This week I will be mostly channelling...Angelina Jolie.
The latest subject of the Louis Vuitton Core Values campaign has been filmed and photographed on a trip to Cambodia – giant monogrammed handbag in tow. Being her has never seemed so appealing.
You have to hand it to this, one of the most high-profile names in the business (that's LV, not Jolie, though she's right up there, too), where this arm of its all-encompassing marketing strategy is concerned. It's a magnificent flexing of muscle that benefits the name behind it, of course (the famous gold and brown canvas makes an appearance in every instance), is charitable (Jolie's fee, for example, has been donated to the Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation), and showcases not only the most feted portrait photographer in the world, but equally impressive subjects.
Mikhails Gorbachev and Baryshnikov have both been captured by Annie Leibovitz for Louis Vuitton's purposes by now. The dancer and the photographer are friends and the latter agreed, for the first time, to appear alongside him in her own picture. Then there's Keith Richards (with monogrammed guitar case), Buzz Aldrin, Catherine Deneuve, Francis Ford Coppola and his daughter Sofia out for a picnic lunch...
The thinking behind the campaign is clear. Fashion ephemera is all well and good – and there are few who have that nailed more effectively than Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton – but as any mastermind behind a luxury goods brand will testify, the real money is in the establishing of classic and instantly recognisable product to which the consumer will return again and again. And Louis Vuitton monogrammed bags are among the most successful examples of that.
Authenticity, too, is important. Note the caramel-coloured leather on La Jolie's carry-all. That means it's aged: LV leather trim starts life almost as pale as butter. And that's because it's her own. It's a Cabas Alto and is due to be re-issued in a slightly smaller size in August.
In the meantime, I would like to take this opportunity to offer my services to LV/Leibovitz et al. I'm thinking I might be snapped at my desk, with a Neverfull tote at my side, next to my border terrier, the irrepressibly cute Wolf, who happens to possess his own LV blanket. He's had it since he was six weeks old and it therefore reflects his life journey which, admittedly, is less glamorous than Angelina Jolie's, but still.