Gu Ailing, a skier who brings the trend of power and beauty to the Chinese market, fits seamlessly with the female warrior image created by LV. From the high-end fashion runway to the consumer's wardrobe, how the fashion is transformed step by step is enduring. proposition.
According to fashion business news, Louis Vuitton, the world's largest luxury brand, held a 2023 early spring women's clothing series show led by the current women's clothing creative director Nicolas Ghesquière at the Salk Institute of Biology in San Diego, California on May 12, local time in the United States. This grand event, which marks the return of luxury brands to large-scale fashion shows, has begun to warm up half a month ago.
With just a very visually striking picture of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies at sunset, Louis Vuitton has created a rare post-epidemic atmosphere of anticipation before the show. The sun sets in from the centre of this Brutalist work by architect Louis Kahn, which perfectly frames the sun on the central axis of the central fountain, creating a breathtakingly sublime beauty.
The Louis Vuitton 2023 Cruise Collection was held at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego, USA.
Nicolas Ghesquière's final presentation of the women's collection was seamlessly rendered with the location. The combination of metallic futurism and retro court silhouettes creates an immersive artistic experience like the movie Dune or the Metaverse, against a grand natural and artificial backdrop. The female warriors who emerged slowly gave the entire fashion show a rare cinematic feel.
It is worth noting that Chinese Olympian Gu Ailing was also invited to perform on stage to perform modeling and present her T-stage debut, which sparked discussions among domestic audiences. Up to now, the live broadcast of the show has been viewed nearly 30 million times on the Weibo platform.
Chinese Olympian Gu Ailing was invited to perform on the stage and presented her runway debut.
This is undoubtedly a typical early spring show by Nicolas Ghesquière. The elements that must be included in an early spring fashion show led by him include but are not limited to a show site selection that includes architectural wonders, the eternal theme of time and space travel, the carefully constructed clothing silhouette structure, and a group of typical LV female warriors.
In May 2014, Nicolas Ghesquière held his first pre-spring fashion show since taking over at the Palais Royal in Monaco. Since then, he has brought the early spring vacation show to contemporary architectural landmarks around the world every year, and his footprints have spread all over the Miho Art Museum in Japan, the JFK Airport in New York, and the Niterói Museum of Contemporary Art in Brazil. And his spring, summer and autumn and winter main series are fixed at the French landmark Louvre, making Louis Vuitton the first fashion brand to hold a show in the Louvre.
This tradition of global shows, on the one hand, has continuously strengthened the travel theme of Louis Vuitton for 150 years, and on the other hand, Nicolas Ghesquière has gradually become part of the brand's history.
In the field of art and fashion, Nicolas Ghesquière's collaboration with Louis Vuitton is almost impeccable. During his tenure as creative director of womenswear at Louis Vuitton from 2014 to the present, his collections have always been a perfect fusion of past, present and future.
While star creative director Marc Jacobs made pioneering contributions during the period when Louis Vuitton opened up the ready-to-wear business, the widespread market penetration of Louis Vuitton's ready-to-wear business has deeply branded Nicolas Ghesquière's personal style with the brand's womenswear. The image becomes inseparable.
Louis Vuitton CEO Michael Burke once said that in this turbulent era, Nicolas Ghesquière's ability to lead people to travel back in time and imagine the future is exactly what the brand needs. His overall narrative is a beacon for the brand's entire ecosystem.
Nicolas Ghesquière's collections always perfectly blend the past, the present and the future.
In addition to echoing the brand spirit of Louis Vuitton through retro-futurism, the image of the future female warrior he created is also in line with the current era of gender equality. French First Lady Emmanuel Macron, actor Lea Seydoux and others have maintained long-term close contact. Other women Nicolas Ghesquière has chosen to work with are quite powerful, including tennis player Naomi Osaka, starring Liu Yifei in "Mulan", and the latest partner is Olympic champion Gu Ailing, who has been promoted to Chinese national idol.
However, in the process of moving from the high fashion runway to the market, Louis Vuitton womenswear has also become a more difficult existence to be converted commercially.
The raging market competition in recent years has penetrated into every category. Even for Louis Vuitton, which can rely on the traditional leather goods business to "make money while lying down", it still hopes to pry open the lock on the growth of the ready-to-wear business, so that it can achieve the purpose of applause and popularity. Only by continuously elevating its status as a high-end fashion house and not simply as a leather goods brand selling old flowers, can it secure its position as the world's largest luxury brand.
The word of mouth in the field of high fashion is the reason why Louis Vuitton needs Nicolas Ghesquière, who comes from an orthodox fashion background. But the commercialization dilemma faced by Nicolas Ghesquière has also become more prominent.
On a global scale, Nicolas Ghesquière's old-fashioned creative methods that need to be chewed and experienced have been severely marginalized in the market upheaval of the past few years, facing the danger of being high and low. As early as four years ago, when Virgil Abloh entered the brand as the creative director of menswear, his sharp contrast with Nicolas Ghesquière had put the latter in a rather embarrassing situation.
Although the grassroots-born Virgil Abloh controls the menswear business, which is smaller than the womenswear business, it has obviously overwhelmed the once equally popular star designer Nicolas Ghesquière in terms of social media topics.
As a star creative director, Virgil Abloh's role in driving the sales of LV men's ready-to-wear is more direct than that of Nicolas Ghesquière.
In addition, because Virgil Abloh's trendy design style bridges the gap between the T-stage and the actual style of the store, the creative director's influence on the sales of ready-to-wear The driving effect also appears to be more direct than women's ready-to-wear.
