At this point, the Loire region is the pulsating heart of France’s luxury leather goods. France 3, French public TV network’s third channel, spotlighted, in the last days, the industrial growth of the region, where brands have made remarkable investments: most lately, LVMH group inaugurated a new Louis Vuitton laboratory, located in Beaulieu-sur-Layon. The area boasts a long-term leather goods tradition, which led to the development of a unique expertise: it is no coincidence, then, that fashion brands, not only Bernard Arnault’s group, decided to invest in the area, to reinforce their production and build up internal artisans, aiming to keep tradition alive.
New starting jobs, new starting lives
“I sent my job application, they chose me, I spent a probationary period in Sainte-Florence, in the region of Vandea, and then I came back here last year, on June 4. I am very happy here, I am not planning to move at all”, said Sylviane, 54 years old. While talking to France 3, Maeva pointed out: “I have still got to grow a great deal: although I made two bag models here, I must acquire some more skills to pursue my professional career”, said the youngster, 21 years old, who attended the internal training courses set by Louis Vuitton.
Just considering Louis Vuitton’s new manufacturing site, we are talking about over 100 new jobs in few years, not to mention additional work posts planned by the other fashion brands, which have invested in the same region. On the one hand, that evidences leather goods positive trend, formerly highlighted in the financial statements of French and Italian top brands; on the other hand, it is well worth remarking French investments, both in new plants and facilities and in training. French President Emmanuel Macron has been supporting such trend: one and a half years ago, he made a plea to the executive managers of the most important French fashion houses and asked them to relocate production to France again. Why? It is a matter of prestige, of course, but it is also a matter of money. In fact, fashion industry is most driving France’s GDP, even more than planes and cars: according to estimates, yearly revenues amount to 150 billion euros, including apparel and leather goods, as much as jewellery and beauty industry. Aiming to convey his message as effectively as possible, a few days ago President Macron organized a dinner event at the Élysée Palace to gather the fashion brands’ top managers. They had an informal chat, while sipping a glass of Champagne, and sent a message to Italian manufacturing. Not that comforting.
Pictures taken from France 3