LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE (OTC: LVMUY), commonly referred to as LVMH or Louis Vuitton, exists as a result of a 1987 merger of the renowned Louis Vuitton fashion house and wines and spirits company Moet Hennessy. The luxury brand conglomerate, boasting $41.6 billion in revenue in 2016, owns approximately 70 small companies it calls “houses” that produce numerous high-end brands. The company’s oldest brand, wine label Château d'Yquem, dates back to the 16th century. The following are the top companies among LVMH’s various houses.
Veuve Clicquot, Wines and Spirits
Founded in the late 18th century by Philippe Clicquot, the Clicquot winemaking and shipping business that eventually became Veuve Clicquot was well known among Champagne connoisseurs across Europe and the United States as early as 1782. The French company is credited with inventing rosé Champagne, a process Philippe Clicquot and subsequent generations of the Clicquot family perfected by adding red wine during the Champagne-making process.
Marc Jacobs International, Fashion
Award-winning designer Marc Jacobs served as Louis Vuitton’s creative director for 16 years. The strategic partnership resulted in LVMH absorbing approximately 80% of Jacob’s company around 2013; this is speculated by industry insiders because neither the company nor Jacobs ever disclosed exact dates or figures. Marc Jacobs International produces high-fashion clothing and accessories under two brands, Marc Jacobs and Marc by Marc, as revenue hovers close to $1 billion as of 2016.
Nicholas Kirkwood, Leather Goods
British shoe designer Nicholas Kirkwood is a relative newcomer in LVMH’s world of decades- and centuries-old companies. Kirkwood launched his designer shoe business in 2005, which came under LVMH ownership in 2013. Kirkwood’s numerous industry awards, including British Fashion Awards in 2010, 2012 and 2013, bolster sales of the company’s various lines of men's and women's shoes.
Riding the wave of consumer interest in natural products, Lev Glazman and Alina Roytberg launched Fresh in Boston in 1991. The company’s signature products include artisan soaps, skincare and haircare products featuring natural ingredients such as milk, sugar and tea. It also produces a line of signature candles. Twenty-five years later in 2016, Fresh launched the Fresh Research Lab, which is housed in LVHM’s Helios Research Center in Saint-Jean-de-Braye, France.
Pierre-Francois Guerlain founded the Guerlain perfume house in 1828 at 42 rue de Rivoli to give women of discerning taste a place to buy custom fragrances. Guerlain’s clients back then included Napoleon III, Queen Isabella II of Spain and Queen Victoria. The company remained owned and operated by members of the Guerlain family until its acquisition by LVMH in 1994. With 800 fragrances later, Guerlain remains a household name for memorable fragrances such as Shalimar, Champs-Élysées and Insolence.
TAG Heuer, Watches
Heuer was the brainchild of Swiss watch innovator Edouard Heuer. The company traces its roots to St-Imier, Switzerland, where Heuer patented his first timepiece in 1882. In 2016, numerous watches feature a triple-chronograph design, but the Heuer design was the first and only of its kind during the 19th century and most of the 20th century. In the birth of the auto industry, Heuer chronographs featured prominently in cars, and also in airplanes and boats. Heuer merged with Techniques d'Avant Garde, or TAG, in 1985, and LVHM bought TAG Heuer in 1999. The company remains a leading sponsor of the Red Bull Formula One racing team, a partnership brought to the brand by TAG in the 1980s.
Known for creativity and colorful jewelry designs, Bulgari has been at the forefront of commodifying “la dolce vita” since its founding by Greek immigrant Sotirios Voulgaris in 1884. The Italian company’s flagship store on Via dei Condotti is a historic landmark and one of Rome’s most visited tourist attractions. LVMH acquired a 50% stake in Bulgari in 2011.