This morning, LMVH announced a two-pronged deal to establish full control over Dior. The plan, evaluated at a whopping $13.2 billion dollars, includes the Arnault Group—the family-owned business that runs LVMH—buying the 26% of Dior they don’t already own, as well as the purchase of Christian Dior Couture for roughly $7 billion. In total, including existing ownership of Parfumes Christian Dior, LVMH will now own and operate all things Dior, from accessories and leather goods to ready-to-wear.

The purchase, which is part of a larger LVMH initiative to expand their already robust ready-to-wear and leather good business, is a result of years or strong performance from Dior, which has undergone double-digit growth since 2012, not coincidentally the year Raf was appointed Creative Director. Not only has Dior seen consistent growth, the brand has become inherently more profitable, with recurring operations profits rising 24% per year. The move also drastically simplifies the Dior business, allowing for a consistent vision rather than fragmented initiatives from multiple outlets.

The massive deal was revealed less than a week after Dior’s recent activities in Japan, where creative director Maria Grazi Chiuri and Dior Homme artistic director Kriss Van Assche presented special collections to mark the grand opening of the luxury shopping megalopolis Ginza Six. Located in the heart of Tokyo’s exclusive Ginza district, the new thirteen-story retailer houses more than 240 stores, including the brand new Dior flagship.

At five stories itself, the new flagship includes separate floors for leather goods and fine jewelry, footwear, women’s ready-to-wear, Dior Homme, a private VIP salon and a café, respectively. This vast complex is a significant part of an-going trend at Dior, who has, despite slightly declining figures, continued to invest in the Japanese luxury market, the second largest in the world following the U.S. With the yen relatively weak, wealthy Chinese customers have been traveling to Japan en masse with tourists now accounting for nearly 30% of luxury sales in the country. The commitment to Japanese retail most assuredly played a role in LVMH’s decision to step up their investment.

Many Grailed users mourn the loss of Hedi at Dior Homme. Others no doubt feel the same about Raf’s departure. Yet, the strong performance of both lines and the renewed support from LMVH is as good an indication as any that Van Assche and Grazia Chiuri deserve a second look. Take Van Assche’s most recent collection presented in Tokyo that builds on the “NEWAVE” concept he introduced during his F/W 2017 show in January. The clothes, already available at Ginza Six, feature the “NEWAVE” emblem spliced over the traditional Christian Dior logo, a simultaneous ode to KVA’s specific direction and a nod at the vaulted history of the house. While Hedi’s slick rocker attitude and ultra slim suiting is gone, Van Assche’s baggy pants, slim tops and futuristic tailoring are arguably more modern, and, if you weigh more than 90 pounds, far more approachable.

With the yen holding strong, and the backing of the most powerful luxury conglomerate on earth, Dior will undoubtedly keep growing. Only time will tell how being fully under the LVMH umbrella will affect the brand moving forward, but we're curious to see how it all plays out.

Tags: kriss-van-assche, lvmh, dior-homme, dior