Louis Vuitton, Supreme, and Youth Culture

Louis Vuitton, Supreme, and Youth Culture

When it was announced that Kim Jones, Artistic Director of Men's Collections, had given the green light to collaborate with notorious street-wear brand Supreme I was honestly puzzled. Supreme is known for their limited release drops, printed t-shirts (including a previous version of their bogo box logo tee that used the classic Louis Vuitton LV print without authorization.) and their hostile employees. Supreme was born of skate and youth culture not the upper echelon so why would these two brands collaborate and more importantly who is their target customer? Louis Vuitton's customers are not necessarily the kind to camp out outside of Supreme's stores for a chance to get a piece from the latest drop and I'm sure that even the most die hard Supreme fan doesn't have the coin to purchase a phone case that retails for over $1,000.

 

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Luxury brands are co-opting youth culture for their marketing campaigns which in turn has garnered much press and social media buzz but at the end of the day I don't know of many people in the 20-26 range who have the disposable income to drop on these kinds of products. Sure you have the social media stars, models, and members of Young Hollywood's elite who may be able to swing the cost of a bag but what about the consumers who's culture you've essentially commodified? Are you hiring members from that community to work on your creative teams?

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I don't see an issue with borrowing from youth culture to push the entry level products that the youth may actually be able to attain i.e. fragrances and small leather goods but I feel that if the larger houses like Louis Vuitton are going to pull inspiration from youth culture, specifically culture belonging to minorities and marginalized groups, that they should do something to incorporate those communities within their organization.

-CJ

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