Emmanuel Macron’s win was also a win for Louis Vuitton
Emmanuel Macron’s victory in the French presidential election on Sunday was not just a victory for the young president’s vision of France and its role in the world, or centrism versus the far-right wing, although it was both of those things.
It was also a victory for fashion, especially high fashion, and the role it plays in reflecting French culture and heritage to the world.
If in doubt, simply consider the election night outfit of Brigitte Macron: a custom-made cropped Louis Vuitton navy jacket with silver military detailing and matching pants, perfectly co-ordinated with her husband’s navy suit. It was a choice that reflected the couple’s united front as well as the ideological battleground the election had become. And it acted as a subtle signal from an administration with a bent toward big business and the free market that those relations will continue to flourish in its second term.
Luxury, after all, has been cozying up to Emmanuel Macron since his first run for president, in 2017, and Louis Vuitton has been his wife’s brand of choice since she became first lady.
Although she has worn other French labels, including Balmain (whose designer, Olivier Rousteing, posted a statement on Instagram lauding Macron’s re-election) and Alexandre Vauthier, none have been as regularly represented in her public wardrobe as Louis Vuitton. She has worn Vuitton during many of her most performative moments — those times certain to be preserved visually for history, when she serves as a representative of not just herself or her spouse, but the country writ large.
She wore Vuitton to her husband’s first inauguration in 2017 (a baby-blue miniskirt suit with another military-inspired jacket). Vuitton to Bastille Day celebrations in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. And Vuitton to state dinners at home and abroad, including the 2018 state dinner hosted by President Donald Trump in the Macrons’ honour. Just how many times she has chosen Vuitton can be tracked on the Instagram account devoted to her style, @thebrigittestyle.
Fashion, after all, is part of the bedrock of the French economy and its patrimony, and Louis Vuitton plays a very specific role in both.
Although previous first ladies of France similarly associated themselves with classic French brands, with Carla Bruni-Sarkozy often wearing Dior and Hermès, and Bernadette Chirac wearing Chanel, and although the Macrons have supported French fashion broadly, hosting designers at two dinners in the Élysée Palace during Paris Fashion Week, Brigitte Macron is the first to work so closely with Louis Vuitton.