Preserving the past while focussing on a brighter future is fundamental to Louis Vuitton’s local community projects as the brand’s initiative in Chennai proves

“Louis Vuitton is not about fashion, it’s about luxury,” said a suave Geoffroy Van Raemdonck, surveying the clutter-free arrangement of iconic bags at the swish store in Bergamo Mall on Khader Nawaz Khan Road.

In Chennai recently, Raemdonck, the brand’s president for South Europe, continued, “Luxury depends on the intricate hand skills of craftsmen. At LV, we have high respect for craftsmanship. An LV bag is bought as an investment, it lasts multiple generations.”

A study in contrast, an LV creation marries simplicity and detail, luxury and practicality. “When a woman carries a bag, she puts in things that are precious to her. We perceive an LV bag as a constant companion in people’s lives… through their varied journeys.”

It’s Chennai’s “great appreciation of tradition, culture and crafts” that made it the brand’s fifth destination in India. “It’s the first store that’s not located in a hotel or a mainstream mall. We realised that a number of LV clients at stores in other metros in India and abroad were from Chennai. And they were not just interested in any one item; their tastes spanned a spectrum of products. That’s what encouraged us to launch a standalone store in Chennai.”

Partnership in Chennai

To make the launch more meaningful, LV announced a three-year partnership with DakshinaChitra. It involves scholarships for talented, but underprivileged students who enrol themselves for the postgraduate course in Arts Management. It’s been Louis Vuitton’s endeavour to play a significant role in a range of local community projects worldwide. Making the announcement about the Chennai initiative, Yves Carcelle, Chairman and CEO, said, “Supporting savoir-faire and education is important to Louis Vuitton. Preserving the past and focussing on a brighter future are fundamental to our work. We have constantly embraced traditional craftsmanship while carrying forward the spirit of innovation.”

According to Deborah Thiagarajan, president, Madras Craft Foundation (DakshinaChitra is one of its projects), “The full-time Arts Management postgraduate course meets the growing demand for professionals to manage museums and cultural organisations in visual and performing arts.”

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Krithika ReddyMay 11, 2012