Wondering why I am stressing so much on the letter C !! Well , ask Louis Vuitton how much this letter C had bothered them at one point with the rise of Counterfeit Canvas Bags and fall of brand sales and brand prestige. This mounted the grave need on the part of Louis Vuitton to revive the brand’s image in the luxury handbag market.
So, in the summer of 2013, Louis Vuitton launched its new range of handbags and named them Capucine inspired by the street where Sir Louis Vuitton opened his first shop in Paris. Louis Vuitton had set high hopes on the Capucine bag and left no stone unturned to ensure that Capucine helps in bringing back the lost brand prestige and value. The brand focussed on four main aspects of Capucine: Craftsmanship, Collection, Campaign and Class (four C’s).
Luxury brands justify their high prices and brand value through the high quality, rare and exclusive material they use in making a product. Furthermore, skilled craftsmen spend days and months to transform a regular product into a luxury masterpiece.
Louis Vuitton maintains the quality of leather which goes into making a Capucine bag. The brand sources high quality leather from France, Spain, Italy and Northern Europe. A seasoned leather controller minutely checks the thickness, texture and color of the leather before approving it for the Capucine bag.
Capucine bag is handmade in an exclusive workshop located in Saras (countryside close to Paris) where a handful of skilled craftsmen work together to make the Capucine bag. It takes a week for them to make a single bag.
Design- wise the Capucine is a real treat for the consumer as it can be worn in two ways: without the flap or with the flap. If one tucks the flap inside the bag then the LV initials adorn the brand. If the flap is fastened across the bag then an elegant LV monogram sits on the flap. Another interesting feature of the bag are the jeweled rings attached to the bag which connect the handle with the body. These rings look extremely aesthetic and at the same time makes the handle more flexible and strong.
The Capucine bag was initially launched in two sizes i.e. GM (15.7” W x 10.6” H x 6.3” D) and MM (14.2” W x 9.1” H x 5.5” D). Later on, a new size called BB was introduced in the collection, it had a long strap which could be worn across the body during the day and in the night the bag could be worn with the handle, doubling up as a perfect evening bag.
Rare Python Capucine
Rare Fur Capucine
The bags are available in a wide range of colors and Louis Vuitton comes up with a fresh color palette for every season. Initially the bag were available in Taurillon (Calfskin leather) but now Capucines are available in Crocodile leather, Ostrich leather, Python leather and even exotic fur and suede (soft leather).
Ostrich Leather Capucine
Floral Print Suede Capucine
This exhaustive collection of colors and materials makes sure that Louis Vuitton has a Capucine for every consumer who can afford the high price. Since consumer taste and preference vary, non availability of a desired color or material should not stop them from owning a Capucine. This also works positively for enhancing the brand image because everytime a potential consumers thinks of buying a particular design of Capucine, she finds a more interesting design variant when she is to make the final purchase and it creates a positive impression about the creativity and innovation aspect of the brand.
Crocodile Leather Capucine
Taurillon Leather Capucine
The face of Louis Vuitton Capucine bag campaigns is popular Hollywood actress Michelle Williams who has made a name for herself in the industry for her performance. She has essayed the role of iconic Hollywood actress Marilyn Monroe in the movie ‘My week with Marilyn’ and was applauded for her performance and old world charm.
Louis Vuitton had the same conception about Capucines, they wanted to position the bags as something vintage and prestigious but still very relevant for the classy modern woman. The bag is elegant and has enough space to put in all the essential utilities like an iPad , phone, lipstick, keys, mascara etc. So, it can be worn to the office and at the same time used as an evening bag because of its looks and class.
Michelle Williams is captured in different moods, carrying different designs of Capucines just to emphasize that there is a Capucine for every occasion and personality.
The canvas bag was a big lesson for Louis Vuitton and made sure it doesn’t repeat the same blunder with Capucine bag. The brand ensured that the bag has high aspirational value and customers actually pine for a Capucine bag.
Soon after its launch, the royalty, international celebrities and models were seen flaunting the Capucine bag. This heightened the consumer interest in the Capucine bag as they also wanted to a part of that league. However the price of Capucine bag was much higher than the canvas bag which can come for a minimum of say $ 800. The starting price point for a Capucine bag is approximately $ 4, 400 for the BB size, $ 5,600 for the MM size and $ 6,050 for the GM size. The prices scale up depending on the material and color of the bag.
Princess Charlene of Monaco
Chiara Ferragini and Marina di Guardo
Louis Vuitton also made a point that there is no oversupply of the bag in the market. Usually Louis Vuitton shops have a single display piece of Capucine bag which is not for sale and the customers need to order for their desired piece and wait for some time to possess their desired piece.Thus, even when the customer has the money to buy a Capucine, its limited availability makes them want the Capucine bag even more and due to this they form a strong perception of exclusivity and rarity for the bag.