Emmanuel Macron’s victory was also a victory for Louis Vuitton

by

The New York Times

Emmanuel Macron’s victory in the French presidential election last Sunday (24) was not just a victory for the young president’s vision of France and its role in the world, or for centrism against the political extreme right, although these two things are true.

It was also a victory for fashion, especially high fashion, and for the role it plays in reflecting French culture and heritage around the world.

If there’s still any doubt, just check out Brigitte Macron’s election night outfit, a bespoke ensemble made by Louis Vuitton, with a navy blue blazer and military-style silver accents, accompanied by similarly styled pants, all of this. perfectly coordinated with the navy blue suit worn by her husband. It was a choice that reflected the couple’s united front as well as the ideological battleground the election turned into. And it acted as a subtle signal, coming from a government that favors big business and the free market, that those leanings will continue to flourish in the president’s second term.

The French luxury goods sector, after all, has shown its sympathy for Emmanuel Macron since his first presidential campaign in 2017, and Louis Vuitton has been his wife’s favorite brand since she became first lady.

While she has worn other major French brands, including Balmain (whose stylist, Olivier Rousteing, posted an Instagram statement praising Macron’s re-election) and Alexandre Vauthier, none have been in her wardrobe as often as Louis Vuitton. Brigitte Macron wore designer pieces during many of her most performative moments — the occasions most likely to be visually preserved for history, in which she serves as a representative not only of herself and her spouse but of the country as a whole.

She wore a Vuitton ensemble to her husband’s first inauguration in 2017 (a baby blue ensemble with a short skirt, plus a military-inspired jacket). At the Bastille Day (July 14) ceremonies in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020, her choice was Vuitton. And the same goes for state dinners at home and abroad, like the gala dinner hosted by President Donald Trump in honor of the Macrons in 2018. The total number of times she opted for Vuitton models can be tracked on an Instagram account. dedicated to the first lady’s favorite fashion, @thebrigittestyle.

While previous French First Ladies have also associated themselves with classic French fashion labels such as Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, who often opted for Dior and Hermès, and Bernadette Chirac, who was a fan of Chanel, and although the Macron couple showed support broadening French fashion, hosting designers for two dinners at the Élysée Palace during Paris Fashion Week, Brigitte Macron is the first to work so closely with Louis Vuitton.

It’s an alliance between political power and business power that serves both sides very well. Fashion, after all, is part of the foundations of the French economy and national heritage, and Louis Vuitton plays a very specific role in both. The sector accounts for one million jobs in the country, for 2.7% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and for 150 billion euros (about R$ 790 billion) in direct sales each year, according to the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, the sectoral organization of French fashion companies.

And within French fashion, Louis Vuitton – which is currently celebrating the bicentennial of the man who gave the brand its name – is a central hub, the cornerstone of LVMH, the world’s largest luxury goods group. And, not coincidentally, the LVMH is led by Bernard Arnault, the third richest man on the planet and an enthusiastic supporter of Emmanuel Macron.

Louis Vuitton is also the name of one of the newest museums in Paris, the Louis Vuitton Foundation, which opened in 2014. The institution, conceived by Arnaud as a “gift” to the city and housed in a building designed by architect Frank Gehry, will be transferred to municipal control in 2070.

In late 2021, Macron helped open the Morozov Collection exhibition at the new museum, the first time this celebrated Russian collection has been displayed in Europe. (Although the loan required the approval of Russian President Vladimir Putin, LVMH declared its support for all those affected “by the tragic situation in Ukraine.) Also last year, Macron posed with Arnault at the opening of the Samaritaine department store, This is yet another LVMH property, and the president said the reopening served as a metaphor for the reopening of Paris after the isolation caused by Covid-19.

It is a relationship that is not without symbolic risks, given the associations with elitism, wealth and class contained in the term “luxury”. In the 2018 yellow vest protests against rising fuel prices, many of the luxury boutiques on upscale shopping streets like the Faubourg Saint-Honoré were the target of demonstrations, symbolizing what activists saw as Marie Antoinette-style isolation. president – ​​a criticism that was echoed by his opponents in the recent election campaign. (Marine Le Pen strove resolutely to avoid wearing any brand name during her presidential campaign.)

By choosing a Louis Vuitton model again for the victory night celebration, Brigitte Macron seems to be hinting that her husband will redouble his efforts regarding the special relationship that the couple has with the fashion world. Although she herself avoids commenting on this matter.

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