The Diplomacy of the Fashion Industry

The luxury fashion industry today is very much like Game of Thrones. Hear me out. Admittedly, there’s far less dragons (all bar Gucci’s most recent show) and the most extreme the torture gets is in the form of painfully high heels, however, the concepts of strategy and tactical union are nonetheless prevalent in both.

Firms that take up a sizeable portion of the market such as LVMH and Kering have many factors to think about in order to maintain their positions of power. Among many techniques, one of the most common is that of acquiring new brands to bring into their glamorous folds, whether that be in a vastly different section of the fashion industry, a brand of increasing reputation and sales, or increasing a stake in a firm in which they already have a financial presence.

This time last year, Dior was fully initiated into the LVMH family through a series of complicated transactions. Now, a year on, Kris Van Assche is stepping down from his role in Dior Homme as creative director, allowing for Kim Jones, of Louis Vuitton, to take his place. This template would make for a classic Game of Thrones or royal drama plot line. LVMH needs its most recent acquisition onside, to not make a fuss, sit quiet and comply. One way of looking at the method of how they’ve brought this about is by arranging a diplomatic marriage. LVMH have, in a sense, ‘gifted’ Kim Jones to the house of Dior, a man who has already enjoyed plenty of hype and success in recent years. In addition, Kim Jones, naturally very grateful to LVMH for the number of opportunities he has been given over the years, and the positive contribution the firm has made towards his success, would be more than happy to pass any information on up the ladder if need be. If Jones felt a disturbance or a sense of unsatisfaction within Dior, he could easily inform the parent board of any issues which could be quashed in a more rapid fashion than before.

The natural competition between the two large firms, Kering and LVMH, could also be likened to a rivalry of two houses, each competing in similar fields to outdo each other. This is not necessarily solely prevalent in sales, revenue and profit, but also in philanthropy. Much like the Medici, LVMH and Kering  develop many public projects as an assertion of dominance and presence within the public sphere. An excellent article that touches upon this is that of Vanessa Friedman for the New York Times, which I  thoroughly recommend and have linked below.

So, what do you think? Can you think of any other parallels between the realm of luxury fashion and that of Game of Thrones?

Vanessa’s Article

Issi x

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