It’s haute couture show week in Paris this week. Luxury will be talked about. But already the Parisians see only him: he is spread over all the buildings, in monumental advertisements.

We are going to talk a lot about luxury this week, because haute couture week is starting with its fashion shows, but also because we will know the annual results of the LVMH group on Thursday.

This luxury sector is doing well, very well even. We had an indication last week when the Richemont group, the owner of Cartier or Van Cleef and Arpels, revealed the growth in its sales last year: + 38% in jewelry, + 25% for watches, + 37% for Montblanc pens and bags.

This world of fashion and luxury is also very happy to be physically together. It already started last week with the presentation of the men's ready-to-wear collections.

And for us, who are not necessarily customers of these brands, there are very visual benefits. If you are in Paris right now, their advertisements are everywhere: a huge Céline canvas covers the Théâtre de la Ville. Loewe, another LVMH brand surrounds the dome of the Commercial Court on the Ile de la Cité. Chanel dresses the Institut de France. And on the Church of the Madeleine, there is a huge photo of a canoe, signed Louis Vuitton.

Who do they bring money to, these tarpaulins?

They are rather called “event canvases”, it is their inventor, the company Athem, who baptized them thus. And they bring big money to the owners or lessors of the buildings they cover and which are often historical monuments. They allow both to look pretty during the works and to finance them. There will also soon be one at the Hôtel des Douanes in Bordeaux.

The JCDecaux group, which specializes in urban advertising, explains that these canvases can finance between 20% and 100% of the work. The repair of the Bastille column, for example, was financed entirely by advertisers. We are at more than 100 million euros of funded work.

Brands rent these monumental spaces between 100,000 and 1 million euros per month. it also varies depending on the month: it's more expensive just before Christmas, for example.

And we can display what we want?

Not at all. First on historic buildings, this display has only been possible since 2007 and it is very much regulated by law. Only half of the canvas can be devoted to advertising. The rest is often a trompe l'oeil or a creation.

The lessor, the Ministry of Culture or the city have the right to inspect the visual. Churches generally reject photos that are too low-cut and recently an advertisement for a series was refused because the hero's gaze was too diabolical. As for the City of Paris, it does not want SUVs, just electric cars.