President Donald Trump will attend Thursday the opening of a new production site in Texas for the posh handbag maker Louis Vuitton, drawing the French luxury powerhouse into the US leader’s job-creation pitch as he gears up for next year’s re-election campaign.
Bernard Arnault, head of the LVMH conglomerate that owns the leather goods brand, will also attend the event at the “Rochambeau Ranch” near Dallas, named for the general who led French troops alongside the 13 colonies in the American Revolution.
“Thanks to the Trump Admin’s economic policies LVMH will open Louis Vuitton Rochambeau in Texas. Along with this investment, LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault Pledged for 1,000 NEW opportunities for local artisans & leather craftsmen,” Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump tweeted on Wednesday.
Arnault was one of the first high-profile French business leaders to meet with Trump in January 2017, just weeks after his election, when he suggested he would consider expanding Louis Vuitton in the United States.
The American market is the second-largest for LVMH overall, and it already has two US production sites in California for Louis Vuitton, whose handbags can cost thousands of dollars.
It says half the Louis Vuitton workers it hires have no previous experience in leather craft, and receive intensive in-house training before being allowed to cut or sew.
Trump is likely to seize on the new site later Thursday at what media commentators are billing as a major campaign rally in Dallas, seeking to rally supporters as he fends off an impeachment inquiry.