THE SCOOP BY ANTOINE ARNAULT

BONO + ALI HEWSON 

BONO + ALI HEWSON 

Travel is an emotional experience; a process of self-discovery. It has also been a defining value of Louis Vuitton for over 150 years.

In more recent years, Louis Vuitton has also established itself as one of the world’s leading fashion houses. In this way, we communicate in two different but complementary ways: with seasonal fashion statements and a long-term campaign about the company’s core values.

To convey the core values message, Louis Vuitton has featured personalities of extraordinary stature throughout the years. Mikhail Gorbachev, Catherine Deneuve, Keith Richards and Sean Connery are but some of the figures who have been captured by renowned portrait photographer, Annie Leibovitz. With this new addition, we welcome one of the world’s most influential stars, Bono, and his wife Ali Hewson, honoring the tremendous work they do through Edun in Africa.

Ali Hewson and U2-vocalist Bono – founders of Edun – are the latest modern icons to be photographed by Annie Leibovitz for Louis Vuitton’s Core Values advertising campaign, shot in Africa in March of this year.

Antoine Arnault, head of communications at Louis Vuitton, comments: “We are delighted that both Ali and Bono, who have never before participated in an advertising campaign, agreed to be photographed for Core Values. We are very proud of our association with Edun.”

The image, portraying Ali and Bono walking in a vast landscape, reflects the couple’s long relationship with Africa. Both are long-term campaigners in the fight against extreme poverty and in 2005 they founded the ethical clothing label Edun to encourage trade with Africa and to highlight the possibilities for the fashion community to do business there. In 2009, LVMH, in line with its long-standing commitment to sustainable development, acquired a 49% stake in Edun in order to promote more widely the brand’s positive vision of responsible trade.

The latest Louis Vuitton’s “Core Values” ad campaign features a barefoot Angelina Jolie in her first Vuitton ad, photographed by Annie Leibovitz in Cambodia’s Siem Reap province, where the actress filmed Lara Croft: Tomb Raider in 2000. Jolie is presumably wearing her own clothes, no makeup, and toting her own elegantly weathered monogrammed Alto bag.




The ad is slated to break in the International HeraldTribune on Wednesday, followed by a range of news, general interest and lifestyle publications, including Vanity Fair.

The client declined to disclose budgets for the media buy, or comment on reports Vuitton paid the American actress millions for the shoot. He would only say Jolie donated an undisclosed portion of her fees to a charity.

The campaign is expected to run for at least 18 months alongside a few other recent “core values” personalities, including Bono and Sean Connery. Vuitton introduced the advertising concept in 2007 as a way to trumpet its travel roots and showcase its perennial monogrammed leather goods as a balance to its fashion-driven marketing — and to reach a broader audience. Other personalities who have posed for Vuitton include Mikhail Gorbachev, Keith Richards and Catherine Deneuve.

Arnault said Louis Vuitton is picking "achievers who changed things" to star in the ads. The first series included Deneuve sitting on a Vuitton trunk in a film-set train station, and tennis champions Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf cuddling on a couch near their luggage.

Richards was photographed by Vanity Fair contributor Annie Leibovitz and the image features lamps hung with black scarves printed with skulls. A caption reads: "Some journeys cannot be put into words."

Keith Richards is the new face of Louis Vuitton, the French maker of luxury handbags and luggage.

The 64-year-old Rolling Stone appeared on a London billboard today and advertising placed in British newspapers. The campaign will feature in magazines throughout March, Antoine Arnault, Vuitton's head of communications and the 30-year-old son of Bernard Arnault, founder of brand owner LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, said in a Feb. 28 interview.

The younger Arnault said the ads are designed to promote Vuitton's heritage in luggage and win back older customers that lost interest as the label became more fashion-oriented. Earlier ads in the campaign featured the former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and the actress Catherine Deneuve. Richards appears with a deeply wrinkled face holding a guitar in a hotel room with a custom-made Vuitton guitar case behind him on the bed.

"Keith Richards is timeless and ageless," said Rita Clifton, who heads the British division of the brand consultant Interbrand. "He's lived his life on the edge but he's not a sleaze bag. He's lean and mean and he's still current."

Arnault, speaking in his Paris office, said Louis Vuitton is picking "achievers who changed things" to star in the ads. The first series included Deneuve sitting on her Vuitton trunk in a film-set train station, and the former tennis champions Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf cuddling on a couch near their luggage.

Richards was photographed by the Vanity Fair contributor Annie Leibovitz and the image features lamps hung with black scarves printed with skulls. A caption reads: "Some journeys cannot be put into words."

The younger Arnault said Louis Vuitton wants to reach business customers and frequent flyers who thought the label had shifted from being a travel brand. Since 1997, Marc Jacobs, the brand's creative director, has driven Vuitton's expansion into clothing.

Arnault declined to release figures on ad spending or say which celebrities will feature next. Two more famous people will appear this year, he said.

According to estimates by Alessandra Rossi, marketing manager for Nielsen Global AdView, Louis Vuitton spent about $80 million last year between January and November advertising in the Asia-Pacific region, Germany, Italy, Britain and the United States.

Louis Vuitton, whose advertising expenses rose 28 percent last year, was the fourth-largest spender after Gucci, Armani and Ralph Lauren and spent more than Prada, according to Rossi's estimates, which are based on standard market rates.

The label, whose Neverfull handbags can cost more than $600, is also advertising on television, with a global campaign making its way to France March 10 after breaking in U.S. cinemas and cable channels last month. The 90-second spot, developed with the agency Ogilvy & Mather and the director Bruno Aveillan, doesn't feature celebrities, shows few LV logos and offers captions about personal journeys while music plays.