Located on a site called ‘Louis Vuitton Rochambeau Ranch’, named after a French general who aided the colonies in the American Revolution, the new workshop is said to comprise an area of 100,000 sq ft. Employing 150 people at first, the plant is expected to create over 1,000 jobs in the next five years. Bernard Arnault, CEO of the French luxury conglomerate and Europe’s richest man, is said to have developed a close relationship with Trump since the 2017 U.S. presidential election. Handbags and cognac, key products of the LVMH business, were spared in the recently announced U.S. tariffs targeting EU imports.
By setting up this new workshop in Texas to cater for growing demand in the U.S. market, Arnault has attended to Trump’s call for more local manufacturing in the U.S.. “This is consistent with Louis Vuitton’s recent signing of the Pledge to America’s Workers, which aims to expand programs that educate, train and support American workers”, said the company in a statement.
Trump’s visit to the new Louis Vuitton workshop is said to include a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a speech about the creation of new jobs, along with a tour of the facility. Arnault, Texas state officials and First Daughter, Ivanka Trump, are expected to attend. Reportedly, the leather to be used at the facility will not be made from Texan cattle, but bags produced there are to feature “Made in the USA” branding.
Sources: Bloomberg/The Cut