15 DECEMBER 2013


The writing was on the suitcase decades ago. Those irritated by a commercial Louis Vuitton shop in the Red Square will most likely end up waiting in line to watch the opening ceremony if not the annual sale.

Someone in that French venture seems to know how to hit a public nerve. When it was growing into a larger conglomerate -- with our adorable Selma Hayek marrying into the owner's family -- provocative construction on the Champs-Elysees raised a public outcry about their aesthetic senses. It was a lit square of glass announcing the name in bright lights across from the popular Le Fouqets.

One explanation was that it was initially an interim structure which, when greatly admired by the Chief Executive Officer, became permanent. While expanding into luxury goods, the holders of the original name sought to transform their earlier embarrassment for being a mere luggage company into a source of pride.

There was a series of cover page advertisements showing one suitcase after another in all weeklies, monthlies, and dailies. Angelina Jolie, who apparently remains a U.N. Special Envoy on Refugees, was pictured gazing into the reader's face with luscious open lips. Brad Pitt was given a different posture. So was David Beckham with his confused look and straight hairstyle. More to the point, there was a controversial commercial circulated worldwide of Mikhail Gorbachev, the former General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic, in a car hugging one of the suitcases while contemplating the fallen Wall of Berlin.

By then, one Kremlin former resident was already in the bag. Getting closer -- in a swiftly changing world -- was merely a matter of time. The new "capitalist" enterprise, in the midst of the historic square, is likely to take the shape of a constantly red lit suitcase!

Commercials of the world, Unite!