The journey is the destination; getting there is not as important as the experience of going. A new Louis Vuitton advertising campaign conjures the original spirit of travel for the next generation. The allure of the unknown, the thrill of exploration, the wonder of discovery – all are captured in a series of stunning images, shot in South Africa by Peter Lindbergh, styled by Carine Roitfeld, and starring models Karen Elson and Edie Campbell.
Since 1854, Louis Vuitton has defined the art of travel, designing luggage which – with elegance and ingenuity – has accompanied explorers and pioneers, stars and statesmen, and stylish travellers everywhere. It was only natural that, for this new adventure, Louis Vuitton should select its emblematic Monogram canvas, created by Georges Vuitton in 1896, as the perfect travel companion. Supple, lightweight, waterproof, hardwearing and, of course, eternally elegant, the Monogram has travelled the world, gracing so many unfamiliar settings, so many unexpected situations, that it never, ever looks out of place.
On this latest expedition – described by Carine Roitfeld as “a journey to the extremes of elegance” – the two intrepid travellers are accompanied by three iconic Louis Vuitton bags: the Speedy, the Keepall and the Neverfull. Two new designs in the Monogram line are also given their first outing. The structured, ladylike Montaigne bag is a natural choice for Karen Elson, while the more casual Marias bag reflects the bohemian chic of Edie Campbell. Both models carry their bags with the same easy insouciance with which they wear Louis Vuitton’s intricately embellished Spring/Summer 2014 collection in the South African bush – a spirit of freedom that underlines the modernity of this new campaign. Never ask for directions; just be where you are.
“We travelled to South Africa with almost complete creative license and a wonderful cast. Karen Elson and Edie Campbell are two young women traveling in a very personal, but not necessarily narrative way. Working without any layouts or prefixed ideas allowed us to create spontaneous and real situations. The result is charming and natural.” – Peter Lindbergh
Beyond the Monogram, beyond the models, beyond even the beauty of South Africa, its landscapes bathed in the golden light of dawn and dusk favoured by Peter Lindbergh, the star of this campaign is travel itself. Travel as an inspiration, an illumination. Travel as an art. Travel as an endless source of impressions and emotions, memories and moments of grace – three curious giraffes cautiously approaching to observe the shoot; a pair of lion cubs, playful as kittens; Edie Campbell, an accomplished equestrienne, sitting astride a zebra or – in one of the most arresting images of the campaign – perched high on a pile of trunks, almost literally on top of the world. To travel is to live.
The Louis Vuitton Spirit of Travel campaign will break in the April 2014 issues of magazines worldwide, accompanied by a film on digital media and the Louis Vuitton Pass app.
Photographer: Peter Lindbergh
Stylist: Carine Roitfeld
Models: Karen Elson, Edie Campbell
Hair: Sam McKnight
Makeup: Stéphane Marais
Sets: Andy Hillman