Louis Vuitton opened it’s first London store in 1885 on Oxford Street and it’s second in 1900 on New Bond Street. This week has seen the red carpet and press launches of the new ‘Maison’ store, situated opposite the original New Bond Street one. The store will be open to the public from tomorrow (Friday), and this weeks launches have been such a talking point that it sure to go off with a bang. Vuitton describes the store as a ‘Maison’, designed as a counterpart to the Maison already situated in Paris;
“[The New Bond Street store], which reflects Louis Vuitton’s rare art-de-vivre and savoir-faire, is conceived as the home of a collector who loves only the best and the rarest.”
Louis Vuitton has a long standing relationship with art and new and exciting British artists. This is celebrated in the new store with an inspirational installation by Michael Landy – a 16ft sculpture made from, well, junk. At the push of a button, all the components work together to move a pen which draws spirals onto paper. Get to the store soon to view this, as this installation will not be permanent.
Michael Landy and his installation
‘I spent five years pouring my heart into making the Champs-Élysées store have all the bells and whistles, only to be told that the London maison had to be even better,’
…says store designer Peter Marino.
The permanent art including pieces by Gilbert and George, Damien Hurst and an installation curated by Katie Grand, Peter the Vuitton brand have created a fantastically inspirational space as well as an amazing marketing technique; coupled with the (reportedly £15 million) recession busting red carpet event that saw Donna Summers and Marc Jacobs crooning on stage alongside offerings of an absinthe den, actors dressed as mythical creatures and a host of A-listers eager to get involved.
Gilbert and George artwork
Exhibit of RTW, curated by Katie Grand
The interior is spectacular, complete with moving walls, constantly changing LED florescent staircase and an ‘Apartment’ accessible only by a lift which invited VIP guests are privvy to. The Apartment includes fireplaces and antique furniture, and is designed for total privacy. I wonder how long it will be before Beyonce makes a visit?
Another amazing feature and reason to visit (if you need another), is the bookshop on the first floor. Including art books by designers including Steve McQueen and Anish Kapoor, they stock rare and limited editions.
Louis Vuitton’s London Maison is beautiful, something to treasure and is almost like visiting an art gallery. A great afternoon out, whether you leave swinging a Louis or not.
Here are pics of some of the lucky 300 guests that attended the red carpet event, including Marc Jacobs, Kirsten Dunst, Elle McPherson and Thandie Newton…
All images courtesy of Louis Vuitton press office.