season.
“I did mention it,” Marc Jacobs, Vuitton’s creative director, said on Wednesday. “We all talked about it during the shoot. It just sort of feels like it works.”
While reporting record 2004 net profits of $1.26 billion at LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton in March, chairman Bernard Arnault quipped that celebrities in advertising practically guarantee success. Along with the likes of Brad Pitt, Tiger Woods and Maria Sharapova, Thurman also stars in ads for LVMH’s watch brand Tag Heuer.
For his part, Jacobs heard favorable reactions from all quarters, from his friends to colleagues at Vuitton headquarters. “It was quite nice to give the people what they wanted,” he said. “I think [Uma] is gorgeous. Men find her gorgeous, and women want to look like her. She’s exciting, glamorous and sophisticated.”
Still, the campaign, slated to break in August magazine issues worldwide, has a different mood from the spring spots.
“There’s a bit more mystery, a bit more sultriness and more of a fashion edge,” Jacobs said during an exclusive preview. “It sends out a very strong atmosphere. I love the mood of it.”
Jacobs also had special praise for the men’s portion of the campaign featuring a trio of models — Christian Jorgensen, Jeremy Dufour and Chris Faroux — and a striking carpet-print weekend bag.
Vuitton regulars Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott photographed the cast on a colorful set composed of lacquer tables, plush banquettes and orchids galore.
Jacobs has taken the celebrity route for several seasons at Vuitton, thanks to a blockbuster reception to the fall 2003 campaign featuring Jennifer Lopez. Scarlett Johansson, Chloe Sevigny, Christina Ricci and Diane Kruger have also modeled for the brand.
In fact, Jacobs said the celebrity-versus-model question now seems moot. “I do think people respond to celebrities at the moment, and it’s been like that for the past couple of years,” he said. “There aren’t many models around who have a larger-than-life, star quality.”
This story first appeared in the June 2, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
What’s more, he said Thurman “seems to be a great face for this brand. It’s difficult to find a good match.”
The budget for the campaign was not disclosed, but is believed to have increased given double-digit sales momentum at Vuitton. Analysts estimate Vuitton spends about 6 percent of sales annually on advertising, which would amount to about 186 million euros, or $230 million at current exchange.