Controversial News: Louis Vuitton Opens New Factory in Texas with Donald Trump

Oct 21st -update in response to President Trump’s visit to Louis Vuitton factory. 
Louis Vuitton Faces Boycott Threat
Louis Vuitton’s Women’s Artistic Director Speaks Out Against President Trump

A new Louis Vuitton factory opened today in Keene, Texas, with none other than U.S. President Donald Trump on hand for the ribbon-cutting. He was joined by, among others, White House Advisors (and daughter and son-in-law) Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.

Sandwiched between a fundraiser in Fort Worth and a rally in Dallas, the President stopped to watch artisans and craftspeople create those ever-popular LV-monogrammed bags and tour the facilities.

By opening this facility, LVMH, Louis Vuitton’s parent company, is following through on its signing of the Pledge to American Workers which aims to expand programs that “educate, train and support American workers,” according to a statement from the company.

Photo courtesy of Andrew Harnik/AP

As you may recall, LVMH’s Chairman and largest shareholder (and one of the richest men in the world) met with then-President elect Trump in early 2017. Overseas fashion houses like LV were, and still are, concerned about the possibility of tariffs and trade issues as well as the effect of polarizing political views on brand sales. (Read: Leather Goods Spared in Trump Administration Tariffs Conflict—For Now)

At the time, LVMH apparently discussed developing an additional Louis Vuitton production facility in the United States. LV has been producing handbags in two California locations for about 25 years.

The ribbon cutting. @VVFriedman

The new Texas facility is in a small town near Dallas. The Louis Vuitton Rochambeau Ranch, as it is called, is named for a French nobleman and general who helped the Americans in the Revolutionary War. According to The Wall Street Journal, the factory will employ 150 to start, and supposedly growing to 1000 within five years. According to the company, it is receiving tax incentives and a state pledge to resurface a road to the highway.

Bags made in Texas will be labeled “Made in the USA.” However, they will not use leather from Texas cattle. Instead, the company will use its own cattle, which were on hand (and foot) for the ribbon-cutting event. Yes, folks, Louis Vuitton has its own cattle.

Photo courtesy of Michael Buckner/WWD

Let’s talk about that “Made in the USA” label. With all due respect to the Boss (that’s Bruce Springsteen and his “Born in the USA” anthem), not everyone wants French bags made in the United States. After all, part of the allure of French luxury is that you are getting an ooh-la-la fancy French item.

In this regard, many Louis Vuitton fans in the United States specifically request bags made in France and reject those made elsewhere.

Photo courtesy of Bob Booth special to the Star-Telegram

This being 2019 America, the ribbon-cutting event was not without controversy. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported supporters of President Trump as well as protestors lining highways in the area. Moreover, the President began his speech talking about Turkey.

As for the Trump family’s connections with Louis Vuitton, the President said he was very familiar with the brand as it has “cost him a lot of money over the years,” presumably in handbag purchases. Additionally, Arnault attended the Trump White House’s first official State Dinner.

To the event, Ivanka Trump carried a large Chanel handbag.

For an insider’s video of the factory and cows, view NYT journalist Vanessa Friedman’s Twitter.

There’s so much to discuss—LV American factories, LV in Texas, LV and Trump, Arnault and Trump…the list goes on and on. Any preliminary thoughts? Write us below!

Oct 21st- update in response to President Trump’s visit to Louis Vuitton factory 
Louis Vuitton Faces Boycott Threat
Louis Vuitton’s Women’s Artistic Director Speaks Out Against President Trump

Read related articles:

All the Secrets of Louis Vuitton’s Iconic History
Louis Vuitton Tops the List of Most Valuable Luxury Brands
Hermès, Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Fendi Prices 2019
The Top 5 Louis Vuitton Bags You Should Be Paying Attention To Right Now

Love, PurseBop

Published: October 18th, 2019
Updated: October 21st, 2019

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