A new route for CGI in Japan: Lightning becomes Louis Vuitton model

In a recent campaign by the French luxury house, Louis Vuitton and the renowned computer graphics artist and director, Tetsuya Nomura (creator of Final Fantasy and famous for his work: FFVII, Advent Children), brought an unexpected force in the fashion industry, Lightning. The usual serving from Final Fantasy to their fans remains; flawless looks and most of the main characters have a golden proportion of body-built. But this time, there is a pinch of current international affair in the new video game– a boy wearing skirt and a heroine.

It is an unusual move, but Louis Vuitton and Square Enix may be playing their cards right. Gender equality issue ‘heforshe’ or ‘sheforhe’ will be receiving a good share of a limelight with other international concerns such as climate change and disaster relief starting this year.

Square Enix Holdings Co. Ltd., the publishing company, was formerly two separate companies Square and Enix, and both companies underwent a M&A in April 2003. The largest stakeholder is Yasuhiro Fukushima, and he serves as the honorary chairperson at Square Enix.

Japan’s economic growth relies on exports of products, and aside of Toyota- the main transport manufacturer, animation should have been one of the main contributors to its economic growth. But the economic growth attributed from computer graphics industry (CGI) has been very much limited by piracy on the internet. We like free stuff, and when products are already available for free, why should readers or consumers buy? Is there a good business model to generate good revenue for CGI?

It may be one of the reasons that the animation industry is breaking apart. There are many talented graphics artists in Japan, but with a saturated market and limited resources rolling to generate the income for their daily expenses in Tokyo. Most graphics artists would have had their stories left untold and had to moved on to pursue a different career. Graphics artists do not usually appear on TV shows or movies. They sit at their desk and draw thousands of sketches by hand or using a software on their computers. With the exception of loyal fans of the video game or manga, nobody knows who they are. And without the curiosity to learn more about the artists’ skills, why would consumers be concern of which publishing company produces it?

Animation with the fashion world is a very good business approach. Perhaps we will see more global concerns addressed through this alternative route. Though it may be a spin-off topic of a luxury branding advert, it may place the central aim to better self-awareness of the environment and social behaviours, and it reaches out to more than 100 million video gamers.

About Louis Vuitton’s Series 4 Spring-Summer Campaign 2016, video: Here

Courtesy Image: LV Spring-Summer Campaign 2016, Series 4

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