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Louis Vuitton uses first iPad app for exclusive, pricey history lessonBy Rachel Lamb
Louis Vuitton is going back to its roots by developing an iPad application around what first made it famous: luggage and trunks that span back to the brand’s creation.
The 100 Legendary Trunks iPad app is full of exclusive brand information including unpublished texts and documents, videos, sound clips and images. True to form, the Louis Vuitton app price seems to be a luxury item in and of itself – it is $18.99 in Apple’s App Store.
“The app is a profound and vivid representation and review of the history of Louis Vuitton’s brilliant trunk designs,” said Isabella Lin, fashion and lifestyle category manager at Appitalism, New York.
“This 100 Legendary Trunks app can be likened to a historical review of Louis Vuitton trunks,” she said. “This app charges $18.99 [because] the researchers spent a lot of the hard work and effort to create this showcase book experience.
“The 100 Legendary Trunks app is basically a photo album with 100 nice Louis Vuitton photos and explanatory text, and is therefore a very poor value proposition.”
Ms. Lin is not affiliated with Louis Vuitton, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.
The 100 legendary trunks span from the first trunk ever made to the most-recent and innovative piece to date. They include library trunks and luggage but include modern products including Playstation boxes and dog carriers.
100 legendary trunks
Consumers can scroll through the versions of trunks by using the arrows or swiping their fingers across the screen. Each trunk is numbered.
The app’s homescreen is set against a weathered, brand-signature checkered background with options including globe trotters, over the years, trunkscape, know how, immediate departure and treasure trunk. All of these sections are just organized segues into the same list of 100 trunks.
For example, the globe trotters section is set up as a series of frames with celebrities who have owned Louis Vuitton inside of them.
Tapping on one of the “frames” brings up one of the trunks along with a full history that the brand has with the person whose frame was tapped.
In addition, the trunkscape section organizes all of the trunks in the brand’s cherry blossom insignia. When consumers click in and tap on one of the pieces, it takes them to the list.
Trunks made into the Louis Vuitton cherry blossom
To accompany the many images, some sections have historical videos and sound bites.
For example, the treasure trunk section includes a video that allows consumers to take a tour of the Asnières’ workshops in France.
Patrick-Louis Vuitton, head of special orders, presents the house where founder Louis Vuitton first set up for the brand around 1880.
Louis Vuitton released an app under the same name for the iPhone last year (see story).
One of Louis Vuitton’s most powerful influences is its legacy. This could be why part of the iPad app called Know How has images, text and videos specifically to emphasize the brand’s heritage and craftsmanship.
Informative video by Patrick-Louis Vuitton
Consumers can look through volumes, signature pieces and tools used to make the luggage and materials.
There is also a timeline called Through the Years in which consumers can browse through each trunk by year.
The app seems to be very informative and engaging, but the price may sway consumers from downloading the app.
“For the Louis Vuitton loyal-obsessed people, the price is so worth it,” Ms. Lin said. “For the interested but not so obsessed people, they will feel that this price is difficult to accept, as the majority of apps typically cost just a few dollars and many of the apps are free.”
The price could dissuade aspirational consumers, but Louis Vuitton’s core customer to whom money is no object likely will not care about the price tag.
“The Louis Vuitton luxury experience is directly communicated by the details of design and quality of Louis Vuitton, just like their products,” Ms. Lin said. “The status of Louis Vuitton is deeply implanted in the minds of consumers and is very special with a high degree of trust.
“This app is especially suited to people who are obsessed with Louis Vuitton, for whom this 100 Legendary Trunks app of Louis Vuitton is designed,” she said.
Rachel Lamb, associate reporter on Luxury Daily, New York
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