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Luxury’s First €20 Billion Brand

This week LVMH will report results, and executives may offer clues about its megabrands’ next steps under new leadership. That plus what else to watch for this week.
Artwork by Yayoi Kusama decorates Louis Vuittons flagship store on London's Bond Street.
Artwork by Yayoi Kusama decorates Louis Vuittons flagship store on London's Bond Street. (SOPA Images)

Since December, LVMH has announced new CEOs for Louis Vuitton, Dior and the family holding company that controls the world’s largest luxury conglomerate itself. It has installed a mix of next-generation Arnaults and industry veterans in key roles. And there may be more change to come, as some of the group’s most trusted managers approach retirement.

The market took this month’s reshuffle in stride. Last week, shares hit a record high.

It’s not hard to see why investors are confident in LVMH’s future. On Thursday, LVMH will report its 2022 results. While it typically doesn’t break out individual brands’ sales, the group’s financials should give analysts confidence to declare LVMH flagship Louis Vuitton luxury’s first brand to record €20 billion in annual sales (HSBC and others have previously estimated 2022 sales crossed that threshold). A looming recession, China’s Covid outbreak and the lack of a permanent menswear designer don’t seem to have hurt the brand much at all (though it’s worth keeping in mind that LVMH shares also started last year at an all-time high, only to tumble amid doubts about whether wealthy consumers would keep up their pandemic-era spending).

For now at least, the challenges facing new Louis Vuitton CEO Pietro Beccari are mainly about how to grow a brand that’s already operating at an unprecedented scale. As BoF’s Robert Williams wrote shortly after his appointment, “shock and awe” marketing tactics helped get Vuitton where it is today, but it’s no longer the only brand staging large-scale travelling shows or tapping renowned artists to create installations for its stores. A €20 billion brand can’t be niche, but going too broad carries risks of its own.

For the first time since the pandemic, LVMH executives will meet financial analysts in person after releasing their earnings. The event has typically served as a forum for Bernard Arnault to articulate his vision for the group in the coming year. If he speaks he’ll have plenty of past accomplishments to brag about, but we’ll be more interested in hearing about what’s coming next.

Sunday

Lunar New Year begins

Modefabriek trade show in Amsterdam

Sacai, Maison Margiela and others close out Paris Fashion Week, Men’s

Monday

Couture Week begins in Paris: Schiaparelli, Iris Van Herpen, Dior, Giambattista Valli are among the day one highlights

Eurozone consumer confidence data released

Tuesday

Swiss watch exports for December released

Chanel, Ronald Van Der Kemp, Alexandre Vaulthier, Giorgio Armani show couture

Wednesday

Texworld trade show begins in NYC

Levi’s, Zegna report results

Jean Paul Gaultier, Valentino couture shows

Thursday

LVMH reports fourth-quarter and full-year results

Mugler, Robert Wun, Fendi couture shows

Friday

H&M reports results

The Week Ahead wants to hear from you! Send tips, suggestions, complaints and compliments to brian.baskin@businessoffashion.com.

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