Mencyclopaedia: Louis Vuitton: Luke Leitch on Louis Vuitton menswear, which is made to last and not just to flaunt.
This leaves Kim Jones - the young Barnes-bred Englishman installed as Vuitton's menswear designer in 2011 - charged with the thorny task of creating very particular, ultra-luxurious clothes that will appeal to a diverse group of men. As he says of the company: "It has a huge demographic, so you are not dressing a specific man. He could be 18 or 80. And you have to think about all of them." Jones has toured Vuitton outposts from Ulan Bator to Argentina, noting the needs of VICs (very important customers). Some of that feedback Jones uses extremely pragmatically: the sultry climate in many of Vuitton's most successful territories has led him to focus on suits in luxury materials - silks, or black seersucker - simultaneously super-light and tough-as-nails, to ensure their wearers "won't turn up at a meeting in a sweaty mess."