The Louis Vuitton Maison has taken unconventional means to market their products, but their latest strategy is a real game-changer. The Maison is rolling out series 4 of its 2016 spring-summer line, but their fashion model is none other than Lightning Farron, the protagonist of the Final Fantasy XIII series of video games. This marks the first occasion in which a video game character has served as a fashion model for real-life products, let alone products belonging to such a prestigious designer.
Lightning can be seen on Louis Vuitton’s promotional videos performing acrobatic stunts while sporting several outfits and accessories from the series 4 lineup. Lightning’s attire includes the “Nano Malle Galuchat,” a mini-handbag priced at $199.00, the Japanese manga-inspired “Heroic Tiara” priced at $930.00, and the eye-catching “Bicolore Calfskin Jacket,” which is described on Louis Vuitton’s website as ‘strong, yet feminine.’ There are dozens of ensemble outfits in the spring 2016 line, including a black studded linen blouse, a reflective embroidered dress, and a black top with leather details on the shoulders.
The architect behind this campaign is none other than Vuitton’s current creative director, Nicolas Ghesquière. In an interview with Telegraph, he explained that the latest line was inspired by video games, and that using Lightning as a model serves to explore uncharted territory in art and expression. Telegraph also snagged an exclusive interview with Lightning herself, and she expressed nothing but positivity about Vuitton’s latest collection and her experience serving as a model for them.
The announcement and images featuring Lightning in Louis Vuitton attire caused quite a stir among fans of her and the game series she stars in. While some were pleased with the exposure and normalization of gaming in modern culture that this clothing line would bring, some were skeptical as to why the cold and masculine Lightning was chosen to be a fashion model. Many have said her sister Sera, the protagonist of Final Fantasy XIII-2 and more effeminate of the two sisters, would have been a more appropriate choice to have as a fashion model. Nicolas Ghesquière seems to know what he’s doing however, as the campaign has succeeded to raise quite a few heads in both the fashion industry and in the gaming world, and such attention is all one really can ask for. It remains to be seen whether or not this line will be more or less successful than previous ones.
Noticeably absent from this line is both a male line of clothing, as Lightning’s line consists solely of women’s clothing and accessories, as well as a male counterpart to show off such a line in a similar fashion to Lightning. Final Fantasy developer Square Enix has no shortage of male characters that would be perfect for such a task. The brooding yet sensitive Cloud Strife of Final Fantasy VII fame comes to mind immediately, as he will be staring in a new game soon. There’s also Noctis, the newest protagonist in the series and main character of the soon-to-be-released Final Fantasy XV. If this is the route Louis Vuitton has chosen in the marketing of its new line, there’s really no reason not to go all the way. Regardless, as new looks are added to the 2016 lineup through spring and summer, Lightning will likely make more appearances in Louis Vuitton’s promotional material; a fascinating addition to the fashion world.