Sunday, 31 October 2010

Louis Vuitton Maison at the New Bond Street

First of all, I know this news must have been stale since it happened about five months ago, but just to share it with you. After making its presence clear and well-heard in the city of London, the highly revered French luxury goods purveyor Louis Vuitton has recently treated its loyal customers to a super luxurious treat to remember – a new mega store at the New Bond Street.

Encompassing 1520 square metres of retail floor that spans over three floors, to date, the store is considered as the luxurious Louis Vuitton store of all. The store, also known as the New Bond Street Maison, was designed by New York-based architect Peter Marino – the same architect who designed Louis Vuitton’s Champs-Elysees Maison in Paris.

His master plan for the site was for it to be exceptionally luxurious, both open, light and welcoming but intimate and easy to navigate with different areas and levels on each floor, allowing the customer to browse seamlessly from one area to another.

His vision is to enter the Louis Vuitton world from the street outside over a bridge giving views of a dramatic glass staircase with 23 square meters of glass tread surface including LEDs to show frequently-changing film and artistic animations that take you from the lower ground right up to the first floor.

“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 Peter Marino of the challenge.

Furthermore, The New Bond Street Maison is also conceived as the home of a collector who loves only the best and rarest. The ground floor is devoted to Louis Vuitton accessories and will include both original artworks from well-known names including, Richard Prince and Takashi Murakami, and exclusive products specially designed for the store. There are separate, circular zones for costume jewellery and sunglasses, and a private client room next to the high jewellery area.

Glass stairs to the lower ground floor open the way to the men's universe, at the centre of which is the men's club area where customers and their guests can relax. The first floor is devoted to womenswear and shoes, in several intimate areas with generous and luxurious changing rooms.

Also here is the unique “Librairie” which will showcase the best of British contemporary Art Books and bespoke commissions by artists including Anish Kapoor, Chris Ofili and Gary Hume.
The store's second floor is a separate, luxurious world - the private client suites – also known as the Apartment - which can only be accessed by invitation.

But as usual, a Louis Vuitton maison will be incomplete without the ‘coterie’ of superb artworks conceived by a league of contemporary art masters. Presented in a way that reflects London’s thriving art scene, a mix of temporary pieces have been specially created for the opening, and are displayed alongside the permanent artworks that are integrated into Peter Marino's design for the store.

To celebrate Turner Prize-winner Chris Ofili's current retrospective at Tate Britain, Louis Vuitton has asked him to create a special work inspired by poems written by young London-based performance poets, some of which will be performed by them at the opening.

London-based multi-media artist Pablo Bronstein has choreographed a ballet for the opening, inspired by the Louis Vuitton workshop at Asnières in France, and narrated by the artist. There will also be a temporary sculpture commissioned for the store from London-based conceptual artist Michael Landy, one of the YBA generations and best known for destroying all his possessions in the artwork Break Down. The work for the Maison is inspired by Swiss kinetic artist Jean Tinguely, and is located by the glass stairs on the lower ground floor.

On 28th May 2010, Louis Vuitton fans, celebrities and socialites from all over the fashion sphere gathered at the New Bond Street maison to celebrate its inauguration. Joining LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault and Louis Vuitton’s Antoine Arnault at the event were global celebrities namely Gwyneth Paltrow, Kirsten Dunst, Thandie Newton, Dominic Cooper, Alexa Chung, Daisy Lowe, Natalia Vodianova, Elle Macpherson, Stella Tennant, Jasmine Guinness, Angelica Huston and Romola Garai. French screen siren Catherine Deneuve was also present at the inauguration event.

Paltrow stunned the crowd and the frenzy paparazzi in Louis Vuitton’s Cruise 2011 piece and clutched a beautiful clutch from the Pre-Fall 2010 collection, while trendsetter Alexa Chung and Marie Antoinette actress Kirsten Dunst gave her fans an early preview to the FW2010 collection by dressing up in dresses culled from the runway collection. At the start of the event, guests were ushered into the store to admire its classy ambiance and the wide display of fine artworks. Later, guests were taken to a secret venue for a sumptuous dinner followed by a special performance by disco legend Donna Summers.





*Photos courtesy of Louis Vuitton.

Louis Vuitton New Bond Street - 17 - 20 New Bond Street, London W1

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