I’ve never felt like it’s been almost 15 years being in this Maison. There’s never a moment where you think “this is not possible or it’s impossible”.
My name is Mayuko. My current position is Vice President for Merchandising and VM (Visual Merchandising).
So this means managing two departments.
The first one involves really starting from the first part of the product cycle, where we see the products in the showroom in Paris, and we work on what is best for Japan in terms of product offer, what we want to do in terms of strategy. So, of course, we receive the general strategy and what we want to do as a brand, but then we try to filter, and we digest things, we try to see what that means for our zone. And then after the buys and assortments being made in Paris, we take that back into Japan where we work also with the Visual Merchandising team to see how that will roll out in store.
I started my career in 2003 in the New Bond Street store in London.
I was extremely lucky to work within the Watch & Jewelry team, the Visual Merchandising team, the after-sales team and the leather goods team. So it was an extremely fulfilling challenge, and really created the base of my career within Louis Vuitton.
The journey has been extremely smooth, and yet full of different things happening along the way. So first starting from New Bond Street in the store, this was for about six months, and then I was in the head office in London, and I was representing the UK, Scandinavia and Ireland for Regional Products Merchandising Manager. After one year, I was in the Paris office, in the Europe zone, where I had many different experiences: first within the ready-to-wear team, and then working in the accessories team, where we built merchandising and accessories, which was not existent then, and then moving on to leather goods. That’s when I was also weighing out the fact that I’m Japanese, and I’d actually never lived in Japan before, so due to personal reasons, I wanted to be closer to my family.
And what was quite amazing is that of course we are LVMH, we are Louis Vuitton, so there was this amazing chance to be able to move by mobility, which is how I moved into Louis Vuitton Japan, to become Merchandising Manager for leather goods.
And then there was an opportunity within LVMH still, but in FENDI, this time in Hong Kong, when I then moved back after a year to Tokyo, within a brand outside of LVMH.
However, 2½ years ago there was this wonderful opportunity to be the Vice President of Merchandising here, which I gladly took because it’s really maximizing the experiences that I’ve had so far within all product categories. So this is how I came back to Louis Vuitton in Tokyo.
What keeps me excited within Louis Vuitton is that you’re on a treadmill; it doesn’t stop. I’ve never felt like it’s been almost 15 years being in this Maison. I guess we go through so many changes, so many different things happening, so many new challenges coming on board, that we really do never stop.
There’s never a moment where you think “this is not possible or it’s impossible”, because there’s always a way to then look at something differently. There’s no set career plan in the sense that once you join the Maison you start with A and then it’s B, C, D. It depends on what happens afterwards to then determine what could be the path.
Obviously, when you spend more than ten years in a company or when you work extremely closely – because sometimes in the showrooms in Paris, for example during the buying sessions, we are together from 8 o’clock in the morning until midnight – it’s extremely tough mentally and physically. So that’s when you have that one moment when you’re parting, when you have your farewell goodbyes, that you really have made not only solid professional relationships, but really good friendships: a lot of trust, a lot of connections with people beyond just Louis Vuitton and merchandising.
Mayuko, Vice President Merchandising, Louis Vuitton Japan