China’s leading luxury market now reflected in latest LOUIS VUITTON collection

As China is rapidly growing into the most important luxury market worlwide, more and more international luxury brands incorporate Chinese themes in their collections.  Late last year Chanel’s debuted its pre-fall collection in Shanghai), and in the run-up to the ongoing Shanghai World Expo saw ”China-only” designs from Prada, Ferragamo and Chanel.

However, the recently unveiled Louis Vuitton spring-summer 2011 menswear collection takes a somewhat different approach than that employed by other fashion houses, adding design cues and materials that are distinctively Chinese while aiming these products at Western, rather than Chinese consumers. Quilted blazers were made of luminous silks, and whiskered Chinese dragons dressed up the leather totes and other accessories that are the historic trunk-maker’s main cash cow. Models sported temporary tattoos of Chinese zodiac signs — sometimes intermingled with Vuitton’s interlocking LV symbols — on their necks and calves, and their translucent button-down shirts were printed with similar tattoo designs.

Designer Marc Jacobs said in an interview: “China is obviously a great market and everyone talks about the modernity and the interest of it … but I think probably the least appealing thing to the Chinese market is any kind of Asian reference,”  “It wasn’t about appealing from a business point of view.”