Marking their return to where the brand's story began over 160 years ago, when a young Louis Vuitton opened his very first store, Louis Vuitton are set to open the Maison Louis Vuitton Vendôme on the 4th of October. Designed by architect Peter Marino, it's the house's largest ever Parisian store. Ahead of its opening tomorrow, here's a sneak peek inside, plus 7 reasons why it's worth booking a Eurostar trip to Paris ASAP for...
1. It's got EVERYTHING under one roof... We're talking couture, ready-to-wear, jewellery, watchmaking, leather goods, shoes, fragrances, accessories, and even artisanal workshops. Consider it your one-stop Louis Vuitton shop. Plus, it's got a total #goals view of the Vendôme column.
2. Not only a store, The Maison Louis Vuitton Vendôme will also be home to two ateliers.... Downstairs under the eaves you'll find Louis Vuitton’s jewellers working with precious stones. Whilst, the Atelier Rare & Exceptionnel is where celebrities and VIP clients can go for fittings and alterations by the brand's in-house artisans. Basically it's where the gown magic happens before you get to see them on the red carpet.
3. The store itself has got some serious history... Situated in two classic Parisian townhouses that were completed in 1714, over the years they have been home to courtiers, nobles, aristocracy, the future emperor Napoléon III and even the occasional princess. Now thanks to Louis Vuitton these two buildings have now been carefully restored with floors been returned to their 18th-century grandeur, ceilings to their original heights, nearly five metres on the first floor, plus the façade, designed by the architect of the Palace of Versailles, Jules-Hardouin Mansart, also restored. We love the old archive images too of chic shoppers back in the day.
4. Peter Marino is the architect behind it so you know it's going to be good... The designer of choice for the mega-rich and a host of luxury fashion brands when it comes to #Instabait he knows what he is talking about. Speaking about the project Marino says for visitors he wants them to feel: 'On entering: excited and expectant. On leaving: happy and uplifted.' For him the biggest challenge was in rebuilding the inside. 'The existing façade is clearly historical, we restored it as per the original,' he says. 'To re-build the inside was a great challenge. The balance between what is modern and what is old, is for me, what Paris is all about. The staircase is a particularly good example of this – an 18th century design in stone contrasted by high tech glass balustrades suspended by stainless steel cables. The stair itself is art. Art work is embedded within the stair as well, with Stephen Sprouse’s “Speaker (Orange-Green) visible from the ground floor.'
5. There's plenty for art lovers too... Inside the store you'll find 33 artworks from 22 artists representing 6 continents with their work. Among them are major commissions by Laurent Grasso, Farhad Moshiri, Annie Morris spanning countries including Iran, China, Germany, South Africa and of course from France with ceramics by Jean Lurçat, photography by Martin D’Orgeval plus Philippe Anthonioz designed custom light sculptures. 'Much of the artwork in the store is joyful, positioned to play off the architecture,' says Marino. 'Its purpose is to make you smile, and enjoy yourself. For me, shopping should be fun and a learning experience, not the dull mechanical pushing of internet buttons.
6. It's the place to go if you want to get something no-one else has... To celebrate the opening the maison is launching five exclusive products. Here you'll find a preview launch of the second chapter of Masters, the continuing collaboration
between the House and Jeff Koons, an exclusive version of the Capucines bag, named after Rue Neuve-des-Capucines, jewellery sets plus the new Tambour Moon Tourbillon Volant “Poinçon de Genève”, watch made with 296 diamonds inlaid on the case. Plus at the store you'll also be able to discover the brand’s unique collection of travel and home objects created in collaboration with some of the world’s most renowned designers, think the Campana Brothers’ Cocoon chair accompanied by Marcel Wanders’ elegant Lune Chair.
7. Celebrities have already seen its Intabait appeal... at the launch party BFFs Busy Phillips and Michelle Williams were spotted taking mirror selfies whilst Jaden Smith, Alicia Vikander, Jennifer Connolly, Marion Cotillard, and Cate Blanchett were also in attendance.