Louis Vuitton’s New 100,000 Square-Foot Texas Factory
Joined by LVMH chairman Bernard Arnault and Texas Governor Rick Perry, President Trump attended a ribbon cutting ceremony at Louis Vuitton’s newest 100,000-square-foot workshop in Keene, Texas.
The new workshop, called the Louis Vuitton Rochambeau Ranch, is a product of the fashion house’s need to “meet the ever-growing demand for Louis Vuitton products in the American market,” read a press release by the company.
The demand could be due to the fact that Louis Vuitton is a more established brand that has the resources to infiltrate any market they desire. There are only a few thriving fashion scenes in the United States. The industry seems more successful in other parts of the world.
Louis Vuitton products appeal to people who want to enter the luxury market. Rarely do the people who wear “it” bags like the Neverfull understand the history of the bag or even the materials that go into making it. For some people, wearing Louis Vuitton is simply a status symbol.
As for the factory, it is projected that it will produce around 1,000 jobs in the span of five years. Currently, 150 people are employed at the new workshop. These employees were recruited at training centers that the brand opened in Texas two years ago.
But, who was targeted when the training centers opened? Is the new factory filled with minorities who are being dealt unfair working conditions and low pay?
Louis Vuitton recently signed a Trump administration initiative that promises to bring more jobs and higher pay to workers in America. This new factory is in part how the luxury brand aims to do so. Other major brands like Walmart and Rolex have also joined the initiative.
President Trump toured the workshop on Thursday, Oct 17 along with Arnault, Ivanka, Jared Kushner, and employees of the factory. During the celebratory event, he gave a speech about job creation.
It’s no secret that the site of this new location is an odd choice for the Parisian brand, but the move comes out of necessity. Demand for Louis Vuitton products is growing exponentially in America.
Louis Vuitton has felt creatively tired for a while. They haven’t been doing anything groundbreaking in recent years. All the hype around the brand comes from their recent efforts to appeal to a different market, like their appointment of Virgil Abloh as creative director.
In regards to the event at the factory, President Trump’s attendance was not without backlash. Even Nicolas Ghesquière, Louis Vuitton’s creative director of womenswear, shared his criticisms through an Instagram post expressing his distaste about Trump being at the event.
“Standing against any political action. I am a fashion designer refusing this association #trumpisajoke #homophobia,” said Ghesquière in the post’s caption.
Ghesquière taking a public stance against the decision is respectable of him, considering he is a well-known face of the brand.
The opening of the factory doesn’t signal a change in terms of how accessible their products are going to be. If anything, the new “Made in the U.S.A” branding will come up with a price markup.