The President and CEO of Rimowa Luggage is only 26 year old..and has grand plans for the luxury luggage brand. But will he save Rimowa or ruin a brand that did not need saving?
First some background. French-born Alexandre Arnault took over Rimowa 18-months ago, a storied German luggage company established in 1898. The New York Times shares:
Mr. Arnault is the driving force behind Rimowa, the German suitcase company that, as he put it, is “a 120-year-old company that was owned and run by the same family for 119 years when I got there.” Mr. Arnault, barely out of university, persuaded Rimowa’s then-chief executive, Dieter Morszeck, the grandson of its founder, to sell, and his father, Bernard Arnault, the chairman of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, to buy, an 80 percent stake in the company, and in 2016, Rimowa became the newest addition to the LVMH luxury group.
Bernard Arnault is France’s richest man. Let’s put the envy aside for a moment and recognize, despite what privilege and fortune the young Arnualt has grown up in, he has taken on quite a daunting task.
I love Rimowa luggage and have used it for several years now. But Rimowa has traditionally appealed to a narrow subset of the population as a high-quality, functional German brand. That drives its exclusivity, but also limits its appeal.
During his short tenure, Alexandre Arnault has already made his mark. Rimowa has introduced a new logo (the style of the luggage is unchanged). Furthermore, Rimowa has begun to collaborate with other LVMH brands like Fendi to create cross products. Rimowa even teamed up with Supreme, a New York skate company, to create contemporary bags which sold out almost instantly. Thus far, Arnault’s changes have been well-received.
Here are some pictures of the new ad campaign:
The whole New York Times article is worth a read. I’m generally averse to change and liked Rimowa just the way it was. I’m also not a fan of the new logo. But by linking it to other LVMH brands, Arnault has already laid the groundwork to ensure that Rimowa remains an enduring and high-demand luxury brand.
Do you travel with Rimowa luggage? If so, what do you like about it?
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