You'll know Louis Vuitton mainly as purveyors of up-market bags of all kinds. It's one of our planet's most recognisable deluxe labels. The LV logo is much desired, much ripped-off and now officially available on the French maison's first foray into audio. Meet the Louis Vuitton Horizon Light Up Speaker. A conversation stopper, perhaps, which makes its ability to fill the awkward pauses that might follow with music, all the more useful. Topol singing, "If I were a rich man", anyone?
The price is scheduled to be north of £2,000, which puts this beautifully crafted piece of audio jewellery squarely into high-end sound territory: it's enough to buy a full size system or possibly a stereo-equipped used car. Neither though would come with the attention to detail and construction that have become as synonymous with the Louis Vuitton name as that logo, which naturally also appears.
The shape is designed to complement Louis Vuitton's Toupie bag, a name which translates from the French as "spinning top", hence the silhouette, though few if any owners are likely to do any actual spinning with it, possibly preferring Kylie Minogue's 'Spinning Around", instead. Ms Minogue might enjoy the upmarket disco lights: 35 LEDs are set in the leather, stainless steel and glass construction, illuminating the top surface and what you might call the speaker's waistline.
Underneath the exterior - likened by some design observers to be less spinning top and more UFO - there is serious sound technology lurking. A three-inch subwoofer takes care of the deepest of bass notes, complemented by a pair of 0.75-inch tweeters. Bluetooth allows for full connectivity, including voice calls, and there's up to 15 hours of playback before recharging is needed. A charging and display dock is, generously enough, included in the price.
Louis Vuitton has a way of capturing the zeitgeist, so while it's easy to poke a little gentle fun at the Horizon Light Up Speaker, it's just as easy to see it becoming the must-have accessory on the beach at Cannes this season. Just keep yours away from the suntan lotion.
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