PARIS, France — Longtime LVMH executive and former Louis Vuitton CEO Yves Carcelle passed away on Sunday in Paris at the age of 66 after a battle with cancer.
Carcelle was widely admired within the luxury goods industry for the energy and passion with which he approached his metier. In his two-decade-long tenure as chairman and chief executive of Louis Vuitton, he was responsible for driving the brand’s international expansion and transformation from a quiet leather goods and luggage maker into an iconic global brand.
In 1997, he played a key role in recruiting Marc Jacobs – then a young upstart from New York – as creative director of Louis Vuitton, adding ready-to-wear to the product mix and lending the brand a glamorous, fashion-forward sheen that helped it become LVMH’s flagship fashion brand and cash cow.
In an internal statement, LVMH chairman and chief executive Bernard Arnault said, “It is with great sadness and emotion that I learned of the death of Yves Carcelle, a tireless traveller. Yves was the image of the house that he so long embodied: A pioneer, always curious, passionate, on the move. He was one of the most inspiring leaders I have ever met. LVMH today lost one its dearest friends.”
He exited Louis Vuitton in 2012 but remained on LVMH’s executive board, assisting Mr Arnault with strategic developments and brand extensions. Most recently, he was appointed executive vice president of Fondation Louis Vuitton, an art museum and cultural centre designed by Frank Gehry, set to open in October on the outskirts of Paris.