Following its prolonged $15.8 billion acquisition of Tiffany & Co., LVMH has named a three-man crack team to oversee operations at the luxury powerhouse.
Louis Vuitton executive Anthony Ledru has been announced as chief executive officer of the American jeweler; Alexandre Arnault, CEO of Rimowa since 2017 and the second eldest son of LVMH chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault, will become Tiffany’s executive vice president, product and communications; and Michael Burke, chairman and CEO of Louis Vuitton, will become chairman of the Tiffany board of directors.
It marks a return home for Ledru, who spent two years at Tiffany & Co. as senior vice president, North America, before signing on at Vuitton. For many, however, it will be the appointment of digital scion and streetwear obsessive Arnault that is the most intriguing development. The 28-year-old has been the driving force behind Rimowa’s extraordinary rise in recent years, excelling as CEO having played a pivotal role in his father's acquisition of the company in 2016. He has revamped the Cologne luggage and leather goods maker’s image through blue-chip collaborations with names such as Dior, Moncler, Fendi, and Supreme, as well as widening the product pool beyond travel to covetable everyday items including phone cases and clutch personal bags. Arnault has regularly voiced his distaste for the word "luxury," claiming that the word is too often linked to price.
It's fair to say the powerful trio won't be taking over at the easiest time. Jewelry remained strong during the pandemic, but Tiffany took a big hit having lost much of its tourist-heavy customer base (the wedding industry has suffered, too). As well as leading the company into new markets — with a heavy emphasis on the East — the incoming management may also rethink the brand’s core identity, branching out from engagement rings and into other categories. That’s where Arnault comes in. How long until we see a Takashi Murakami revamp of the signature robin's-egg blue packaging?
“I am pleased to welcome Tiffany and all their talented employees in our group,” said Bernard Arnault. “Tiffany is an iconic brand and a quintessential emblem of the global jewelry sector. We are committed to supporting Tiffany, a brand that is synonymous with love and whose Blue Box is revered around the world, with the same dedication and passion that we have applied to each of our prestigious Maisons over the years."
There has been no word yet on Arnault's replacement at Rimowa. More to follow.