Many industry observers believe that the problem with Louis Vuitton women's clothing is that there is a big difference between show models and commercial models. This is very different from Chanel. The atmosphere created by Chanel through the show can be transformed into the market with almost zero loss, but Louis Vuitton seems to be recognized as not something that ordinary people can control.
This is even more prominent in Chinese and even Asian aesthetic systems. Asian female consumers do not prefer such a powerful product style. For example, although Louis Vuitton has continued to promote the Twist handbag for 8 years, the feedback of the handbag in the Asian market is still tepid, and the usual consumer feedback on the Twist handbag is the same "difficult to control".
Therefore, the limitation of Nicolas Ghesquière's product style in the Asian market is reflected in the handbag products that non-presbyopia handbags such as Twist are the most profitable at the moment, and the response to the Chinese market, which has the highest enthusiasm for buying luxury handbags, is not satisfactory. In the ready-to-wear series In the middle, it is reflected that ordinary consumers think that their style is too strong, the proportion of clothing does not conform to Asian aesthetics, and it cannot highlight the figure.
Hong Huang commented on the early spring show on Weibo as "it can be recorded as the first show in the Metaverse. It is not a women's clothing. Every piece of clothing is made for the goddess." Blogger Dipsy also wrote, "completely It is a series for those female warriors who travel between the past and the future, between reality and fantasy. It is very sci-fi, dune, and Nicolas. The fashionable human female stars are extremely difficult to control. This is the fashion of the future."
These The industry evaluation also reflects the possible conflict between the dream created by Nicolas Ghesquière and the real business.
Many industry observers believe that the problem with Louis Vuitton women's clothing is that there is a big difference between show models and commercial models.
No matter how exciting the female warriors on the runway are, fashion bloggers or high-end consumers still seem to be conservative when buying show models. The same style as the star, and the most popular ready-to-wear products on social media are more presbyopia commercial styles. Because consumers think that Louis Vuitton women's ready-to-wear clothing is not as easy to match as men's clothing, in most cases, consumers will match Louis Vuitton handbags at the same time. More often, consumers buy Louis Vuitton women's clothing in the Chinese market based on brand value and the recognition of symbols such as presbyopia.
Fashion lovers and audiences are one thing, consumers may be another. How to make Louis Vuitton consumers know Nicolas Ghesquière and understand the brand's time-travel aesthetics is a very real problem.
The chain from fashion runway to store urgently needs a communication bridge. The emergence of new national idol Gu Ailing is bringing some possibilities for Chinese consumers to accept Louis Vuitton women's clothing more.
After winning the Winter Olympics, a round of aesthetic changes took place on Chinese social media. The power and beauty conveyed by skier Gu Ailing reversed the single aesthetic of white, young and thin in the Chinese market to a certain extent. The Chinese market provides a better receiving soil. Unlike other celebrities and bloggers, Gu Ailing, known as "your friend", has established a general affinity in the Chinese mass market, giving him the ability to talk to various groups.
More importantly, Louis Vuitton began to establish a deep binding relationship with Gu Ailing a year ago. Previously, the brand had invited Gu Ailing to shoot the Twist handbag advertising blockbuster, and made a better interpretation of the Twist handbag through its powerful and sporty image.
14 brand ambassadors and friends attended the event at the invitation of Louis Vuitton, making it the brand with the highest appearance rate on the red carpet at the opening of the Met Gala.
After becoming a regular guest of the Louis Vuitton fashion show, this time Gu Ailing went directly to the runway. . At the Met Gala in the United States on May 2, Louis Vuitton's huge team of brand friends attracted attention. Gu Ailing, Emma Stone , Emma Chamberlain, Gemma Chan and other 14 brand ambassadors and friends attended the event at the invitation of Louis Vuitton. Their dresses covered the brand's spring and summer series from early spring 2016 to 2022, making Louis Vuitton the opening red carpet. The most photographed brand.
Gu Ailing's interpretation of Louis Vuitton's women's clothing obviously helps the brand's image to be further rooted in the hearts of the people. However, in the process of potentially subverting traditional aesthetics, the two will inevitably face controversy. For example, Chinese social media commented on Gu Ailing's uneven dress at the Met Gala, with some commenting that the shoes in the shape made the body proportions strange.
In the early days of the Winter Olympics,
the controversy that Gu Ailing shot the cover of the February issue of Vogue Plus and served as the guest editor also appeared in the February issue of Vogue Plus, where Gu Ailing shot the cover and served as the guest editor. The release of this group of fashion blockbusters coincided with the early stage of the Winter Olympics. Driven by Gu Ailing's super popularity, this group of blockbusters set off a battle of beauty and ugliness on platforms such as Weibo and Xiaohongshu. On the cover and inside pages of this publication, Gu Ailing is wearing four different styles of Louis Vuitton.
In the age of social media, the traditional photo aesthetic, which advocates perfect images, and the fashion aesthetic, which appreciates power and visual expression, have had a head-to-head confrontation.
Such a clash of views may not be a bad thing, but a key opportunity to promote aesthetic evolution. From the past to the present and to the future, history is always written in conflict. Nicolas Ghesquière should understand this process, because as a designer who was apprenticed to Jean Paul Gaultier, trained in the tradition of haute couture, and interested in a more time-tolerant architecture, he should understand the past of human society. , present and future have a more complex and profound perception.
Last year, Louis Vuitton's grand fashion show in Shanghai was Nicolas Ghesquière's first show in China since he took office, and it was also the first time that Louis Vuitton presented women's clothing collections in China in the form of a fashion show in nearly 9 years.
The latest signal from Louis Vuitton is clear and unmistakable, that Louis Vuitton will take the lead, whether the Chinese market is ready or not.