chapter  12
36 Pages

The Louis Vuitton Foundation

The Gift of a CSR Leader and Art Lover to the World
WithElen Riot

This chapter describes and interprets the inauguration of the Louis Vuitton Foundation as the project of Bernard Arnault, whose ambition is to act as a corporate social responsibility (CSR) leader setting principles for the future, now that he is in a position of power. It examines what a CSR leader stands for today and by looking at the role of CSR in such specific industries as the fashion and luxury business. In the official communication of Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH), the foundation was presented as a CSR gesture and an act of philanthropy in favour of both the artists and contemporary art lovers. The Louis Vuitton Foundation is Bernard Arnault's project as the CEO of LVMH, a luxury empire he built in 40 years. The chapter concludes that the role of contemporary art to create a common ground between luxury and fashion activities and CSR is quite ambivalent.