Friday, September 7, 2007

v.i.p. for vuitton

" 'A journey brings us face to face with ourselves.' Berlin Wall. Returning from a conference."

These words are printed on the latest Louis Vuitton advertisement (below) which features Mikhail Gorbachev, the last president of the Soviet Union.

Coming from a series of luxurious but lifeless ads with actress Scarlett Johansson, Vuitton's advertising suddenly found a soul – one that did not dwell merely on the photoshopped bodies and empty stares of Hollywood ingenues – but on the inspiring life journey of a giant such as Gorbachev.

Some have criticized Gorbachev for 'peddling luggage' for the French luxury brand, even if they knew that Vuitton made huge donations to the environmental charity which Gorbachev founded, Green Cross International. For them, commercialization was beneath a V.I.P. of Gorbachev's level.

But personally, I loved the campaign.

I had never been a Vuitton fanatic... never bought any of those monogrammed canvas bags. In truth, I found them overly-copied and overpriced. But last week, when I opened the newspaper and saw Gorbachev peering out of a 50s Kremlin limo passing by the vestiges of the Berlin wall, I was immediately hooked! I loved the model, the setting, the photography, the colors, the mood, and the message. With a newfound respect for the ubiquitous Louis Vuitton (or LV) bag, I called the nearest store right away – haha! One of the staff informed me that Gorbachev's bag was called the 'Keepall' and that it was available. Like a hypnotized subject, I automatically had one reserved!

Seems like LV is going to 'bag' a lot of new customers (like me) with this ad. ;-)

The V.I.P. Bearbrick (top, right) from Series 4 is a rare bear, with only .52% availability. And it's the only one with gold glitter. Now, that's what I'd call V.I.P – Very Impressive Plastic!

Info from / Gorbachev pic by Annie Leibovitz from


Carol said...

nice post, ariel! i followed the link to the LV site and the steffi graf & andre agassi journey is such a treat! can't wait for the catherine deneuve and mikhail gorbachev journeys :-) said...

Thanks, Carol!

I liked Andre Agassi's personal insights on life in the Big Apple. Very well put... :-)

Anonymous said...

I too like this image of Gorbachev. I appreciate the thought behind this campaign. It's more creative than a pretty face peddling accessories. said...

Hi, Donna, I'm sure you'll enjoy the Gorbachev interactive 'journeys' diary on the Vuitton website when it comes out... Make sure you see it. :-)