Monday, September 25, 2006

Louis Vuitton The Cartoon

Just passed by the Louis Vuitton store inside Taipei 101 today.
The new version of its "monogram" or logo products was on show in the window. After the multicolored logos on white or black background, the cherries, and last spring's perforations, the latest invention is now ... a cartoon character.
The wallets and agendas on show - and something tells me the cartoon will not make on to full-size handbags and luggage - each have two stripes crossing the logos: one white, and one in another color, red, or orange, or yellow. And on those stripes, you can see the cartoon character I talked about: a young guy in a hotel porter's uniform. I imagine he is supposed to suggest 'travel' and 'holiday' in your mind. My first reaction was that he reminded me of one of the heroes of my youth: Belgium's Tintin, the intrepid journalist who went around the world to fight evil, save his Tibetan friend Chang, and so on.
My wife's reaction to the appearance of a cartoon on Louis Vuitton products was: are they really running out of imagination?
Looking at Louis Vuitton's French web site, I can't seem to find any references to the new style, and I don't know whose design it is. Maybe it's time to give that Taiwanese artist a chance who helped out the launch of Louis Vuitton's Taipei Maison a couple of months ago. Michael Lin - also known in Chinese as Lin Ming-hung - did a great job flashing Chinese designs on to one of Taipei's largest buildings, and maybe he should do the same with its bags. Give the old French lady a touch of Taiwan, a touch of Asian culture. If you did with modern Japan, why not Chinese culture?
Returning to Louis Vuitton's shop windows, the other side showed a piece of luggage with a more subtle logo, and with the slogan 'Voyagez, Voguez, Volez' which is French for something like 'Travel, Lounge, Fly.' Exactly what the reddish bag inspired me to do. So Louis Vuitton still stands for style after all. Forget all the annual innovations like cartoons and perforations, just give us good taste in modest doses.


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